Running interview - Nikki Barnard: sport, a yeti + life in the Alps

Oh hello Monday you old friend.

I have a real gem for you today my trustee runner (or not - but do give it a go!) friends out there. Now, if you read my posts, you will know how much I go on about Nikki Barnard. She is, quite, simply exceptional. An amazing runner, skiier, triathlete,  friend, mountain dweller and a real example of a very strong lady.

I'm always badgering here about one thing or another, and we do love a good chat, both in the good times of our adventures, and in the harder times. Recently I asked her if she wouldn't mind doing a little interview for me for the blog. Like a total WAD, she readily agreed.

I will see her soon. We shall do a VLOG version also. Banter flowin'.

Running interview: Nikki B

Photo: NIkki Barnard

Photo: NIkki Barnard

MV:Why Run?

NB:This is such a simple question that I struggle to condense and offer a short solid answer, as I could go on all day about the love I have for running. Out of the sports and activities I have had a go at throughout my years, there doesn't seem to be one that has given me the same joy and satisfaction that running presents each time I head out. For me, it's a time to switch off. To think, to align and relax, to push to exercise focus and achieve. It’s so many things to me, that I would certainly not wish to be without. I've seen a lot of beautiful places while being out running and continue to look around close to home or further afield to see what else there is.

Nikki posing for their calendar, raising money for charity with   The Neverest Girls   2015

Nikki posing for their calendar, raising money for charity with The Neverest Girls 2015

MV:Nikki, how did you start running?

NB:I ran when I was a kid and got involved in track and field but never had a go at anything further than the out schools obligatory annual cross country event. I tried my hand at Triathlon a few years back and liked it. Living in Chamonix has been very influential and inspiring, and I've just enjoyed exploring and pushing a touch more as the years go on and have had a great time in doing so.

Photo: Nikki Barnard

Photo: Nikki Barnard

MV:Where is your favourite place to run? 

NB:There is a place called La Flatiere close to where I live. It is a trail through the dense forest, which is beautiful and smells like heaven. This offers you the chance to take it easy or work hard with the bonus of it being very quiet and less populated.

MV:What usually motivates you to get your trainers on?

NB:I read it somewhere in a magazine once, GO! If you feel miserable and don't want to be out 10 minutes into your run, then stop, and head home. So, I try to abide by that and funnily enough after 10 minutes, I'm settled in and usually having a great time. This little rule seems to do the trick for me.

MV:What has been your most memorable running event so far?

NB:I enjoyed the TDS Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie 120km 7200M+ . The trail was beautiful, and I just really appreciated everything about the experience. This is hindsight speaking hey; I was on my feet for 27+ hours, and my feet were torn to shreds, but the people, the support, the perfect weather conditions all came together and I just had a blast.

MV:You are a part of the Neverest girls. Tell us more about that.

NB:The Neverest Girls is a group of passionate female runners based in Chamonix. We're not elite athletes, but we push ourselves to our own personal limits. We love nothing more than running in the mountains encouraging each other and enjoying the views. We got together to make things happen, to bring ideas to life and contribute to charitable causes that may need support. Over the few years the NRG have been around, we have travelled to Nepal to run the Everest Marathon, and also over to the USA to run the Trans Rockies 6 day stage race.  In 2016 we plan to run the Haute Route, from Chamonix to Zermatt in 6 days.  In total we have raised over 26000 Euros for charity and I am hopeful we will be able to raise more in the future.  For more information relating to our chosen charities, A Chacun Son Everest and Kennedys disease UK visit –

MV:What has been the hardest obstacle to face with running?

NB:I injured myself just before the summer hit it off and sadly it forced me to draw a line through some races I was down to run. Understanding the feelings associated with having an injury was a bit tricky, and it was a whole new side of endurance sports I had never encountered. It is just that, an obstacle that you can get around, it may just take some time and patience, but I am certain it will be worth it.

MV:What have you got coming up in 2016?

NB:Running, running and a bit more running.  Well, we're off to Morocco in March for the Right Altitudes inaugural high altitude training camp , that I am looking very much forward too. I have always fancied a trip to Morocco and being able to combine it with running and hanging out with some of my favourite people and meeting other likeminded runners will be great!

After withdrawing from the 2015 UTMB due to injury, I plan to be at the start line in 2016 with all cylinders firing and ready to go. There're a few other bits and bobs going on and in the works that I'm also really looking forward to as well. Right now I am still recovering from injury and I am working hard in an effort to come back strong, so who knows what the future will bring 

Thanks Nik, you've certainly motivated me :)

Find Nikki also at:

To see a film made for the British Mountaineering Council by SevenTwenty Productions following Nikki and I ultra-marathon training + racing ,click here