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22.02.2019 r. autor: Paweł Raja

Wywiad z Ambasadorem ALE - jedną z najlepszych biegaczy w Wielkiej Brytanii - Holly Page - Nr. 1 in the UK at Trail Running Ranking, Winner of Skyrunning World Series 2018, 3rd in Golden Trail Series

Paweł Raja Hi Holly, It is great to have you on board!

Holly Page Hi Pawel. Thank you.

It might come as a surprise for a Polish running community and a surprise for your friends that you chose Ale Energy to be your supplement partner. How did it start?

A friend of mine in the UK was given some products to try and he shared some with me. I was already looking for a nutrition sponsor who could provide me with gels etc for the upcoming season so thought I'd give ALE Energy a try as there are a wide range of products and the setup for supporting athletes seems to be very positive.

Please tell us more about 2018 season. The achievements look astonishing and are even more impressive when one takes into consideration it might have been a first fully Skyrunning season. Why such a move?

Yes I love to do races so last year I did quite a lot... 35 in total with an average length of 30km and 2000m climb so they weren't all short ones! After an accident put me out of the 2017 season I decided to try a series in 2018 - so I raced the Skyrunning, Golden Trail Series and the World Trail Championships as well as lots of other races thrown into the mix! I did well in lots of races and I think a lot of people were surprised about where I came from and that I was able to perform consistently throughout the whole year.

After all you are not new to running. Your family, your background and your experience prove that this is the time to go all out. Could you tell us more?

My family are very active and also love to travel a lot so as I child we spent lots of time in the hills walking and cycling for example. I played lots of sports, particularly football. I started racing when I was 11 in cross country, fell running, athletics.... whatever the event I would do it!

This year you start with a change. New team, new partners. Comparing to 2018 it is a huge change. Is it a change of path from being one girl team to international brand with global recognition?

In 2018 I didn't have an official sponsor, I joked that I was "team holly page" as I paid my way to the different races... or often hitch hiked! I work in a good job as well in international development programmes around the world so of course I could also afford to pay for things but sometimes it's important to feel valued/recognised. For 2019 I was approached by many different brands and ultimately I have decided to join the Adidas Terrex team and I'm excited to start my journey with them. However, just because I now have a team, I don't want that to change anything in the way I am or my perspective on where running fits into the greater global context. At the end of the day a race is basically just seeing who is the fastest person to run up and down a hill so there's not much point getting too stressed about that. My work and travels in "lesser developed" countries really open your eyes to how lucky we are to be able to run freely without fear of repercussions.

You told me you might be doing both Skyrunning and Golden Trail Series. Have you already set your calendar? What is the highlight? What is the most important race to you?

I have an outline of my calendar but I still haven't decided fully which races I will focus on. Some people said I should try and defend my Skyrunning Series title but to be honest I don't mind about titles - I want to do races that I enjoy or that take me to new and interesting places. I don't go to a race to try and win - it's always the experience which is most important to me. I don't like to focus on one race - I think that would put too much pressure on myself so I just keep it casual and see where I end up!

Your calendar is packed. Amazingly technical and geographically distant races. How do you manage your off the track period? How do you rest keeping in mind that you still have a daily job?

I don't really rest. Whilst most "pro athletes" are having a midday nap I'm usually working hard on my laptop! I'm fortunate to be able to work from wherever I have a Wi-Fi connection so that helps, but it is admittedly stressful sometimes trying to juggle running and working a demanding job and travelling all over the world, often hitching and sleeping in my tent. For 2019 I have bought a van so hopefully this will make some logistics easier as I will know I have a place to sleep each night.

So now when Ale Energy is your partner and you are our Ale Ambassador can we invite you to race in Tatra Mountains? Beginning of June or mid-August?

When I was cycling the Danube I stayed with a guy in Bratislava who had just returned from a trip in the Tatras. I'm very keen to go there as I've heard great things and that it is wild and technical terrain. My summer will probably be in the Alps though but send me the dates and I can always see if i can make something work. If not this year then in the future too!

Thank you for the talk and hopefully see you in the mountains!

Hope to see you too :)
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