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Tom Joly

I am on a mission to "make it" as a professional athlete in trail and ultra running. At the start of 2022 I left the day job, ranked as an amateur in the sport, with the belief that I could make it to the top. Using my life's savings I bought a house in Sierra Nevada, Spain, where I now train full time. After 1 year I reached an elite ranking, won a world title event (Ultra X World Champs) and qualified automatically for UTMB in 2023.

Live the dream.

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Early Years

Growing up in the countryside of East Anglia in the UK, I was always outside, building dens in the wood, camping, foraging for food, and making fires etc. I was never in the top sports teams at school, but I loved taking part in as many sports as possible. I was an ok runner, but certainly nothing special (10th was the highest I placed in the school cross-country).

Formative Years

After squandering my student years smoking, drinking and taking drugs, I somehow I graduated from Durham University with a degree in Zoology, and decided I needed to get my life back on track. To get fit, I quit the unhealthy lifestyle and completed Ironman Wales in 2013, then Ironman Nice in 2014. I started learning about fitness, completing a diploma in personal training while applying to become an officer in the British Army. I commissioned out of Sandhurst into the Scots Guards, where I served for 3 years. During that time I learnt to Nordic Ski and experienced what it would be like to train as a full time athlete. Another officer persuaded me to take part in an ultra marathon for the first time in 2017 (Rat Race,"The Wall",69 miles), where I finished 5th. The next year I ran it again, winning the race and setting a new course record. I knew then that I had found my calling.


I gave triathlon a final "send off" making it to the Ironman World Championship, in Hawaii in 2022. My results in ultra distance running events have been more encouraging, so I plan on focussing entirely on running for 2023 and onwards. Amongst other goals, I am ultimately looking to be a "professional"  in the sport in order to compete at the top level for as long as possible, whether that means winning prize money, gaining contracts with brands, or coaching athletes. I hope this blog and website will inspire and guide those that have chosen a similar path!

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