Elisabet Barnes - who am I?

Multi-stage ultra running expert

I have over 25 years' experience of running. I ran my first Marathon in 2002 and my first ultra-marathon in 2011. In 2015 I won the 250km Marathon Des Sables, the Oman Desert Marathon and set mutiple course records. In 2016 I won the Big Red Run in Australia outright and in 2017 I won the Marathon Des Sables for a second time, placing 11th overall and running the fastest pace ever achieved by a woman in the race. I have also been on the podiums in the 6-day Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, the high altitude Everest Trail Race in Nepal, the 100km Ultra Mirage in Tunisian Sahara, and rugged and remote Trans Atlas Marathon in Morocco. Having raced in hot deserts and high mountains I understand the demands of extreme environments and how to prepare. See my running CV below.

Professional background

I have more than 10 years experience from management consulting. I hold a MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, plus a postgraduate degree in change management from the Australian Business School. I am now a certified sexologist and relationship therapist and I am currently undertaking a PhD. I understand what it’s like trying to balance life, training and a demanding work schedule and what it takes to make changes and stick to them. I can help you identify barriers that may be preventing you from achieving your potential and help you understand how you can re-prioritise commitments to achieve your goals. I left corporate life to become an entrepreneur and before turning my focus to coaching full time I built an online retail business from the ground up.

Multicultural experience

I now live in Norway since 2019 but prior to this I lived in the UK for 11 years where I was a certified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) with UK Athletics. I also trained as a sports therapist which has given me invaluable knowledge for my running coaching. I am Swedish and can deliver coaching in Swedish or English. I understand Norwegian, Danish and Spanish, having lived for a total of two years in Spain and studied in Danish. Whilst Norway is my base I live a nomadic life in my camper van.

A holistic and individual-centered approach to coaching

My speciality is to create bespoke training plans for races such as the Marathon Des Sables, but I also coach for couch to 5km, regular road races, marathons, shorter ultra-marathons and longer trail races. I love working with runners of all levels as well as walkers, and my greatest inspiration is to help others achieve their dreams and goals.

I know very well that running doesn't exist in a vacuum. Most people have family- and work commitments to balance and as a coach it is important to understand the bigger picture of each individual's life. Anyone can deliver a plan, but not all coaches can take this holistic approach. Maintaining mental and physical health and wellbeing are just as important as putting in the miles, if not more.

Broad competency

I am a certified sexologist and couples therapist and I currently study for a PhD in clinical sexology. Whilst this is not directly related to running, all areas in life are connected as we are multi-faceted beings. I believe that all humans deserve to be their authentic selves no matter what their race or sexual orientation is. I feel strongly about human rights which include LQBTQIA+ rights, and as a sexologist I am very open minded about all things related to sex and sexuality. Whilst this is not something that you will notice in running coaching with me, I want to tell you that I hold these values. On other social media accounts I speak openly about various matters related to relationships, body positivity, sex and sexuality. If for whatever reason you are not comfortable with this side of me, I invite you to look for a different running coach. If you are interested in learning more about sexology and couples therapy services, see my other website here

I have a deep interest in nutrition and particularly how good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can prevent and even reverse many lifestyle diseases. I have witnessed first hand the power of a plant-based diet and I eat predominantly plant based myself. 

Women's health is another area of interest and I am keeping up to date with research in this area. Specifically the links between hormones, training, diet and health in women. If you are a women seeking a coach who can assist you to tailor your training to your monthly cycle, perimenopause or menopause, I can help with this.

Combining my running expertise with my professional and entrepreneurial background, a passion for supporting people in building self-esteem and confidence, plus being able to apply various coaching and therapy techniques, I believe that I can offer a unique coaching partnership to help you succeed.

You responded quickly and answered everything precise and to the point.  I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the champ to anyone.


I really want to thank you for all your help over the last few months. I wouldn't have even got close to being ready without you.


Thank you so much for everything Elisabet. You were there in spirit pushing me on. I can say that honestly as I did not want to let you down.


Elisabet Barnes Costa Rica UltraCoach CoastalChallenge

Running CV

Here are the most important things I have been up to. Not strictly just races as I also do some other adventures which are worth mentioning! After 2019 I have not returned to competitive running but I run for general fitness and well-being.



  • Fast hiking of Three Passes Trek in Himalayas
  • Trail running adventure in the Atlas Mountains including summiting Mount Toubkal twice
  • Ultra Mirage El Djerid (Tunisia) – 100km: 1st Woman / 4th overall




  • UK Ultra Runner of the year
  • Oman Desert Marathon 165km / 6 stages: 1st Woman / 7th overall / 3rd European overall (18 hrs 37 min)
  • Clif Bar 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons 58km / 3200m ascent: 1st Woman (new course record)
  • Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Sur 85km: 1st Woman / 7th overall 9:02:30 (new course record)
  • London Marathon: 2:59:13
  • Marathon des Sables: 1st Woman / 20th overall (26:42:13)
  • XNRG Pilgrims Challenge 66 miles: 1st Woman 9:56:47 (new course record)
  • Go Beyond Country to Capital 45 miles: 1st Woman 5:37:06 (new course record)


  • Clif Bar 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons short course: 2nd Woman
  • Centurion North Downs Way 100 miles
  • Grand Union Canal Race 145 miles 2014: 37:45 (happy just to finish!)


  • Centurion South Down Way 100 miles
  • Boston Marathon: 3:08
  • Essex Championships: 2nd Woman


  • Norfolk Coastal Ultra 100km: 2nd woman
  • Ring O’ Fire 131 miles: 1st Woman
  • Marathon Des Sables: 15th Woman


  • Norfolk Coastal Ultra 100km
  • 50 Mile Challenge: 1st Woman / 2nd overall
  • Lidingö Ultra 50km: 4th Woman

Key Marathons

  • 4 x London Marathon
  • 5 x Stockholm Marathon
  • 2 x Berlin Marathon
  • Edinburgh Marathon
  • Boston Marathon

Want to work together? I'd love to hear from you!