The Olympians who train on the trails

Away from the track, these superstars have been putting in the hard work off-road

Eilish McColgan

by Paul Halford |

If you've been glued to the track and field at the Olympics over the past few days, you'll be aware how different this high-performance sport can seem to trail running.

However, amid the talk of blistering tracks and "superspikes" which can seem alien to trail running, it's easy to forget that many of the world's best athletes use off-road running as a base for greatness.

The world's greatest marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, for example, is known to do many of his long runs off-road. He'll be seeking to retain his Olympic title on Sunday.

Former Trail Running cover star Eilish McColgan, who will be running the 10,000m final on Saturday, moved house to be near the trails. And here she was away training on the trails around Font Romeu recently.

Netherlands' Sifan Hassan, who won Olympic gold at 5000m yesterday, is going for unprecedented Olympic middle-distance triple this week. She is another not unused to hitting the trails to lay the ground work for the faster-paced stuff at the height of the season.

British junior Keely Hodgkinson is going for a medal in the 800m today. Here she is on the fells of the Lake District.

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega, who dominated the Olympic 10,000m final last Friday, is another who has used the trails to help hone his art.

American Elle Purrier St Pierre, who has qualified for the 1500m semi-finals, loves to train on the famous trails around Flagstaff, Arizona.

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