Meet fisiocrem sponsored athlete Nicole, a lawyer, mum, ultra runner, Master of Law student, and founder of BYU Australia – home of the Backyard Ultra race calendar for Australia.
Nicole’s sport is the Backyard Ultra. The BYU format was designed by Lazarus Lake (creator of Barkley Marathons) and consists of a 6.7km look every hour on the hour until only one person is left standing. Nicole says, ‘‘This format has made its way all over the world and is fast becoming THE ultra format.’’
Nicole’s biggest achievement to date is being the first and currently the only Australian female to ever win a backyard Ultra Worldwide. She achieved this at the States of Origin Backyard Ultra 2022 hosted by AAA racing. Nicole has also set the female course record at Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra 2022, which stands as her personal backyard Ultra PB.
Nicole’s main focus over the last couple of years has been trying to perfect the BYU format. Most of her training is specifically focused on the BYU format. She has been preparing both physically and mentally. Nicole says, ‘‘Physical fitness will only get you so far in a backyard ultra. At the end of the day, if you want to go long, you need the mental toughness to get you there.’’
When asked about who supports and motivates her Nicole says, “my run group, RunCo, and coach Andy Dey, my crew woman and best friend, Leah, and my long run partner, Jason as well as the BYU Australia Community. The BYU community is extremely motivating and supportive. It is a really special group where we have created a space for anyone interested in this format to get advice and inspiration from beginners to seasoned Backyard Ultra runners. Everyone cheers each other on and celebrates everyone’s achievements, no matter what they are.
I couldn’t do what I do without these people! But what particularly motivates me is the opportunity to get better, reach my personal goals and outdo myself.”
When asked about her biggest weaknesses and what she is doing to improve it, Nicole say’s, ”My biggest weakness at the moment is my lack of strength training. My coach is always on my case about it, and it features on my plan each week, but I don’t always get to it. I am trying to find the time to priorities it. I have a big 2023 coming up and focusing on strength and recovery is going to play a huge role in keeping me physically able to show up.”
NICOLE’S TOP RECOVERY TIPS
After a tough session, Nicole says, ‘‘I massage my legs before bed so I always wake up feeling ready to go again with no muscle fatigue or soreness.’’