Next up in the Fast10 we have an Irish ultra trail running living up in Scotland, who’ll be racing in the UK and Europe in 2020.

With a 2:33 marathon best Nicola Duncan is one of Ireland’s quickest ever marathoners (before the Next% era too) and now focuses on trail and ultra running, competing for Ireland at the World Longs and World Trail Ultra Championships in 2019.


Name: Nicola Duncan (my other half calls me The Midget, my family call me Dolly!)
Age (Jan 2020): 37
Hometown: Live in Edinburgh but originally from Galway in Ireland
Club: Carnethy Hill Running Club
Main discipline: Ultra trail running
Other disciplines: Trails of any distance really, hill runs, also enjoy obstacle course races but haven’t managed many in recent times.
Full-time athlete/work/studying: Full time Actuary (and Mummy to Senna the golden retriever)

Goals or targets for 2020

I asked my boyfriend for help with this question and he said “Be Awesome,F@ck Sh&t Up”!!! But really I want to improve my endurance and have entered some longer ultras including Madeira Island Ultra Trail (115km) and CCC at UTMB.

I also want to improve my navigational skills and have entered Lakeland 50 so looking forward to some practice weekends for that – companions/guides welcome!

My main goal is to enjoy my running and stay injury free.

Past Running highlights

In 2019 I was both National Scottish Ultra Trail champ and National Irish Ultra Trail champ! [We think Nicola may have forgotten a few things for this section – Ed.]

Interesting or fun facts

I was a decent tennis player in my time (5th in Ireland as a junior) and played for Connacht and East Scotland many times. Given my size…I really should have started running sooner!!

I run because…

I love the freedom of it and being outside.

Favourite training session

The longer the long run the better and I have been known to “round up” my training sessions….

Photo: Peter MacDonald

Least favourite training session

Anything short and attempted fast. parkrun is my nightmare.

Favourite pre-race food

Porridge!! With pumpkin seeds and chia seeds and maca powder! And pink Himalayan salt.

Favourite post-race food

Hot Chocolate! And Pizza! And fish and chips!

Favourite runner or runners

I have always been inspired by Jo Pavey and how long a career she has had and how much she does to promote running in the UK. Very inspiring how she clearly is still loving running.

Brands or organisations that support me

Beta Running give me lots of amazing UD kit and Injinji socks!

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