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Has motherhood prepared Liz Yelling for Obstacle Course racing?

by Editor
Thursday 20th November 2014

Interview: We caught up with OCR first timer Liz Yelling ahead of Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest - Wembley Stadium, London, November 22, 2014

Liz Yelling

Liz has had a successful career as an endurance runner, including two Olympic marathons and a Commonwealth Games medal (www.iaaf.org/athletes/great-britain-ni/liz-yelling-174698). Now as mum of three (daughter Ruby and twin boys Sonny and Beau) we asked her a couple of questions on what attracted her to Obstacle Course Racing and what she was expecting from the day: 

Run247: What does life look like for you now you have retired from competitive road running? 

Liz Yelling (LY): All is good with me, I currently coach part time and look after 15 athletes of various abilities; I have one guy who has just taken 5mins of his PB and ran a 2.45 marathon, another guy who has a run a 2.50 marathon and one runner who is running a 5.30 marathon and just needs motivation to keep going.

I am getting out running about four to five times a weeks, six if I am lucky and most of my running is with the buggy, pushing the twins along. I have to wait till Ruby is in school to run, as she is of that age where she is not old enough to ride a bike while I run, yet she is too big for a buggy.

I often run with Hayley (Hayley Yelling, Liz's sister in law) and we often end up doing Hill Reps pushing the buggies up the hill. We are both planning to run the Endurance Life Coastal Half (www.endurancelife.com) so have been looking to get some training miles in.

Run247: Prior to signing up to Men's Health Survival Of The Fittest; were you aware of obstacle course racing? Have you done any other races previously?

LY: I was aware of OCR and it has always been on my radar. It is something I thought looked exciting and something I could look to do when I retire to have a laugh. When you race competetivly, OCR is not something you could do, as there would be too much worry about potential injuries. 

Run247: Please tell us in three words your thoughts when someone says “obstacle course race”? 

LY: Leg ups, Claustrophobic and mud.

Run247: What attracted you to Mens Health Survival Of The Fittest series?

LY: It was my friend Mel, who put a team together and asked me to join. I was reading about the course yesterday and I am now not sure what I have let myself in for. Hayley is also racing and I was hoping it will be lots of fun.

Run247: As a talented and accomplished runner, do you fancy your chances of putting in a good time?

LY: No not at all. I have never done anything like this before and I am sure I will either be waiting for my friends to catch up to throw me over an obstacle, or they will be waiting for me. I do see this as a real test of my ability and if I like it, then I will look to do some more. I am done trying to do something as fast as I can and now want something a bit more chilled. 

Run247: What you are looking forward to and dreading? Have you seen “wall of fame”?

LY: I am not looking forward to anything underwater. I am a bit scared of heights but should be able to get over that. Tunnels and anything underground. I am going to be tackling some demons…. I dont even know why I am doing it.

I dont know the wall of fame.

Run247: Have you been you doing any specific training for event?

LY: No specific training. I have been doing a few more press ups, I think I am up to 30 now? I have been told I should have been doing specific training, I am sure carrying twins around is good strength training?

Run247: Can you talk us through your kit choices for the day?

LY: When I read there was a river involved I was hoping to have a wetsuit... I am wearing 3/4 tights and a T-shirt and run in some racing flats so they are nice and light. I might take a rash vest along as well.

Run247: Do you think Martin Yelling (Liz’s husband who runs www.marathontalk.com/) will do one in the future?

LY: Yes I think he will and it would be great to do one together when the kids are a bit older. I suspect Martin would want to do one with the boys, with a similar objective to me of having a laugh and fun when doing it. 

We wish you all the best for Saturday and look forward to seeing how you got on. 

Liz is racing with Team Fear in the 10.45 Wave and you can find out more about the race at www.mhsurvival.co.uk/ 

You can follow Liz on Twitter at twitter.com/girlwhatruns and find out more at www.yellingperformance.com/Liz-Yelling/About.htm


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