Tracy Dean – Ultra Runner

Tracy DeanI was a bit of a late comer and started to run five years ago. I didn’t take the conventional path either as I went from rookie to mountains. I haven’t had experience of road running/training for marathons or track racing and consider myself as currently building up my endurance in order to reach my potential in a few more years’ time. I adore the mountains, and have spent the best part of four years training in them relentlessly.

Tracy DeanMy resilience and capacity to endure long days out soon started to pay off as I felt ready to enter my first ‘proper’ race. The one I’d been training for in 2012. The Lakeland 50 will always hold a place in the list of favourite races as it’s this race that I learned if you want something enough, nothing will stand in your way. I won the race and set the new ladies record. I’ve had success in many races since then including the Hoka Highland fling race which secured me the title of UK trail running champ in 2013. As a result I represented Great Britain in 2013 at the World Trail Running Championships in Wales. Two years later, I was selected again and was proud to run for Great Britain in Annecy in France. I’ve undertaken personal challenges, such as the Rigby round, a 24 hour, 75 mile, 19,000 ft challenge, which is unsupported, solo and completed without any recognisance. It is not as well known as some of the other rounds, like the Bob Graham, or the Ramsey, however did I mention unconventional, (or loose wire). I am the only female to have completed it successfully and one of only a handful of people to have finished it generally.

Tracy DeanI’m enjoying racing in Europe more as towards the latter end of 2015 I entered a number of Ultra’s in the Pyrenees and the Alps. It was certainly an eye opener and takes the ultra trail running to a whole new level with new challenges, different technical terrains, runnable ascents and poles, all new to me.

‘You’ve gotta go there to come back’ (Stereophonics) yet, also explains a little about what I’m focusing on currently. Ultra distance trail (mountain) running is my passion. In order to give myself the opportunity to reach my potential, I need to have opened every door. Currently, I’m starting to look at some conventional running (something I’ve not had experience of gulp) I’m sure it will help me along the way. So I’m doing it all topsy turvey, and adding in other types of running such as shorter marathon distance trail runs with the aim to then re focus and return full circle to the mountains and ultra’s with renewed vigour.

Tracy DeanUltra running is as simple or complex as you make it. You can don a pair of shoes, find a beautiful place and leave your cares in the city. It really is that simple. Yet, when racing and performing, I leave no stone unturned, and fuelling is paramount, so many folk don’t get this bit right and yet it’s the most important part. There aren’t many sports where you have to keep the tank fuelled up for hours and hours, put the right ingredients in and make them work for you so that you can perform at your best. The only way to get this right is to practice during training with the fuel that you use for races. Find out what works and when you have the formula right, stick to it.

Tracy DeanMountain Fuel is a system that has done the thinking for me. The energy and electrolyte balance means I can be confident that I’m fuelling my body with what I need without the fuss of carrying and opening gels ever 20 mins. I like the idea of drinking my fuel because I’m not good at taking water on board so this system ensures I’m getting my fluids and energy constantly.


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