Daughter of Distance of the Week: Amy Novotny

_DSC6523-EditOne of my goals this year is to support more women in endurance and help them connect to each other. There are so many of us out there, grinding out those miles and sometimes feeling alone in our awesomeness.

I thought: What better way to promote female athletes than to feature one Daughter of Distance each week? These will be women who love and embrace endurance sports of all kinds. They are not necessarily elites, though they can be. The majority of them are “regular” moms and wives and girlfriends and friends, balancing work and kids and training.

This week’s Daughter of Distance is: Amy Novotny!

Check her out:


Who Is Amy?

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer living in Arizona. She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in the Phoenix area. She seeks out local parks, nature preserves and wildlife refuges to photograph as a way to recover after marathons as she attempts to run one in all 50 states.

Amy’s endurance career began in 2009 with a 1-mile run on a treadmill to get in shape after graduating from physical therapy school. She celebrated that initial accomplishment and her love of running grew from there to six miles, three times per week.

In 2011, she began racing half marathons and six months later attempted her first full marathon. By the end of 2015, Amy had run 25 marathons (12 in 2015 alone), 3 ultra marathons, and 13 half marathons. She also completed the Arizona Ironman triathlon in November 2013.

In her spare time, Amy tends to her backyard garden filled with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. She cooks from scratch using recipes from various vegetarian and vegan blogs online. Amy is now a volunteer trip leader for the Arizona Highways Photo Workshops where she will begin sharing her joy of nature with others.

Amy’s most memorable endurance experience was the Across the Years 24 hour race in 2013-2014. Having just completed the Arizona Ironman triathlon five weeks earlier, Amy set off to run for 24 hours along a 1-mile track that changed directions every four hours. Prior to this, Amy’s longest run was a 50k race in the San Tan Mountains 10 months earlier.

By mile 36, she was convinced that ultra running was much harder than an Ironman. By mile 80, her whole body hurt but she pushed through and completed 102.88 miles in 23:37, coming in 4th place for females and 9th place overall. Amy managed to run 92 of the total miles!

For 2016, Amy plans to return to Boston for her second Boston marathon and push for a fast race only to return to Arizona to run the Zane Grey 50 miler in the Mogollon Rim. Her goals for the rest of the year will include running marathons in states not yet completed in her attempt to run a marathon in all 50 states. She plans to throw in a few trail ultras as time allows.

Amy can be contacted through her website: http://www.amysimpressions.com; through twitter: @amynovotnyaz; through instagram: @anovotn, and Facebook: Amy Novotny


What does it mean to be a female in endurance sports?

This series is inspired by my book: Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sport. Here, hundreds of women open up about their realities as athletes, wives, girlfriends and mothers. From the intimacy of the bedroom to the community of competition, some of these stories will encourage and uplift. Others will surprise and infuriate. Welcome to the beautiful and complicated world of strong women.

Check out the Amazon reviews and purchase at tinyurl.com/daughtersofdistance

Will you be our next Daughter of Distance?

Interested in being featured as a Daughter of Distance? Shoot me an email at vanessaruns@gmail.com.

This is a project to feature one woman in endurance each week on social media. The goal is to connect strong women across sports and across the world in celebration and appreciation. Each Daughter of Distance will receive a copy of my book, Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sports.

And don’t forget to tag your photos and stories with #daughtersofdistance to connect to this awesome community.

See you on the singletrack!

You May Also Enjoy:

How to Balance Endurance Training and Family: Tips & Tricks for Parents

Milk-Dispensing Mamas

Menopause Management Tips for the Active Endurance Athlete


Other Books:

The Summit Seeker