Go to podcast
by Mandy Gill
Hooked on Habits hosted by Mandy Gill

Gary Robbins: Life Before Ultra Running, Barkley Marathons Announcement, Family First, Pandemic Silver Linings, & More


At the age of 12 years old when Gary Robbins was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he told his Mom ‘I want to travel the world’. Now as a world-renowned ultra runner, determined to claim the title as Canada’s first ever Barkley Marathons finisher, you may be shocked to find out it took dropping out of university, moving to Banff with $500 in his pocket, taking up the life of drinking and skiing, and many more entertaining steps along the way to become the man we now know who is deeply respected and loved by so many.

Fresh off the announcement of how it felt for Gary to share the news of his Barkley Marathons 2021 decision, this episode explores silver linings the pandemic has uncovered for him in all areas from being a devoted husband to his wife, father to his son, champion in his community, coach of Ridgeline Athletics, and race director of Coast Mountain Trail Series.

Highlights include:

  • What jobs Gary had before he started running professionally. Get ready to be surprised!
  • Gary’s journey thus far in the Barkley Marathons, and why John Kelly is an important name to know as his journey continues. 
  • Why it’s important to eliminate the word ‘just’.
  • What Gary’s response was to an injury diagnosis that stated ‘your age is a contributor, and it’s time to move on from ultra running”.
  • What Gary’s nutrition is like to train and conquer 100+ mile races with 60,000 feet of elevation. 
  • Who inspires Gary to keep chasing new heights and distances.
  • Potential new races coming our way to take part in as a community. 
  • Gary’s perspective on a coach having a coach. 
  • His favourite part about becoming a Dad. 
  • His new film "The Big Chill" with nearly a quarter of a million views (free via YouTube, and shot entirely on-the-go by close friend Jeff Pelletier).
  • We talk about the difference of training for 200km races versus a 10km time trial, and what it took to get under 35 minutes as a new personal best. 

Links mentioned:

I won’t spoil any more...this is worth every second of listening to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher

If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review! It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping the Hooked on Habits podcast to grow. 

Instagram: instagram.com/mandygilldotcom

Facebook: facebook.com/mandygilldotcom

Twitter: twitter.com/mandygill


Episode 8

Season 1

by Mandy Gill