This fall has showed us all in the OCR world just how truly international the sport has become. We are excited to bring you new Dirt in Your Skirt Athlete Profiles from not just women in the US but women who are taking on OCR all over the world. This week we feature Lucy Martlew, from Hastings in the United Kingdom. She is a 24-year old book keeper by day but has made a name for herself on the OCR racing world in the UK. She is supported by sponsors like Reebok, Athletics8, X Racewear, Chia Charge and For Goodness Shakes. When not racing an OCR she can be found riding horses, running, swimming or kickboxing. Learn a bit more about this speedy Brit.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I took part in the ‘3 Peaks Challenge’ in the UK for charity in 2011 and one of the PT’s talked me into doing a Spartan Race with a group from his gym. At the time I wasn’t aware there were any other raced like it so did the race two years running, before meeting Richard Pringle, a local trainer and now Spartan UK Operations Director. I started training with him and before I knew it I was racing almost every weekend with podium finishes at every race. I guess I well and truly caught the bug for it!
Were you always an athlete?
No, when I started kickboxing I was overweight and completely unfit, but since my late teens I have always enjoyed training and pushing myself.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
Coming 12th in the OCR World Championships was a big one for me, never expected to be that high up the field in that company so that probably means more to me than my podium finishes back home. I recently came 2nd in the UK Spartan Beast which I am very proud of considering the year before I wouldn’t have even been able to walk round it!
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
I want to work on my running, I have set a goal of completing our local half marathon in under 1.30 to shave almost half an hour off my time earlier this year, so it would show how far I have come if I can reach that goal. In the UK there are no ‘off seasons’ as such, and two of the big winter races for me will be Winter Tough Guy and Winter Nuts Challenge. I am hoping to complete those without getting too cold!
Who is/are your inspiration?
I joke that I am Jonathan Albon’s biggest fan, that guy is literally idolized by most OCR athletes in the UK so I guess I could call him my inspiration. Aside from him I guess like most females I look up to Amelia Boone, she is certainly a phenomenal athlete and gives the boys a run for their money!
What is your most proud moment in sport?
Being chosen to represent the UK not just once at the Spartan World Championships but twice at the OCR Worlds too. 2014 has been a great year for me.
What is your most proud moment in life?
Probably the same as above. The sport has taken over my life!
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad training day, if you are out training it’s still better than sitting on your bum doing nothing. I am lucky enough to have only had one bad race this year and still crawled over the line in 3rd so I think the bad races are a great test of your mental ability to push through when your body lets you down. I suffered a nasty injury in Vermont 5 miles in and that certainly tested my mental strength to continue, I think it has made me much stronger as a result.
What is your training routine like?
I try to get out running every day, even if it’s just a couple of miles I like to spend time on my feet. I do circuit classes 3-4 times a week for strength and recently have raced almost every weekend, and there’s no better training that racing itself. I live a very active life so even on rest days I am horse riding or walking the dog.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
To enjoy yourself. There is no point taking part in these events if you aren’t prepared to get a bit bumped and scraped and covered in mud! Make sure you get outside to train, and wear the right clothing on the day. Other than trainers with good traction, calf sleeves are on the top of my kit list as rope burn can be horrible!
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
Pre race I usually go for either porridge or Weetabix, depending on how much energy I need. Bananas, Chia Charge bars and gels to fuel my race, and chocolate milk or a shake afterwards. I am not a big eater after racing.
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
Spend time with my horses or animals, I generally can be found outside either helping my dad on his farm or walking the dogs, I am a county girl and don’t like to be cooped up inside!
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
‘Believe you can and you are half way there’.
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
To enjoy myself.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Never set yourself a limit.
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
Winter Tough Guy, Winter Nuts Challenge and of course I am so excited to come back to the US for the Spartan World Championships and OCR World Championships again! I would love to have a go at a Battle Frog event too.