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Short Bio: A native Oklahoman coached by my husband, Conor Holt, I’m a 3-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, 3-time US Team member (marathon, 50K, 100K), 3-time winner of the OKC Memorial Marathon, 20-time marathon winner, and most recently won the 2015 World 50K and 100K Championships. I ran the 4th fastest 100K ever last year in only my 3rd completed ultra and 2nd 100K (7:08:35). I also ran a World Best for 50 Miles at the Fall 50/US Championship (5:38:41). I work as a full-time Research Assistant at the Univ. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Views on the World Championships…

Nadeem Khan (NK): What are your thoughts on running in the World Championships?
Athlete: It was a dream come true last year winning both the 50K and 100K World Championships in the same year! I had set a goal to make both teams-- to win both of them was an out-of-this-world lifetime moment! I can’t thank everyone enough (our Team USA, IAU, local organizing committees, fans and support!) for making both experiences very special and memorable. I’m looking forward to racing many World Championships for years to come and maybe even add the trail and eventually the 24-hr Championships!

NK: How is this race be different from your other international races?

Athlete: Running at the World Championships is a very unique experience because you’re representing your country and being part of a team. You’re not just doing it for yourself—it’s bigger and more meaningful than your individual effort! For me to be able to use my legs to contribute to a Team effort and represent our country with pride is really what helps carry me when the going gets tough. Also, there’s nothing like standing atop the podium and hearing the Star Spangled Banner—this is a huge motivator for me!

NK: The thing you are most looking forward to when you run at the Championships…

Athlete: To run out of my skin and show the World what’s possible! I love running under pressure and live for the moments when I can do something truly amazing and make people go, “Wow, I’ve never seen anyone run like that before!” I love meeting the athletes from other countries, sharing gifts, and sharing in the experience. Everyone is on Cloud 9, and we’re soaking in the whole experience!

Get to know Athlete…

NK: World Championships you have run in…

Athlete: 2015 50K and 100K World Championships

NK: How do you balance your athletic life with other aspects of your life…

Athlete: I stretch the day as much as possible and don’t set restrictions on time and when I do things, which sometimes means running early mornings or late at night (I’m more of a night owl than a morning person though)! I work full-time in a lab and have to commute 20-30 min. to work each day, while putting in 120-130 miles per week. My job involves a lot of standing, walking, and lifting things, which keeps me limber. I have to eat like a horse and always have snacks around. Having a job gives me structure to my day, which I like! My time is precious, and running is more of a stress reliever at times. I love to go for a run at lunchtime—I feel better throughout the day when I can step away and breath the fresh air. I have to go with the flow of each day. I’m blessed to have a boss and co-workers who support me, along with my husband who coaches me (and knows how I’m feeling every day!). I do the bulk of my heavy training on the weekends, when I can recover properly. When I’m having a stressful day at work, I always come home to a smiling, happy dog and my husband!

NK: Most memorable athletic moment…

Athlete: Definitely winning the 2015 100K World Championship and being able to share the gold with our women’s team was amazing!!! I always cite my first marathon win at Dallas in 2010 as being a life changing moment—it set me up for a career of wanting to win everything I enter!

NK: Typical training week is…

Athlete: I usually try to hit 120-130 miles per week, running twice a day on most days, 1-2 hard sessions a week, and a long run on Sunday’s. I do drills and strides twice a week. My easy days are easy and hard days are hard. I’m trying to add back in whole body strength training, twice a week.

NK: My favourite event is…

Athlete: Funny enough, I had filled out this questionnaire before the 100K and said my favorite event was the marathon. I think I’m warming up to the ultras and will say my favorite event ‘now’ is the 100K! ƒº

NK: Event I would like to do…

Athlete: I really think I’m mentally and physically wired for the 24 hr and beyond races, so my dream would be to follow in Yiannis Kouros footsteps. I’m also debuting on the trails this year. My bucket list of events for this year is Lake Sonoma 50, Comrades, Western States, and Tarawera 100K.

NK: Favourite surface to run on…

Athlete: Concrete

NK: Food and Drinks enjoyed during a race…

Athlete: I really try to keep it simple and stick to gels and water and sports drink. I haven’t done the really long races yet, to need anything more than this.

NK: If you were not a runner, you would be….

Athlete: Probably playing golf, rowing, maybe racewalking! Plus, doing my full-time job I do now as a Research Assistant!

NK: Your biggest supporter in your running career…
Athlete: My husband/Coach, Conor Holt, and my parents, Jack and Susan Herron.

NK: Your first call after a major race…

Athlete: To my husband!

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