Lucy Bartholomew

“My role models in life are those who say they are willing to try” -Lucy

While getting to know Lucy, I couldn’t help but feel as though the way she responded was the way an old friend does, always sincere and ever genuine. She is kind, patient and open, all qualities that lend themselves well to her profession albeit having nothing to do with running. She is charismatic and a force to be reckoned with on the trails; all of her pictures contain either a devilishly large grin or a bowl full of fruit. At a mere 22 years of age, Lucy’s running resume is stout, having just placed third at the prestigious Western States 100 in June of 2018. My hope with this interview is that it will leave you feeling both inspired and motivated to dream big, but do so with a smile!

If you could describe yourself in 3 adjectives, what would they be?

Determined, competitive, positive

Tell me a little bit about Lucy…what did you dream of becoming when you were young?

When I was younger I was the kid who one day wanted to be a zookeeper, then the next day I wanted to be prime minister and the next day a firefighter. I never knew what I wanted to do! I left high school clueless albeit knowing that I loved the food technology classes because I got to eat, the PE classes because I got to move and outdoor education classes because we got to go into the wilderness. Being a full-time trail runner combines all these things and I feel so grateful to have found and harvested this passion.

Run me through a typical day in the life of Lucy. From the moment you wake up, to getting ready for bed, what’s the “Lucy routine”?

I don’t close blinds or curtains wherever I travel so I always rise with the sun. I’m a morning bird and I love to see this time of the day where the world comes to life.

5:00AM-6:00 AM: wake up, drink water and green tea

6:00-7:00 AM: go for a run (1-3hours)

7:00-10:00 AM: make some breakfast (a big green smoothie), reply to some emails/ write a blog/pretend to work, do some sort of core workout or strength training

12:00-1:00 PM: prepare a huge salad for lunch

3:00-4:00 PM: do some yoga and stretching or just lying around and dreaming up a nice dinner

7:00-8:00 PM: make dinner

9:00 PM: bedtime!

Being a sponsored athlete is a tremendous achievement, how did you handle that process?

I still find it hard to call myself a professional! There are moments where I think of myself as a teenager on her gap year and bumming around the world wearing very flashy red shoes. I was lucky to be picked up by most of my sponsors and I feel a lot of pride that they believed in me. I am very careful to align with brands who represent my passions and values and I have reached out to a few companies where I want to support them because they mean a lot to me!

Social media is a special way to connect with people around the world. Do you ever feel pressure to portray a certain image?

I think social media can be used for good and bad! Personally, I wouldn’t change what I post if I had 1 million followers or 1 (my dad); I just feel grateful to be doing what I’m doing, seeing what I’m seeing and meeting amazing humans that I want to share this journey with, even if only for my own memories! People ask how I’m so good at social media and I always laugh because I just post what I like and on my own time.

You are a plant-based athlete. Huzzah! What advice would you give to an athlete who feels confused by all of the conflicting messages around how they should be eating?

Ah man, first off I would say to relax a little bit! I’m plant based and I’ve have tried many ways of eating but really it comes down to balance, enjoyment, and self-love. I do think it’s important to educate yourself but it’s equally important to listen to your body and to not worry about everyone else’s’ opinions.

The way we fuel ourselves is so important for sport, health, nourishment, and happiness; what does a typical day of food look like during your training?

Breakfast #1: half watermelon with lime

Breakfast #2: green smoothie (3-4 bananas, spinach, greens powder, ginger, and topped with berries, nuts, and seeds)

Lunch: maybe a salad, maybe some homemade hummus and veggies, maybe more fruit!

Dinner: sweet potato anything! Some avocado, beans/lentils… anything I fancy!

Body image in running affects both men and women. I struggled with an eating disorder for many years, and while trail running helped me in many ways, it was also challenging for me to look at all the women (and men) on the podium and think to myself, “hmm…I don’t look like them, therefore, I must not be as good as them.” Have you struggled with any forms of body consciousness?

Oh yes! I have also come from an eating disorder and it’s really interesting about the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with people of the wrong crowd, you can find yourself changing in ways that aren’t necessarily healthy. I find this sport so supportive of varying body types. It’s really easy to look at someone and compare yourself but I’ve really worked on being strong, balanced and more importantly staying true to ME.

Lastly, if you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and what would you be eating the starter, main, and dessert?

Oh tough! I would say, David Attenborough- he has seen so much cool stuff.

Starter: baked sweet potato fries and guacamole

Main: a big salad with a tahini dressing

Dessert: banana ice cream (blended frozen bananas)

Quickfire questions!

Salty or Sweet? Sweet for sure! I could live off fruit, easy!

Sunrise or sunset run? Sunrise!

Smoothie bowls or avocado toast? Smoothie bowls!

Last book you read you couldn’t put down? Eat and Run.

Phrase or mantra you live by? HAKUNA MATATA, it means no worries!

Watermelon or sweet potatoes? Oh man, that’s hard. I would say sweet potato because they are more versatile.

Favorite race (or distance)? Anything that’s 8-hours and I suppose from there it depends on the terrain and how far that gets me!

If you could have any superpower what would it be? To fly! I want to see the mountains as a bird.

Last time you laughed so hard you cried? With my Dad in Mexico trying to get the TV to work.

Who’s your role model? Everyone who says “I’m going to try.”

What’s next for the uber-talented Ms. Bartholomew!? Who knows? I’m staying in the US until the middle of August and then hitting Europe for a month. I haven’t decided on races, just waiting for the mind and body to tell me when I’m recovered from my first 100 miles!

Loved getting to know Lucy? Follow her on;

IG @Lucy_bartholomew

FB @Lucy Bartholomew



[Header image courtesy of irunfar]

About the author

Gabi Maudiere enjoys eating rice cakes (smothered in crunchy peanut butter) despite popular criticisms and adheres strictly to the notion of reading before bed, even if it's just half a page before falling asleep.