How did you first get into trail running?
I was into triathlons when I lived in Sydney, and upon returning to NZ this quickly transformed into trail running. Off-road and getting muddy is so much more fun!
Where are your favourite runs?
Little Mt Peel is my all-time favourite trail. It's a great mix of terrain, elevation and can be done in a few hours, even better when you get up there for sunrise. Plus, the views at the top are amazing!
How important is competing to you?
It's not so much the competing, but the goal and focus of training for an event. Plus, you get to explore new places that you wouldn't have access to otherwise.
What do you consider to be your biggest trail running achievement?
Beyond the Ultimate Jungle Ultra - 230km through the Amazon Jungle in Peru. No words can describe how EPIC this race was. Once we got deep in the jungle it was everything I imagined it to be and more. I would highly recommend this race to anyone.
What's your most memorable run ever?
Ha, probably the Jungle Ultra. The first few days were a battle, mentally and physically, as I struggled with a stomach bug... You can read my blog for the full details! But quitting was never an option, even if I had to crawl (there were definite moments) but I came right half-way through and ended up feeling so great on the final few days (due to how slow I had started!).
What's your next big goal?
I have Spring Challenge North in mid-October, plus a few other events along the way such as Mission Mount Somers and Xterra Motatapu. But the next scary goal is the Patagonia Expedition Race in November 2018. I'm terrified, but if it doesn't scare you, it isn't a big enough challenge, right??
How much a part of your life is trail running?
Not enough! There are never enough hours in the day. I often find I start running and then suddenly I am a few hours deep, miles from my car and running out of daylight! I use running as my meditation, I plan my blogs and sort out any issues I have at work all while in beautiful locations. Running off-road is a very important part of life for so many reasons.
What other sports or pastimes do you enjoy?
I love multisport events; the combination of different disciplines is a great way to keep things interesting, especially during training. Events such as Coast to Coast, Red Bull Defiance and Breca Swimrun are all great races on offer in the South Island. I have a design background and love photography too - so I am never without my phone or camera to capture my adventures to share later!
What does your run year look like? Do you ramp up for events or simply turn up?
I've become a bit blase of late. I used to be so focused on each race, but now I seem to just expect my body to cope. I had a great wake-up call at the recent Mount Difficulty event and it made me realise I need to train for specific events that I enter!
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with trail running.
I'm the founder/editor/designer behind Say Yes To Adventure magazine. The opportunities that have opened since publishing the first volume have been incredible. Print is a tough gig though, so am currently working through a few ways to increase our digital presence. Watch this space!
Hollie's closing thoughts:
"Trail running keeps me sane; I'm a much better person when I am out in the hills! I'd miss the mental side as much as the physical side if I ever had to give it up"