Runner Profile – Olivia Mulligan

Any club or society is the some of its member parts, and Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers are fortunate to have Olivia Mulligan among their number.  Olivia suffered ill health as a youngster, and even now she has to be careful – she says her school PE teacher would be agog to know she was Ladies’ Captain at TSH.  Olivia lived in London for 5 years, but then did, what many people do, found that Thirsk was calling home!  She started running at the age of 17, and almost immediately joined the Harriers, doing what many runners do when they begin running, tackling a Race for Life.  To Look at Olivia, she is the height of “a hap’orth of copper” and looks as if a puff of wind would blow her away, but, my, how she can run.  Her PB for a half marathon is 1 hr 27 minutes, and when she did the Great North Run in 2018, she was 29th lady finisher, behind others who would definitely be considered elite.  Her favourite local race is the Ben Cambell 10k, not for the faint hearted with many of ups and downs, and mud!  She loves running in mud, and cross countries give her plenty of opportunity for that.  She ended up covered in mud in the latest Gormire Gamble.  Among other local races, she was 1st lady at the Dishforth 10k, 3rd lady in the Ripon 10, another toughie, and 2nd lady in a recent Sean Lee Johnson 10 mile race, which is testing event though it is mostly flat.  Olivia is equally good on roads and came 2nd lady behind a very fast lady from Rotherham in the last Sessay Swift 6k.

When she was younger, Olivia did a solo back packing trip round the world for 8 months, spending some of the time in California, where she ran in Mammoth Lakes, 8000 feet above sea level and considers that to be one of the best places she has run.  There, she was inspired by Alexis Pappas, a Greek Olympian who lives and trains there, and others who have inspired her are club coach, Rob Burn – and her Dad!

Olivia is always very supportive and kind to other runners and suggests that you are better than you think you are.  If you want to run fast, you have to learn to be uncomfortable – no gain without pain – and do everything you can to avoid injury, making only gradual changes to your training.  Don’t race too often, pick the races that really matter to you, and when you do race, put your heart and soul into every stride!  Olivia has not yet tackled a marathon, but after a few goes, she would aim to finish in under 3 hours.

When she isn’t running, Olivia, or Liv, enjoys writing poems, yoga, “being daft on stage” and travel.  Good luck, Liv.

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