Jon Shield

Name: Jon Shield

DOB: 12.01.1983

Hometown: Oswestry

Sport: Ultra Running

I have always had a love of sport, health and fitness, ranging from rugby to the Great Britain U21 shooting team and Great Britain AG Duathlon team. I have a degree in Sport Health & Exercise Science, Post Graduate Diploma in Strength & Conditioning and my Personal Training and Sports Massage qualifications. I actually always hated running unless it was a sport.

I had to start running more as a necessity rather than just for sports when I decided to join the Parachute Regiment. My career was cut short due to a bad night time parachute jump landing badly breaking my ankle, damaging knee meniscus and tearing my labrum. I had a couple of surgeries and didn’t run for 8 years due to this. I saw a variety of physios until I actually found someone who I still see today who sorted me out and allowed me to start running… and now I’m making up for lost time!

Get to know Jon

Tell us about your successes so far?

I have started out predominantly with successes in multi stage racing which is where my passion lies, carrying your own food, sleeping bag, hammock, medical kit etc typically over 5 stages.

I have started to race other types of ultramarathons and over the next year or so I have a good blend of both to look forward to.

I have won most notably Beyond The Ultimate Highland Ultra, Arctic Ultra and Jungle Ultra. I have also won the Brenig Way 50, Pen Llyn Winter Ultra and Snowdon 50. I have only been running 2.5 years so I hope more success will follow with the more experience I gain.

What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?

I have a few aims for the next year or so. I have the Cheviot Goat in December this year and then next year I am racing the Spine Sprint in January, the Spine Challenger South in the June, followed by Beyond The Ultimate Mountain Ultra in Kyrgyzstan, The Dragon’s Back Race and the Desert Ultra in Namibia.

A big year ahead! My goal is to be the first person to complete and win all six of the Beyond The Ultimate Race Series. The other massive goal is the Dragon’s Back a 380km long, 17,400m of ascent in 6 days from Conwy Castle to Cardiff Castle over all the mountain ranges. 

Why do you run? What do you love about running?

I run first and foremost because I have lots of big dogs that love exercise and the only way I get some peace and quiet is if I can tire them out. I love that running allows you to get to some magical places you just can’t reach by driving or by train etc.

I love exploring the World’s extreme environments and being able to test myself. Running is easily accessible, it’s not as cheap as people make out but it can be done relatively cheaply depending on your goal. Running also allows me to escape the day to day chaos, switch off and relax.

Which Scarpa shoe is your favourite?

This is a tough one. The Spin Infinity was the first shoe I tried, and it is just so comfortable and chews up mile after mile effortlessly.

I obviously use different shoes for different reasons, but this was where it started for me, so I have a soft spot for it.

Tell us about your best day running?

It was probably the Pen Llyn Winter Ultra last year when I just felt so good from the very start, it’s one of the very few days where I felt fast and it wasn’t feeling forced.

The pace was great from the start and I ran with a good friend for a large part of it. The weather was good and I also broke the course record.

What do you do away from your sport?

I really combine my holidays now. Work and having the dogs takes up the majority of my time when I’m not training. I do love a good food though and seeing new places.

Where is your #NoPlacetooFar?

Hawaii. It looks so beautiful. There is an amazing array of trails but I really fancy doing the HURT 100 there.

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