During his early twenties, Jonathan Albon fell into the running game by accident, initially using it as a way to escape busy working life in London. Fast forward just a few years and his life has completely transformed; he’s now a professional obstacle course racer and mountain runner living in Norway.
Residence: Bergen, Norway
Date of birth: 19.April 1989
Height: 179 cm
Weigth: 67 kg
Clothing Size: Small/Medium
Team: GORE RUNNING WEAR®
Sponsors: GORE RUNNING WEAR®, Santander, VJ Sport, Clif bar, Toughest Sib Dryrobe & Drevelin
Discipline: Obstacle Course Racing & Skyracing
2014, 15 & 16 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships Winner
2015 Skyrunning Extreme World Series Winner
2016 Glencore Skyline race winner
2015 Tromso Skyrace winner
In just a few years, Jonathan Albon has gone from novice runner to being one of the best obstacle course racers and mountain runners in the world.
Jonathan first became known globally in 2014 when he won both the Spartan and OCR world championships. He decided to grab on to this success and became a full-time athlete, enjoying a successful 2015 defending his title in the OCR world championships, becoming the Toughest Mini tour champion, and winning the Spartan European Championships and the renowned Tough Guy Race. He also took the lead in skyrunning that year, winning the Extreme World Series.
With all of those wins and amazing accomplishments in such a short time, does Jonathan have a favourite victory?
The event I’m most proud to have won was a Skyrace in Tromso, Norway. Organised by the undisputed champion of mountain running, Kilian Jornet, I beat the Ultra Skyrunning World Champion of the time into first by 17 minutes.
Jonathan has quickly developed a reputation as a humble winner and true sportsman, always following rules to the letter and respecting the values of his sports. Well-liked on the circuits, he was invited to be the 2017 male ambassador for the International Skyrunning Federation.
His quick development in the two sports is down to not only his natural abilities, but also his dedication to training and improvement.
Obstacle course training in particular requires diligence, and Jonathan splits his time between three areas: running, circuits and bouldering. He needs to be fast enough to win a race, but he also needs to be strong enough to tackle the obstacles, and practiced enough to manage the grips and manoeuvres involved in the technical challenges.
When it comes to fitting in all this training, Jonathan says he doesn’t necessarily train more as a professional than he did when he had a different full-time job. “My commute used to be the main way I got my workouts in; it’s perfect for covering long, slow miles. The big difference in my training now is that I rest better. I hear people say there’s no time to train but you could easily take away 30 minutes of TV every day – there’s always a way to fit it in.”
Jonathan also advocates the importance of targeting your weaknesses in training: “For OCR, it’s important to have a balance of both cardio and strength, no matter your background. It’s not easy to focus on things you’re not good at but if you want to get fitter it’s the most important thing to do.”
Coming up in 2017
As usual, Jonathan has a packed schedule for 2017 and big goals he wants to accomplish. On the skyrunning front, he’s hoping to follow up his win in 2016 with another first place as the overall skyrunner champion across the World Series this year, as well as a win in the Extreme Skyrunner World Series. In the world of obstacle course racing, Jonathan is hoping to win the Toughest Obstacle Racing Tour this year and the OCR World Championships.