Spotlight on... Alice Burch

Tell us a bit about your running history

I have enjoyed running since I was a nipper. As my mum worked full time, I was a bit of a tom boy and used to go out over the fields with my Dad and two brothers walking miles and miles and running, training with our greyhound, Pepsi.

 

I was active throughout school, college and Uni days playing various team sports and athletics and cross country. I used to run for the New Forest at school which was fun.

 

When I lived in London and training to be a solicitor, I biked into work (11 mile round trip) and then started to walk 11 miles a day in preparation for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. When I moved to Shoreham by Sea, I started running with my work club which comprised of pretty fast guys so we enjoyed training usually 6 miles a day around the Adur River. I completed my first marathon in New York on 2 November 2008 (the day before my birthday!). Paula Radcliffe also won the race! It was the most amazing experience and I continued to run endurance events with the Ricardo boys – 24 hour Thunder Run various years in a team of 5 and one year solo where I managed 120kms! Needless to say I hobbled for a few days afterwards. I remember it took me 10 minutes to get down the service station stairs to the KFC place then needed a small kip in the car. I felt blessed I had cruise control so I didn’t need to move my leg when driving! I also ran the Wiggle Lightning 12 hour race a pair and Brighton Marathon (lucky for me 2 weeks apart!).

 

I moved back to the New Forest area in the summer of 2012. After having a break when having a baby, my first race was 8 weeks after giving birth (Brighton Brooks 10 kms in November 2012) which was I think too soon but my place was already rolled over so I gave it a go. My hips wobbled round in 55 minutes if I remember correctly. I trained with a couple of school friends locally and completed Great South (October 2013) and the Nuts Challenge. I also ran the Labor of Love Half Marathon in Lovell Canyon, Las Vegas in May 2014 and managed to come in 3rd female – the trophy was a cactus type plant which I smuggled back into the UK and is still going strong today!!

 

Then I joined TRC.

When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?

I joined the Totton Running Club in May 2014 to meet other runners after my close training friend was killed. I wanted to be part of a club and get motivated to try different training sessions with like minded people

You seem to race a lot - Do you have any pre-race routines or rituals?

Most runners have some sort of OCD, right?! Well, I like to have all my kit ready the night before including pants and socks! I like to have my watch ready as well as my hair bands. I also need to know where I am going as I am pretty hopeless at finding places! Before a race I like to have a bit of water, a small bite 10-15 minutes before the race depending on distance but most importantly warm up properly. I am quite a slow burner and take a while to warm up and get into my groove.

Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?

Only first January cross country run for me was horrendous and I struggled the whole way through wearing the wrong footwear and just had a bad run. I think Sean had to carry me into the tent afterwards!

 

Pacing the ABP Southampton Half marathon was tough going as it was very soon after the North Pole Marathon and had such a sore hip. But saying that it was good experience to see a different side to a race being a pace runner.

2nd lady in the North Pole Marathon was quite an achievement. What else did you take away from the experience?

The whole experience was truly amazing. It took me away from the hustle and bustle of normal life which helps you reflect on the important things etc. I enjoyed most the remoteness and the comradery amongst some of the other runners. The challenge itself was a lifetime experience as you have so many variances to think about and manage.

What challenges have you got planned for next year (or are you going to have a rest?)

Who knows what the future holds! I would like to the London to Paris bike ride (3 days) and compete in the Vichy 70.3. I have been sponsored to run the Edinburgh Marathon and have applied to run London.

What keeps you out of trouble Mon to Fri?

I am lucky enough now to work part time freeing up time to see my daughter and keep active. My background is legal but I work within the marine industry now.

How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?

2014 was much more focused on running. I completed so many races in various leagues and other local events I have lost count. Some were done to get points in a league, others were for experience and fun. I started competing in triathlon at the end of last summer. I took part in the Lymington tri and the Challenge Weymouth (half distance). I learnt to front crawl in January this year and completed an Eton Duathlon, North Pole Marathon, Barcelona Ironman 70.3 and Copenhagen Ironman. Given my Ironman training started in or around January this year, most of it has been tri training even though I have done different running events. I think I have lost speed but I have focused on endurance events..  

What is your running highlight so far?

I guess the North Pole Marathon in April but the Ironman Copenhagen for me was such a highlight.

60 Marathons in 60 Days - What inspired you to undertake this challenge?

I am attempting to run these marathons to make a difference to the working animals of the world. These animals work every day of their lives most of them in terrible conditions to help support families living in poverty. These animals have no voice and I am seeking to make a difference to help them. The charity goes right to the core of the issues in these deprived areas and help both animal and mankind.

 

To participate in Alice's challenge, visit her website via the link below for further details on how to sign up!

Do you have any other passionate interests?

Yes lots! I love a good film, salsa (Cuban/latin), walking in the forest and adventures. I also play hockey for Trojans Hockey Club.

And finally, which other Totton Running Club do you most admire?

Nick Buis is really an incredible sportsman – his running alone is super quick but I reckon is as quick as a professional triathlete swimmer. He trains with passion and dedication but is always willing to help others. He has achieved fantastic results but is never one to boast and is very humble. I think it must be his baking goddess Lucy with her amazing cakes giving him energy!

Many of the photos used on our website were taken by local photographer, Paul Hammond. You can see more of his pictures here, but please ensure that you credit him if you use them and consider making a donation (small or large) to his charity.