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.