Tim Hardy Learned To Be A Runner While Serving His Country


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My guest today has been running for quite a few years, finishing his first marathon in 1998.

In the 15 years since that first marathon, he has run over 60 ultras, which includes 18 (and counting) hundred-plus mile races!

This guy is obviously a beast and I am looking forward to trying to keep up with Tim Hardy today!

Tim Hardy

The Bigger The Better

Tim Hardy loves the ultra distances and is frequently drawn to races that are 100 miles or more.

His favorite race formats are point-to-point ultras that often take place over multiple days.

He enjoys the logistics of each race along with the many challenges he encounters along the way.

His two favorite multi-day races are Vol State 500k and Heart of the South (326 miles).

Both races take place in the summer months and require both extensive training and planning.

The races are relatively simple in format and require each athlete to cover the distance unsupported in the allotted time.

The premise may be simple, but according to Tim, the logistics are anything but.

Navigating Challenges

The athletes that fare the best in these point-to-point races are often the ones that travel the lightest.

The more a runner tries to carry with them, the more challenging it will be.

Tim has learned to carry only what he will need to survive.

Some of the many challenges that he encounters are: where to sleep and how to obtain water.

During these races, Tim must cover all the miles on foot and is not allowed to get into a vehicle.

Tim is also drawn to these races due to how well they are organized.

Learning To Be A Runner

Tim has always been a jock, but while growing up he mostly played ball sports.

He didn’t complete his first race until after he was enlisted in the armed forces.

Tim enlisted later than most at the age of 30.

He served 20 years in the army and ran every day while there.

The requirement was that Tim would be able to run 5 miles in 40 minutes.

He was constantly surrounded by great people which in turn made his expectations for himself grow.

For the 2 decades he spent in the army, running was always more work-related and not necessarily because he chose it.

Unlikely First Marathon

Tim was an Air Force brat and when his dad finally retired it was in Connecticut.

All of his family was in New England so it was hard to ignore the great runners that were in and around the area.

Tim grew up around the time when Bill Rodgers was a popular name in marathoning.

Fast forward many years later to 1995 when Tim was a lieutenant officer serving in Germany.

The mission he was originally there to do got changed, leaving him and his platoon with extra time.

His platoon leader decided they should all run a marathon while they were in Bosnia.

Tim had no idea what he was getting into and it was a very humbling experience.

He ultimately made it to 18 miles and quit due to running too fast and not drinking any water.

Streaking Strong

After his failed marathon, Tim took what he learned from that experience and finished his first one a few months later.

Tim normally runs a few marathons each year and has also jumped headfirst into the ultra world.

With his love for long races, he found that it was helpful to always keep a strong base.

He routinely runs 50 to 70 miles per week and has run every single day since December 13, 2007.

Tim realizes that he is fortunate to have avoided any injuries that stopped his streak.

He attributes his ability to remain healthy to running on various surfaces and taking care of his body.

The running streak has kept Tim healthy and focused over the years.

Tim Hardy

Evolving Goals

In the past ten-plus years of running Tim’s goals have evolved.

As he gets older it’s inevitable that his running times will eventually slow.

Tim has learned to accept where he is at in life with running.

His main goal as he gets older is to stay healthy and consistent in the sport.

When he was younger and first starting out, he tried to always be faster than the last time.

His younger self would also try to do everything.

Tim has learned that it’s okay to slow down and focus on less.


Mentioned In This Episode:


Tim Hardy learned to be a runner from two decades in the armed forces. The many lessons both running and the military has taught him have come in handy in the ultrarunning scene. Click To Tweet


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