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Apr 26, 2021

Hillary Allen is used to defying the odds. She did it in graduate school when her running career began, rising from a first-time marathoner in 2012 to the very top of the sky running world in just five short years. She did it again in 2017, surviving a 150-foot fall on the trails which nearly killed her to return to the podium in her sport just over a year later. 

In this episode, Hillary shares her inspiring story with Kara and Chris. We start with her journey to becoming a runner evolving from a childhood sports-fanatic and tennis player who saw running as punishment to a graduate student simply seeking running as an outlet from her intense coursework. 

From there, Hillary describes how an unlikely running buddy of hers helped her fall in love with the sport and discover her passion and potential on the trails, which quickly and almost accidentally evolved into an elite-level career. That career would take her to the top of the sport and the world, as she found global success in a niche area of trail running called sky running. 

Then, everything changed with a traumatic fall from a ridge line in a race in Norway. Hillary gives us a moment-by-moment account of that life-changing step and recounts the painful and challenging recovery process that followed. She tells us how she found the strength to persist in rehab, how she overcame her fears to return racing again, and how her perspective on life is forever changed.

Of course, we also get her perspective on the clean sport culture in the trail running world, how the culture might be different in the US vs Europe, and whether or not trail running needs a more organized anti-doping program.

We walked away inspired from this conversation with Hillary and know you will too! To read Hillary's story in her own words, check out her new book:

Out and Back: A Runner's Story of Survival Against All Odds.