Josh Wade UTMB Q&A session

Josh Wade UTMB Q&A session

Preparations for 2023 UTMB, now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, have been well underway for most of the athletes for quite sometime. For Kendal local, Josh Wade this is no different. We managed to catch up with Josh after one of his visits to The Sidas Clinic, for some sports therapy, prior to heading out to Chamonix for the UTMB finals. 

We wanted to know how he got into trail/ultra racing, how he trains for mountain races, what has been his favourite race so far etc.

So, here are his answers. (you can either listen or read through the blog, or both).

We hope you enjoy.


Josh Wade UTMB Q&A session (audio only)


How did you get into trail running, and how did this then progress into competing in Ultra Distance Mountain Races?

Josh Wade trail running kendal sunset

JW: “a friend I used to do some running with asked if I wanted to sign up for this 30 miler/50k in the North York Moors! So, I said why not? It was incredibly painful… the nutrition went painfully wrong. But I finished and I thought… do you know what? I actually really enjoyed that! So I called him, and he enjoyed it, then ever since been focussing on the ultra scene, loving being in the mountains.”

When did you realise that you had a talent for mountain running?

Josh Wade wins the Ultra Trail Snowdonia | Wearing Sidas Trail Socks

JW: “Erm… So, I did that one… and that progress on to a few more. The I competed in the Lakeland 5 passes ultra and I came second in that one, then the following year I decided to put some proper training in. And in 2019 I entered Ultra Snowdonia which I won and then the Lakeland 100 which I came third. So, I decided to actually train even harder and make it to some of the international races, get a bit of travel with it.”

Which of your races have been the most memorable, so far?

JW: “The Lakes 42 was a memorable one… coz I did win, and it was my first win plus it was an amazing day. For like erm… for like, would you say ‘value for money’ my best day out experience it would be the 100 miler at UTS because I just had… such a good day! The weather was stunning you’re in the mountains in Wales, and I won! Everything just came together and you’re there for 23 hours in the mountains.”

Which has been the toughest race?

JW: “The Spine Challenger, yeah… and I only did the short one the 100 miler (winter). I blew up as well. I had such a bad finish… dragging myself by my teeth… clawing to the finish line! It was icey, the day before it had rained heavily and it froze over night. So, it was slippy and solid on the ground… and yeah it was really tough outing!”

You’ve had a pretty good season, and your win at UTS (which must have been awesome), has led you to the UTMB finals. How are you feeling going into the UTMB, with around 3 weeks to go?

JW: “Yeah… erm, I have had some really good blocks of training. I did the Eiger trail (e101) as a bit of a build up, I finished quite strongly… So, I came over the line and still felt pretty good… feeling pretty strong. Since then I’ve some pretty good weeks of training… erm… yeah I’m looking forward to running 100 miles in the alps!”

Josh Wade competing at the Eiger Ultra Trail E101 by UTMB

How has the training been? Any new additions for this race specifically?

JW: “A lot more long runs in the hills sort of doing 30 milers… this morning I ran 25 miler in the hills at a hard effort. Then I’ve been doing the hill reps, more long days in the hills. Before this I wasn’t doing as long days in the hills.”

What is going to be the biggest challenge on a race like the UTMB?

JW: “Definitely the level of competition! It’s very hard. I don’t want to go out too hard, just need to run my own race and enjoy running with other people. Just indulge in the UTMB experience”

What 3 key pieces of advice would you give to other trail runners?

  1. Build the volume or distance steadily.
  2. Don’t take massive leaps in your training.
  3. Fuel and nutrition, eat well taking on carbs through out the race.

Leading on from that… what kind of food, carbs do you try to take on?

JW: “on my watch I have a beep that goes off every 20mins. I’ll take on some food then… so, a mixture of gel and bar so some solid food. A gel every hour, then every 20 or 40 minutes I’ll have a piece of bar. Then had the aid stations I’ll have potatoes, erm or fruit and there’s lots of other nice things or whatever you want to get stuck into… people call them, eating contests!”

What are looking forward to at the finish line?

JW: “Seeing my brother and Mel… they’re supporting me. And yeah just the buzz in Chamonix”

Josh celebrating his UTS win with fiance Mel


Quick fire Questions:

River or Lake? JW: River

Soft flask or Bladder? JW: Soft Flask

Music or no music? JW: Music

Garden or Beach? JW: Garden, seeing as I am a gardener.

Garmin or Suunto? JW: Suunto

Sweets or Crisps? JW: Sweets

Uphill or Downhill? JW: Downhill

Defend or Attack? JW: Defend

UTMB or Golden Trail Series? JW: UTMB

Cheese or chocolate? JW: Cheese

Jaffa cakes, cake or biscuit? JW: Ooh, erm... cake!

We wish Josh well in the UTMB finals in a pretty tough line up including Jim Walmsley, Peter Engdhal and Tom Evans fresh from his WSER win. If you're not already following him, check out his Insta account.


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