Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: March, 2023
Mar 30, 2023

India in her own words:

“I am India Cook, an avid Atlanta-based runner, marathoner, race announcer, YouTube vlogger, podcast host, and RRCA-certified run coach. I have a love for running and road racing, but I also have a passion for encouraging and guiding runners and those who aspire to become runners. I advocate for all paces and body types in the space of road racing.

My running journey started in 2008 on the quest to lose weight and also engage in a healthy social activity. Since 2008 I have completed distances from 5K to marathons. 

Throughout my running journey, I observed that there were limited running resources created by women of color to help individuals get into running or resources for those already engaged in the sport. 

Therefore, I developed a vlog “Miles From India” on YouTube. The vlog’s purpose is to educate, inspire, and motivate runners. Viewers can find tips and how-to videos that aid in helping runners navigate running effectively. Within the running community, I also find it important to ensure diverse running experiences and stories are highlighted. 

In 2018, I became a podcast host of, The Run Duo Podcast, with my co-host, Tommy Mitchell. On our bi-weekly podcast, we talk all things running as we educate and entertain our listeners and also interview casually to elite runners. 

In addition to content creation, I am also a race announcer and event emcee. I am the amazing voice that you hear at the start and finish line of a race that motivates you to keep going and cheers you in at the finish. As a fellow runner, I find it important to feed positivity and love during all points for racing and I am your fun energetic voice that does that. 

On the coaching side of the sport, I have a focus on helping ladies run confidently in any phase of their run journey, my background in mental health not only allows me to have a positive and healthy relationship with running but also enables me to help athletes build a similar relationship as well. I find it essential to make the sport of running less intimidating and relatable for all levels. 

My goal is to make the sport of running more diverse, inclusive, and less intimidating to my listeners and viewers. 

I will continue to use my training, experience, and voice to guide others in the community of running through coaching. 

I take the approach that everyone's journey is unique, and we should celebrate every step, stride, and mile. I believe that running not only boosts physical health, but it also rejuvenates your mind and fuels confidence” 


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is India
  • Being focused on cheerleading and dance 
  • Doing a little bit of track and field
  • Focusing on sprinting
  • Not being a fan of running
  • Having a negative relationship with distance running
  • Starting with a 10k race
  • Wanting to start increasing her distance with running
  • Leaving college and not being active
  • Being in graduate school and wanting to be a pro cheerleader
  • Doing a season of semi-pro cheerleading
  • Figuring out that cheerleading was not for her 
  • Using running as her outlet to decompress from stressful work days
  • Doing her first race in 2008 - The Peachtree Road Race 
  • Starting to race every month
  • Running her first half marathon in 2013
  • Being surrounded by amazing people who were encouraging her with running
  • Not having a clue when she started running 
  • Struggling to find information that suited her needs 
  • Why it can be intimidating entering the world of running
  • The advice she wish she had received when she first starting her running journey 
  • Why movement is what’s important
  • Not training appropriately for her first half marathon
  • Calling herself a runner
  • The high points and low points of marathon running 
  • The mental experience of running a marathon
  • Running the NYC Marathon 
  • Running the Virtual Boston Marathon in 2021 
  • Tips and tricks for grit and determination while running 
  • The importance of knowing your why
  • Staying in the present and focusing on the current mile
  • Thoughts on the Virtual Boston Marathon 
  • Taking advantage of the unique opportunity 
  • Running a marathon independently and why it’s more of a challenge
  • Her running journey and becoming a run coach
  • The Run Duo Podcast
  • Wanting to interview people from the run community who aren’t elite athletes 
  • Goals for 2023 and how it’s a transition year
  • Moving her body and what that looks like
  • How to connect with India (see social media links below)
  • Final words of advice 


Social Media


Instagram: @i_of_endigo_runs

The Run Duo Podcast:

Link to all places:





Mar 28, 2023

Maddy is a 72-year-old runner, cyclist, mother of four, and grandmother to three. Her goal is to fight aging and show that we can do things long after we thought we couldn't.

Maddy has always enjoyed being outside since she was a child. At school, she enjoyed sports and spent a lot of time swimming with her brother.

Maddy has been running for more than four decades. She began running in 1977 at the age of 26. She was working for the military in a child guidance clinic in Munster, Germany.

Maddy was just running for pleasure, and prioritises her children after work. She was a social worker before becoming a teacher. She joined the Harriers in the 1990s and began running seriously in 1997–98. She has competed in every imaginable race, as well as loads that no longer exist.

In 2017, Maddy competed in over 30 races, winning the majority of them in her age category (V65). From 2004 to 2018, she ranked in the top 50 in the UK for her age group at distances ranging from 5K to marathon. She finished 14th among V65 women in the UK in the half marathon in 2017.

Maddy also finds time to coach and support other runners, and she has helped organise local parkruns. She set up Mansfield Runners in 2012 with Sue Bellingham's help. They started it when Run England was promoting beginner's groups. It is now a RunTogether group.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Maddy
  • 72 years young
  • Running since 27
  • Waiting for bi-lateral hip replacements
  • Her early years in the 1950s
  • Getting a TV when she was 7 yrs old
  • Getting a car when she was 11
  • Cycling everywhere 
  • Getting into running while working in West Germany
  • The restrictions on women’s running and women not being allowed to run long distances 
  • Starting to run every week around the woods
  • Why she loves running and being out in nature 
  • Moving back to England in 1981 
  • Signing up for the first Nottingham Half Marathon 
  • Having 4 children between 1983 and 1990
  • Joining Mansfield Harriers
  • Running during pregnancy and after having children 
  • Loving yoga and CrossFit 
  • Dealing with injury
  • Going back to the early 1980s
  • 1984 - when women were allowed to run the marathon 
  • Taking 25 yrs of running before signing up for her first marathon 
  • Running the London Marathon in 3hr 27mins (over 50)
  • Deciding to stop running road marathons
  • Training by herself 
  • Effort Sessions every Tuesday and Thursday
  • Mindset and mental strategy while running 
  • How times and knowledge have trained
  • Getting into coaching
  • Mansfield Runners 
  • The Stilton Stumble 
  • Dealing with Osteoporosis 
  • Why you need to keep moving when you have arthritis 
  • Advice for new runners
  • How to connect with Maddy
  • Having younger running friends 
  • The isolation that happens when your older
  • Entering the Bath Half
  • Women being veterans from 35
  • Being competitive 
  • Counting while running
  • Embracing technology
  • Magical memory from running
  • Racing with her daughter in the Italian Alps


Social Media

Instagram @collingemaddy



Mar 23, 2023

Amy Rusiecki is a full-time engineer with a passion for ultrarunning. 

Amy, who has been running her entire life, started out with orienteering when she was only six years old before moving onto cross country running and then transitioning to road racing (during which time she escaped to the trails to train).

During her ultrarunning career (Amy has completed 82 ultras and has won 33 of them), she has found confidence, joy and her husband. 

She is the Race Director for the Vermont 100 and coaches other ultrarunners through The Run Formula. 

She is a three-time member of the USA Trail Team, and is sponsored by Inov-8 and Drymax. 

Amy, her husband and their kitty live in western Massachusetts and mainly race throughout the East Coast.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Amy
  • Being a lifelong athlete 
  • Finding trail and ultra running
  • Ultra running since 2007
  • Being a race director and working as a full time engineer
  • Waking up super early!
  • Being from an active family 
  • Doing orienteering and becoming a cross country skier
  • Finding the right endurance sport
  • Running use to be a punishment when she was younger
  • Why she loves running
  • Signing up for her first 50 mile race
  • Doing her first marathon and trail marathon with her sister
  • Reading Ultra Marathon Man By Dean Karnazes 
  • Doing a relay race and roping in her work colleague 
  • Signing up for the Vermont 50 
  • Her mental approach to running endurance races 
  • Make sure you know your why
  • Being inspired by her friend 
  • Doing a 100 mile race without her crew or her friends 
  • 100 reasons why Amy is going to rock the 100!
  • Magical moments while racing 
  • 2015 - The World Mountain Running and Trail Championships 
  • Feeling bad for herself and just wanting to finish the race
  • Making the transition from being an elite athlete to a normal runner
  • Being more of a middle of the pack runner
  • Did she love the sport or was her passion for the sport tied to her success
  • Being ok with not winning 
  • Not being able to live unto the expectation of other runners
  • Working as a Race Director 
  • The gender split in the ultra races 
  • Breaking down barriers in the ultra race space 
  • Working with adaptive athletes 
  • Wanting to welcome everybody to the trails
  • Having a policy for pregnant women
  • What it’s like on race day being a race director 
  • Wanting things to be perfect 
  • Top tips and advice for new runners
  • Remove any notion in your head about what that mile will look like
  • Why it’s about covering the distance 
  • Top tips for experienced runners wanting to go after a 100 mile race
  • Why you need a race that inspires you 
  • Why it’s ok to pick something that you may fail at 
  • How to connect with Amy (she’s not on social media)
  • Beast Coast Trail Running
  • Working as a run coach through Run Formula 
  • Plans for 2023 - combining running and travel


Social Media

Seven Sisters Trail Race - 12 miles of technical, single track trail on an out-and-back course with over 3,500 ft. elevation gain 

Vermont 100 - 100 mile race

Vermont Adaptive:

Beast Coast Trail Running: 



Mar 21, 2023

Ingrid has loved competitive sports since a young age. Originally swimming was her passion and she began swimming competitively at 6 years old, she swam throughout high school and attending UCLA (a division 1 school) where she swam competitively for 2 years, while studying Sociology. 

After leaving college, Ingrid made the transition from swimming to running and also decided to become an actress. Played lifeguard Sheryl Whelan, on Baywatch as well as having roles on Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, and Parenthood, to name a few!

At the age of 47 after running her fastest marathon ever, 2hr 48 mins in the 2019 LA Marathon. 

Ingrid was feeling the strongest and fittest she’d ever been. 

However, while training for her next challenge, she started to not feel well and after seeing her doctor was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ingrid underwent a double mastectomy, and continued to run while undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy as well as radiation.

Ingrid is a member of Janes an elite women’s running group based in LA and in 2021 Ingrid was inducted into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame.


2014 3rd Place Masters Female Chicago Marathon
2014 2nd Place Female Overall Orange County Marathon
2016 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championship: 5th place Masters Woman Overall
2021 2nd Place 50+, 12th Overall USATF Masters XC Club Nationals Tallahassee,FL
2022 1st Place 50+, 8th Overall USATF Masters XC Championships Mission Bay, CA


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Ingrid 
  • Being based in Santa Monica, California, USA 
  • Racing for the past 10 years
  • Starting out as a competitive swimmer 
  • Swimming for 2 years in College at UCLA
  • Hating running when she was younger
  • Transition to running at 18/19 years old
  • Starting to work as a lifeguard for LA County 
  • Running on the beach and doing her first marathon
  • Running marathons and improving her times
  • Joining the Janes’ an elite running team in Santa Monica and wanting to break 3hrs in the marathon
  • Always loved training and competing 
  • Liking to challenge herself
  • Working as an actor for 26 years
  • Finding her niche in life
  • What was Ingrid like as a little girl 
  • Being taught to swim from a very young age
  • Being a junior lifeguard
  • Studying Sociology at College in the early 90s
  • Getting into acting and booking her first commercial 
  • Acting in Baywatch
  • Gradually falling in love with running
  • Hal Higdon - Marathon training plan 
  • Deciding to join the Janes Elite Running Club 
  • Taking 5 years to run under 3hrs
  • Being fully committed to her running program 
  • Getting a running coach and running 70 miles a week
  • Breaking 3 hrs when she was 45 years old
  • Starting to change her training and wanting to go faster
  • Running 100mile weeks for 3 months before the LA Marathon
  • Running 2.48 at the LA Marathon!!!
  • Starting to not feel well and being diagnosed with Breast Cancer
  • Feeling shocked
  • The next steps to follow 
  • Being supported by the running community 
  • Running throughout her treatment 
  • Having surgery in August 2019
  • Getting into cross country races in 2021
  • Having a baby heart attack at a race in New Jersey
  • Figuring out what happened
  • Looking at running in a different way 
  • Reframing the situation in her mind
  • Advice for new runners starting out
  • The joy of making running fun!
  • A magical running memory 
  • How to connect with Ingrid 


Social Media

Instagram @ingridwalt

Janes Elite Racing - 

Mar 16, 2023

A Swiss-born ultrarunner, Luzia Buehler now lives in the mountains, trying to live a good life while protecting what is most important to her.

Luzia has always been an athletic person since she was a child because of her great love for the outdoors and the mountains. Luzia discovered her passion for trail running when she was about 20 years old, and she has since competed in all of the most important international races.

In 2016, Luzia competed in the Western States 100 race for the first time, finishing 27th (27hrs 03mins) and 11th (20hrs 23mins) in 2019.

Having run this race twice, which has greatly prepared her, Luzia, 40, has rocked the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race, the Western States Endurance Run, by becoming the 4th place women's finisher in a time of 18 hours, 08 minutes last year.

Luzia is also a social worker who enjoys skiing and snowboarding during the winter.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who Luzia
  • Living in East Switzerland by the mountains 
  • Working as a social worker
  • Being the youngest child and growing up in a sport family
  • Getting into skiing at a young age
  • Always being a runner
  • Working as a cook and fitting in running around her hours
  • Doing her first Half Marathon on the road and why it wasn’t good!
  • Working with running coach Ellie Greenwood
  • Listen to Ellie Greenwood on the Tough Girl Podcast 2016 
  • Needing more flexibility in her training 
  • Western States 100 mile endurance race 
  • Running the WS100 in 2016 and why it was the hardest thing she has ever done
  • Running for 27 hrs and needing to walk the majority of the race
  • Wanting to come back and do the race again (this time training with Ellie)
  • Winning a golden ticket to gain entry to Western States in 2018 
  • Going into the race with a lot of passion 
  • Why it’s so much more than a race
  • Having stomach problems on Raceday - but completing it in 20hrs 
  • Wanting to race the Western States again in 2022
  • Completing the WS100 in 18hrs 8 mins 27 secs
  • Why it was such a good day and feeling proud of herself 
  • Race strategy and tactics for Western States
  • Needing to run at her own pace
  • Feeling the impact of jet lag and needing to go slower at the start
  • Running really well when she runs alone 
  • Starting to overtake a few people and having fun while she raced. 
  • Just keep smiling and keep putting one foot in front of the other 
  • What’s going on in her head while racing 
  • Trying to stay in the current moment and be in the present
  • Fuelling and nutrition while racing 
  • Wanting to eat more salty food and less fatty food
  • Pizza and beer at the end of the race
  • How she recovers after a 100 mile race 
  • Taking a week or 2 weeks off from running 
  • Supplements?
  • “The future is unwritten” - what does that mean?
  • Her dream race - Hardrock 100 
  • Being an inov-8 ambassador 
  • Advice for new runners who are just starting out 
  • Losing her running mojo and what she does when she doesn’t feel like running
  • Remembering her why - why does she run?
  • Wanting to create happy memories 
  • Her favourite paid of Inov-8 trainers
  • Wearing PARKCLAW G 280 in the Western States 100
  • Advice for more experienced runners
  • Why time on feet really does count 
  • Doing strength training 2/3x a week 
  • Remaining injury free due to strength training 
  • Why cycling is good as well
  • How you can connect with Luzia on IG


Social Media

Instagram @luz.s.y



Mar 14, 2023

Allie spent a lot of her life seeking approval from people she thought were cool, believing that in order to be successful, you had to act a certain way. For her, success is seeing someone who doesn't believe they can do something transform into someone who does.

After working for major record labels for 12 years, Allie realised that music, which she had once loved, was slowly killing her. Her dream career had turned her into a nightmare, and she was completely lost. Allie has struggled to find her place and suffers from depressive demons, anxiety, and existential misery.

After taking part in the inaugural Rat Race Test Pilot trip to Mongolia in 2018, she realised it was the first time she had truly had time to stop, think, and be completely at peace. Fast forward, after three and a half years, numerous journeys, a pandemic, some questionable decisions, and a lot of planning and running, Allie is now coaching other people to do amazing things.

Allie holds several world firsts to her name, including running across Mongolia's Lake Khovsgol and crossing the Namib Desert twice. Allie is the first woman to run the entire length of the Panama Canal. She has also run the length of the Outer Hebrides, crossed Scotland on packraft and foot several times, and completed over 100 marathons and 60-70 ultramarathons, including nine 100-mile plus races.

Allie started running 10 years ago and have only being doing the ultra thing for 6 years, but she absolutely love it. It's a game changer. Allie believes that it is something that anyone of any age and from any background can participate in.

Allie has been extremely lucky to have discovered something she truly enjoys doing, and her favorite thing in the entire world is seeing people achieve things they never thought were possible

"There's nobody funner than an Ultrarunner" - Allie Bailey


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 

* We have previously spoken with Allie on 18th Dec 2018 - Listen here 


FYI marked as *Explicit - as there are a few little swear words!


Show Notes

  • Who is Allie Bailey
  • Meeting her dogs!
  • Why ultra running and why she loves it 
  • Writing her book 
  • How running helps with her mental health 
  • Being able to process her thoughts 
  • Going more into adventure running
  • Her favourite distance to run…
  • Liking 100 mile races
  • LEJOG - Lands End to John O’Groats
  • The ultimate dream 
  • Working with Rat Race 
  • Starting on the 1st June 2022
  • Running on average 35 miles a day
  • The hardest part of the LEJOG challenge
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • The challenges of being away from home
  • What a typical day looked like 
  • Starting with the South West Coast Path
  • Running 44 miles into Bristol over 12 hrs
  • Chocolate milk
  • Being in bed asleep by 8pm
  • Snacking all day
  • Having a rest day once a week 
  • Staying injury free throughout the journey 
  • Wanting to finish the run
  • Voltarol gel to help with the pain
  • Using bonjela to numb blisters 
  • Wearing Inov-8 Parkclaw G280 - for 750 miles (then wearing a second pair for the final 250 miles) - “the greatest shoe of all time”
  • The ultra playlist on Spotify - The Bailey Ultra Sound System 
  • Getting to Scotland and the final few days 
  • Spending time by herself towards the end 
  • Getting to John O’Groats and doing the final mile 
  • Feeling underwhelmed with what she had achieved 
  • What she would have done differently 
  • Wishing she had done more strength training before she left
  • Costs of taking on a challenge like this 
  • Dragons Back Race, Wales 
  • Getting timed out on day 2 
  • Why it was the most intense thing she’s ever done
  • Feeling like a fraud 
  • Taking herself out of the situation
  • The lessons learned from the experience
  • Wanting to go back in 2024 and try again
  • Not being kind to herself
  • Being able to reframe the situation 
  • Time off in 2023…..
  • Planning to do her first 200 miler and wanting to run all the Wainwrights in a year
  • Taking 10 days off running!!!
  • How you can connect with Allie
  • Final words of wisdom and advice for women who want to get into running and take it to the next level
  • Finding your people, find your tribe, find your people 
  • Ultra Awesome FB Group


Social Media


Instagram @ab_runs 

Twitter  @AllieBailey 




Mar 9, 2023

Rav is a mum of 3 teenagers and works as a management consultant. 

Rav only found running later on in life when she was in her late 30’s. She started running to prove a point to someone who said she couldn’t run. Rav soon realised that fitness initiatives such as Park Run and races just weren’t for her.  

Her joy for running came from the solitude and peace she found while on an empty trail or a calm street.  

Rav now runs for fun, for her mental well being and to keep fit. In 2022 she completed a goal she had had for 20 years - running the London Marathon.


Rav is currently on a run streak where she has been running outside every day for almost 5 years. She is also training for her next challenge: a 32 mile / 52k Ultra Marathon in the Peak District taking place in the Summer of 2023! 

“Find what makes you happy. Do more of it”


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Rav
  • 42 year old, mum of 3 teenagers
  • Celebrating her 5 year run streak in March 2023
  • Her early years and growing up in a strict Indian family 
  • Not being sporty
  • Being pushed down the academic route
  • Deciding to join a gym
  • Getting her first pair of trainers when she was 36
  • Joining a hotel gym and going at night
  • Getting into swimming 
  • Starting her IG account to document her fitness journey 
  • Buying trainers
  • The motivation behind wanting to run
  • Wanting to prove people wrong
  • Not wanting to be seen in public
  • Deciding to run outside on the 17th May 2017
  • Doing a 12 week fitness challenge which involved running 200 miles
  • Setting running goals
  • RED January
  • The power of spending 30 mins outside each day
  • Meeting Scott who was run streaking 
  • How the purpose of the run streak has changed since she started
  • Motivating herself to run on the tough days
  • London Marathon 26.2 miles 
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • Having social anxiety while running and not being able to do park run 
  • Getting a plan in places for races 
  • Running plans being stopped due to covid and doing the virtual London Marathon 
  • Doing 9 virtual marathons in 12 weeks 
  • Finding the training hard when running 18 miles+
  • Joining a fitness program - Six Pack Revolution
  • Not being able to run the London Marathon in 2021
  • Dealing with injury and the recovery process while still running every day
  • Losing her running confidence
  • The unofficial running community!
  • Getting over her mental block when running longer distances
  • Getting her running confidence back and starting to work with a running coach
  • Dealing with the fear of getting injured again 
  • The start line of the London Marathon 2022
  • Being a glam runner - hot pink lipstick and shades!
  • Being supported by friends 
  • Wanting to make the most of the day
  • The toughest part of the race and struggling around mile 16 and mile 24
  • Not wanting to do another road marathon again 
  • How to connect with Rav
  • Top tips and advice to help you get out running 


Social Media


Twitter @ravbillan 


Instagram @ravbillan 



Mar 7, 2023

Grace in her own words:


“I’m driven by the need to inspire other people of colour on to the trails.


I want to increase diversity and participation in endurance running. 


I’m also tired of being the only Black person at endurance events and feeling like I don’t belong. 


I’ve run 70+ marathons including ultras, and I’m still going.”



New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live in March every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 


The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.


Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 



Show notes

  • Being based on the South Coast of the UK
  • Working as a management consultant 
  • Starting running in 2009
  • Training for her first 10k
  • Her early years and what she was like as a little girl
  • Being sporty but not outdoorsy
  • Her brothers and sisters
  • Her children and grandchildren 
  • Being supported and inspired by fellow runners
  • Running her first 5k
  • Being determined to get better
  • Signing up for her first race
  • Running in the dark
  • Not having the confidence to run outdoors
  • Not wanting to stop
  • Joining a local running club
  • Running off road
  • Her love for running and feeling happy
  • Her accidental half marathon
  • What running has taught her
  • Running her first marathon in 2011
  • Running the Brighton Marathon multiple times
  • Sharing the lessons she’s learned
  • Why the race starts at mile 20
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Focusing on strength training
  • Wanting to be the best version of herself
  • Practicing yoga
  • Girls run the world 
  • The Atlantic Coast Challenge
  • Finishing the race at Land’s End and feeling emotional 
  • Focusing on core and endurance 
  • Fuelling her long runs and focusing on eating real food
  • The women who have inspired her
  • How to connect with Grace
  • Final words of advice for new runners


Social Media


Instagram @marathongracefully




Mar 2, 2023

Keri Wallace is the founder & guide at Girls on Hills, the UK’s only trail, fell and skyrunning company for women. After her second child, Keri decided to quit the desk-job and find a way to combine her passion for mountain running with flexible working, so that she could fulfil a life goal and be mum to two toddlers at the same time.  

Keri in her own words: 

“I started Girls on Hills with my colleague Nancy Kennedy in 2013, as a way to encourage more women to try trail and fell running. It was a terrifying leap of faith and a dream-come-true rolled into one. It felt like the opposite of a mid-life crisis though; like I’d finally found the confidence to stand up and do something I should have done a long time ago. But I had no idea whether it would take off!  

We only ran a handful of courses the first year but it soon became clear that there was a real appetite out there for the kind of freedom and empowerment that comes with this type of running – across all ability levels.   

I love guiding women around the rocky hills of Glencoe, helping them build the confidence and skills they need to become more independent in the mountains (usually a simple case of revealing how much they are already capable of!) Mountain running is such a multi-faceted sport, with benefits that reach out and touch all other areas of your life.        

As Girls on Hills has grown over the years, we have learned more about the barriers that many women face, across all levels of our sport, from beginner access, right through to elite-level racing. Today we advocate strongly for equity and inclusivity and seek to increase female participation in technical and ultra-distance events, where the gender gap is greatest.” 


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The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show notes

  • Who is Keri
  • Growing up in Cornwall 
  • How she ended up living in Scotland 
  • Playing a lot of traditional sports when she was younger
  • The women who have inspired her
  • Working as a science teacher in her 20s
  • Getting into climbing
  • Making a transition from being a teacher to working in the outdoor world 
  • Doing the 3 peaks challenge in 24hrs
  • Getting into running
  • The challenges of doing her first mountain marathon 
  • Training for races and how it’s changed over the years
  • The Trans Alpine Run 
  • The mental side of running challenges
  • Info for new mums who are running
  • Losing her mojo for running
  • Getting anxious about racing 
  • Wanting to push herself on her own terms
  • Not being able to stick to a fixed program 
  • Creating Girls on Hills in 2018 with Nancy Kennedy 
  • Helping to break barriers down and encourage more women into running
  • Working as a champion for She Races 
  • Talking about confidence
  • Reassuring women who run
  • Sky running and technical mountain running 
  • Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Glencoe Round
  • Women FKT - Women with a goal to flip the FKT statistics. Highlighting women’s FKTs everywhere. IG @womenwhofkt 
  • Why it’s not about the time with FKTs
  • Role models in running
  • How to connect with Keri 
  • Final words of advice to help you get out of the door and go running


Social Media




Instagram @girlsonhillsuk 


Facebook @GirlsOnHills