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In 2017, Hillary Allen experienced a life threatening accident that had the potential to completely derail her career as an endurance athlete. She fell 150 feet off a ridge-line during a race in Norway. With 14 broken bones, she was told she’d never run again, and most definitely not compete at an elite level. She overcame the odds and made a full recovery to return to elite level racing. 

Hillary, nicknamed “Hillygoat” because of her love and skill for running fast on steep, technical mountain terrain, has raced all over the world. 

In 2021, Hillary published a book about her accident and long road to recovery called Out and Back

Hillary received her masters degree in neuroscience, physiology and structural biology, and is also a running coach. 

In this podcast, Sonya and Hillary talked about her career as a runner, her injury, overcoming the odds to return better than before and the importance of self-belief to get there.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that I don’t think we really know how strong we are, and resilient we are, as human beings until something hard happens to us. And I think the people that were reaching out to me, they’ve had something hard happen to them too and they got through it so it was almost them telling me that it’s like, okay, like, ‘I know how much it sucks,’ even though it wasn’t, obviously, the same experience I had had. But it was just that little bit of being able to relate to one another through kind of a common thread of struggle. It just gave me hope in my own journey.”

– Hillary Allen

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Key Takeaways

  • Where spirit of adventure came from
  • How she became a runner
  • Exploring curiosity 
  • What is sky running
  • Falling off a 150’ cliff and almost dying
  • Depression from injury
  • Getting back to sky running post injury
  • Where does self-belief come from
  • How to train for ultra endurance gravel cycling and running


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