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WE - Congratulations on an epic race at Tarawerra, on the back of sickness even. Was there a section of that course that really stood out? Or were you running in a blur of scenery?
It was a long hard day for me. I went in very under prepared and only decided to toe the line the day before. It was a case of ‘Just get through it!’ The course is quite varied, but very fast and flat. A highlight for me is running around the lakes. The scenery is beautiful and because it’s not technical, you can take it all in.
WE - It's clear that you are passionate about running. You run for the love of it, but are there times when you don’t?
There are plenty of days when it’s a grind. The hard part is getting motivated to start a run, particularly when you’re sore, tired or busy. I’m terribly sore every morning and hobble around, dreading those early steps of a run. The first few kilometres are a grind, but once I settle into things I always enjoy it. If I am particularly uninspired, I may just do a short jog, but I’ll still try to get something done.
WE - What goes through your mind when you're hurting lots?
Usually I’m questioning why on earth I’m doing this to myself. Then the answer keeps me going: “I like to race and love the feeling at the end when you cross the finish line"
WE - Is it the drive to win that keeps you pushing through tough training sessions? What is your 'why' that does drive you? What keeps you focused when you feel like quitting?
I love racing and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with winning, or simply getting through a hard race. I enjoy the process of preparing for an event and then executing a plan. If things don’t go my way, I grind it out and suffer to the end!
WE - People must think you're more hard-core than average, do you think you've just got more inner strength?
Nah, I’m blessed by genetics and have a big engine and good mechanics. Yeah I work hard, but so do most others out there. I’m also very good at suffering, which I guess not everyone is.
WE - Why do you think you can win over the 1000's of other people in the race? Is it just a result of a perfectly planned and executed training and race plan?
Similar to the above: genetics, hard work and strategy. I plan in detail and always have fallbacks in case things change. I prepare as best I can and then throw down when the gun goes.
WE - Run us through your favourite piece of gear, something that you appreciate having with you in every race?
Good shoes are always the most important thing for me. I like having footwear options to suit different terrain and conditions, and that’s what I get with The North Face. One event I’ll go for the RKT, and if I think I need some more protection I might pop on the Endurus.
WE - You're at the top of your game but is there others who inspire you, and why? I don’t look to others for inspiration.
I’ve never been a spectator of any sport, I prefer to be a doer….if you know what I mean! If I had to pick one person from the sport that I look at with admiration, I’d say Luis Alberto Hernando. He’s a family man, wins a hell of a lot of epic races, and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than that.
WE - On a different side of things we know you're also passionate about antique books, is there something great that you're reading now? Or could you recommend a 'must read'? We're all going to have some forced rest in the days before UTA, what book should we dive into?
Haha! I collect rare and antique books, maps and posters - It’s a very expensive and time consuming hobby! Every Australian should read the world of Henry Lawson, or more importantly, learn about the legend David Unaipon that’s on the $50 note. He’s a man I admire more so than any athlete on the planet.
WE - Do you have any injuries and how is this affecting your training going into UTA?
I'm injury free, but have actually just been taking a bit of time away from racing this year, as I am growing a tiny human at the moment!
WE - What is it that you want to hear from your support crew when you come in to a check point? Is it about competitors, encouraging words, your own running stats or tough love?
I do like to know how I'm going in relation to other competitors, however, in the brief moments that you pass through a check point, sometimes there isn't a lot of time for too much information to be passed on. So really just positive words of any description are very welcome - even if it's a white lie just to help my headspace if I'm suffering!!
WE - Give us a quick run down on the nutrition you took for UTA50 last year?
Gu Energy Gels got me through! Early on I took plain ones initially, then after the first half I switched to caffeine gels. I drank approx 2 litres of water and had some Gu Electrolyte tablets a couple of times through the race as well.
WE - You're passionate about inspiring other women to get into the outdoors, what kind of activities do you do with this outside of running?
I talk at high schools, motivating kids not only to be active & get outdoors, but also about the importance of finding the balance with schoolwork in an active lifestyle too. I'm really lucky in my work that I get to see kids of all ages everyday & I love helping to improve their self-confidence as part of my job.
WE - What’s the most important part of your training and fitting it all in while working full time?
Making myself get out of bed & get going when the alarm goes at 5am (or earlier), when I'm tired or sore & all I really want to do is hit "snooze"! It's all about self-motivation & not making excuses.
WE - What big races do you have on your radar?
This year I happily have a different focus, stepping back from racing - just easy running and maintaining my fitness before I'm back into it in 2020!
WE - What would be your #1 bucket list race and why?
I think one race I will have to do is the Tarawera 100km event. It's in the most beautiful, amazing country in the world and the course looks spectacular!
Thanks Dave and Vic, it's been great to chat with you. Thanks for making the trip up to Wild Earth, enjoy your time on our local trails and all the best with the up coming events!