Today I get to go a few easy miles, and try to keep up with, PhD candidate and beast ultra runner Alicia Rich.
Alicia is no stranger to the podium in ultra running and often she’s not just on the podium, she’s on top of it.
Making Up for Lost Time
Alica got started running a little later in life than many runners that find themselves leading the pack and winning races.
She was a swimmer and “band geek” growing up, tried running and hated it in college, and got peer pressured into trying the C25K app in grad school and fell in love with the sport.
She went from C25K to marathon to ultra runner in just a few years, and hasn’t slowed down since!
Wanting to Win
I asked Alicia where she got her competitive streak from, and she kind of struggled with the answer.
She wasn’t super competitive growing up, but owns the fact that when she gets to the start line of the race her goal is to win.
We also talked a little bit about how, for whatever reason, some people almost look down on the women that are competitive.
However, in almost every occasion Alicia has noticed that her fellow competitors at the front of the race have all been friendly.
While each woman is trying to win, Alicia has definitely developed some friendships over the miles on race day.
Beyond Running: PhD Candidacy
While Alicia has been logging all the miles and winning most of the races, she’s also working on her PhD.
Seriously, how are there enough hours in the day?
She is studying primates, which is something she’s wanted to do for most of her life. And her studies and research have taken her all over the world.
She’s been to Kenya, Uganda, and Costa Rica to observe various primates in the wild, and when she’s working running can be a bit hit or miss.
As any good runner knows, however, you can’t keep a runner down. While in Uganda, the setting was dangerous but from time to time she needed to get in a run to burn off a little mental stress and strain.
Needless to say, she figured out a way to make it happen. Even if the locals, and other researchers, thought she was crazy!
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