For Malory Young, running is all about the journey. And she likes the journey to be long. An ultra runner at heart, she has competed in the Leadville 100, the HURT 100, and the Rut 50K in Montana.
"For me, a half marathon is kind of a fluke," said Young.
If this is true, we would all like to have these kind of flukes. Last year, in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, Young was the sixth female overall.
Perhaps the 21K race in Kualoa Ranch made her realize how fast she is, because now Young is training for the Hapalua Half Marathon, which takes place this April around Diamond Head. And she is coming back to run the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on December 3rd.
"It's still early in my training," said Young, "And I'm focused on getting a lot faster instead of just having crazy endurance. But I'm really excited to run that course. I don’t think there are any other races to go over the saddle of Kualoa. That’s really cool."
Young has a 9-5 job working in the epidemiology department at the Hawaii State Department of Health. So all of her miles (and sometimes there are many) have to be bookended into her day. When she was training for the HURT 100, she kept her mileage at 50-70 per week.
"I was less focused on mileage and more focused on effort. I did lots of heavy hill climbs. Like maybe I'd only do three miles, but it was six Koko Head repeats squeezed into three miles."
When she was training for the Leadville 100 - which is more about pure running and less about hiking - Young was putting in at least 80 miles a week with a few weeks of 100 plus.
Her biggest challenge is staying injury free.
"The primary thing for me is to do most of my runs on the trails so I keep the movements dynamic with lots of variation. That way I can strengthen my foot and ankle muscles, and the softer surface helps with the pounding."
This free-form approach to running suits Young, who doesn't wear a GPS watch and doesn't track her stats. She also doesn't like to pigeon hole herself into one distance. While she loves ultras, she doesn't want to miss out on anything. She is equally at home running up Mauna Kea as she is doing repeats on the track.
Young also cross-trains and focuses on hips and core muscles with plyometrics and body weight exercises. Yep - lots of fire hydrants and planks.
As if running loads of miles and a full-time job weren't enough, Young is also an assistant cross-country coach at Iolani High School and she is committed to building the trail running community in Hawaii.
Even more exciting is that she is getting married at the end of August.
"My fiance is training for the HURT 100," said Young. "We made a deal. If he does a 100-mile race, I'll go scuba and sky diving with him."
It sounds like Malory has met her match.
Photos courtesy of Kalani Pascual