World Relay Championships 2015

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Hey guys! A very warm hello from the balmy Bahamas! We got in on Monday and have been finishing off our final preparations for the heat of the World Relay Championships which is tomorrow evening (Sunday morning Aussie time). It's been a whirlwind trip so far, and unfortunately the weather has been less than ideal here, raining and storming most days. But we are expecting sun and warm conditions tomorrow which is perfect for racing!

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To automatically qualify for Rio, we need to finish in the TOP 2 places in our heat, or be in the next 2 fastest times going through to the final. This will secure our berth in the Final on Sunday night AND RIOOO!!!!

So here are all the details for this race:

Heat 1, Lane 2. Main competition will be in Nigeria and France, potentially Cuba. Run at 8:31pm Bahamas time (10:31am AEST) Running order - Caitlin Sargent 1st leg, Jess Gulli 2nd leg, Anneliese Rubie 3rd leg, Morgan Mitchell 4th.

You'll be able to watch the LIVE STREAM from the IAAF Youtube Channel - the link is below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/IAAFMagazine

Cheer for us nice and loudly to make that final!!

A.xx

National Championships 2015

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Hi guys! Just a quick blog in between Uni lectures and flights to let you know that I am racing at the Australian Athletics Championships this weekend in Brisbane! I will be running in the Open Women 400m and Open Women 200m which will be held across Thursday-Sunday this weekend.

2014 Australian Championships 400m finish

I'm very excited to get up to QLD and finish off my preparations, and run the 400m Heats, that are on tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 6.45pm-ish AEST). I'm feeling really confident going into this weekend, and looking forward to having a great race come Saturday night! I can't help but think about last year's Nationals - where I came 2nd but ran exactly on the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games. Hopefully I can replicate and go one better this year! We are very lucky to have Mossy & Robbo coming up and commentating the Live Stream again for the whole weekend! You can watch any of my races and more here:

http://mossyandrobbo.com

The schedule of my races can be found here:

http://athletics.com.au/portals/56/Marketing%20and%20Communications/Documents/2015%20Programs/nationals_2015program.pdf

But just so you know, the 400m FINAL is on Saturday night at 7:50pm (8.50pm AEST).

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I'd also like to take this opportunity before I race to say a quick thank-you to all of my sponsors & supporters. You can find links to their websites in the 'sponsors' tab above - or click their names below:

Firstly, all of my family & friends for your wonderful words of support! Sydney University Sport & Fitness Sydney University Athletics Club Village Pilates BMW Australia Nike

Wish me luck!

A. xx

Sydney Track Classic Results

PB!!! Wohooo! 

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Very happy with my run last night at the Sydney Track Classic over 800m. It was a very strong field of girls who all held faster personal best times than me going into the race but I managed to finish 4th!

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I'm learning that the 800m is on a totally different level of racing to the 400m - it is extremely tactical and quite hard to judge your pace. We started out racing in a pack all bunched together across the first lap, then the field strung out into single file as we ran into the second lap. With about 200m to go the pace really surged and I tried to stay up the front to put myself in a good position for the final 100m - unfortunately this kick took a bit of extra energy out of my legs and I didn't finish quite as strongly as I had hoped.

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However I still bettered my old PB (2:05.48 secs) by almost a second and half to finish in a time of 2:03.93 secs. I am extremely happy with my progression from my last race, considering this was only my second real hit out over the two laps!

You can watch the race here: (Fast Forward to 2hrs 11mins on the video)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zxp3cwDDRM&w=560&h=315]

Now I am fully focussed on the Melbourne Track Classic this Saturday, and the National Championships next weekend where I will be running the 400m at both. Thanks for everybody's messages of support over the last few weeks; I am extremely humbled by your kind and very motivating words!

Until next time! A. xx

(Thank you to all of the amazing photographers who captured the meet last night...Chris Lew, David Wylie, David Tarbotton to name a few. These pictures are from a fellow Sydney University Athlete, Miles Cole-Clark.)

Sydney Track Classic

Hello! Sydney Track Classic

Sorry for the late notice BUT tomorrow marks the date of the Sydney Track Classic. One of our country's top athletics meets. This year it is one of the two finals of the Australian Athletics Tour. All the other tour meets this year have culminated in this weekend in Sydney, and next weekend in Melbourne where we will have our final chances to gain a qualifier for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

I am racing in the 800m tomorrow night (14th March) at 8:12pm against some top runners! Not only Australia's fastest 800m runners, but also one of USA's finest Molly Beckwith, and two Kiwi's from across the Pacific, Angie Petty and Nikki Hamblin, who have both competed at the Olympics and World Champs. Would be an understatement to say I'm a little nervous, but I'm also very excited to have a go at the two-lap event once again!

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There are two options to watch my race....

1: Come out to Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush! The actions kicks off at 7:20pm with Sally Pearson racing in the 200m, then continues with an action packed schedule of racing (including me at 8:12pm) and finishes off at 8:30pm with Sally Pearson once again racing over the 100m this time. Tickets are available at the gate on the night!

2. Watch the live stream from the comfort of your living room! http://mossyandrobbo.com/livestream/ Mossy & Robbo will be continuing with their incredible coverage of the Athletics Tour on Saturday night by suppling a LIVE stream of the whole meet. Yours for the viewing by clicking the link above!

Then next week I will continue on to Melbourne to run the 400m at the Melbourne Track Classic, busy busy! But very exciting times ahead.

Hope to see you out there...Or cheer extra loud for me through your computer screens!

A. xx

Two 400m races, four states, 7 days.

Hello! I've had a monster of a week travelling, training, racing and have finally settled back at home for a couple of weeks for my last block of pre-nationals training.

I started off travelling to Perth for the Perth Track Classic to race in my first 400m for the season. It was a great field with basically our whole Glasgow 4x400m team competing, minus two, and conditions were set to be perfect! Unfortunately, Perth had an anomaly of a day in weather, having the only day under 25 degrees in months and cold gusty head-winds on the track making it very less than ideal conditions to race!! I ended up coming third (exactly even with Lyndsay Pekin), in a  time of 54.20. I was quite disappointed with the time and result, but not completely disheartened because the weather and travel probably played a part in my slow time.

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On my way back to Sydney I stopped off in Melbourne to see my coach and train with squad for a few days. This was a great opportunity to get in a tough track session and plan the rest of my season. We did a 400m specific lactic session involving 300m 2mins 150m, 250m 90secs 150m, 200m 60secs 120m. Definitely opened the lungs!

I then stopped off in Sydney for a night before driving to the Nation's Capital, Canberra, for another 400m race! I had a much better run and fought with Lauren Wells to the line and ended up second in 53.53, almost a whole second faster than the week before. You can watch the race here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zcIVKbC8NA&w=560&h=315]

This weekend I have the NSW State Championships where I will be running the 400m and 200m, and am looking to defend my State 400m Title. Fingers crossed for a fast race! Then I have a couple of weeks off before the Sydney Track Classic and Melbourne Track Classic.

Until then, I will be enjoying the last couple of weeks of beautiful Sydney summer weather!

A. xx

Hunter Track Results + What's Next?

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Hunter Track Classic Wrap Up.

Imagine this: 15 elite athletes spread out across the lanes on the track, all running flat out trying to get into lane one, first. This was my first experience running an 800m race and it was definitely one to remember!

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 3.05.10 pm I ran the 800m A Race on Saturday night at the Hunter Track Classic and ran a PB time of 2:05.48 and came 3rd! I was really pleased with how the race panned out and am encouraged by the fact I was only 0.4 of a second behind the winner, Brittany McGowan who represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in the 800m.

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It was tactical and very hectic to say the least (try spotting me in the above pic!) but it was a lot of fun learning the ways of the two-lapper. I learnt that each step I took had to be a considered move and holding your own in the lane seems to be very important when there is so much traffic in the race. I got myself in a good position down the back straight of the second lap, and then kicked home in the last 100m and finished really strongly. The time wasn't particularly flash and I know I had a bit left in the tank, however I only went through the bell lap at 1:03.30. So this means I did a negative split to finish in 1:02.18, which is a good sign of things to come! You can watch the race if you missed it on Saturday night here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VegWn9iZPw&w=560&h=315]

Now I turn my focus back to the 400m race which I am very excited about. Next up I will be racing at the Perth Track Classic on February 14th, (Valentine's Day..how romantic!) My preparation has been completely different to that of any other year so I have no expectations on times or results but am interested to see how my next races go. But for the moment I am back into a hard block of training for a couple of weeks to get stronger and faster!

A. xx

Hunter Track Classic

Hi guys! I've had a great week of training even in the pouring Sydney rain, (runners take note: a hat is your best friend when running in the rain!) and I am ready for my first race in the Athletics Australia Tour Meets! Here is some info on my race this weekend at the Hunter Track Classic (you can find all the details for the whole meet by clicking the link to your left or the image below!)

Hunter Track Classic

I am in the Women's Raine & Horne 800m A Race which is at 8:24pm.

If you can't make it up to Newcastle there is a live stream of the entire meet by Mossy & Robbo, Athletics' favourite commentators, on their website which will begin at 6pm: http://www.mossyandrobbo.com/livestream/

This track classic is one of my favourites, there is music pumping and they really involve the crowd. It's definitely one of the most exciting meets we have in Australia! I'm running against an awesome lineup of girls and it's going to be a great race to be a part of. There is 4 Commonwealth Games representatives (myself 400m, Brittany McGowen and Katherine Katsanevakis 800m, and Melissa Duncan 1500m) and a bunch of up and coming juniors (Georgia Wassall 800m World Junior Bronze Medallist).  I have absolutely zero experience racing in the 800m so I will be learning with every step I take and trying to mix it with the top girls.

Until then, I will be doing my sun-dance to encourage the clouds to go away and completing the finishing touches to my pre-season training! Hope to see you out at the Hunter Sports Centre on Saturday night or through your computer screen on the live stream!

A. xx

Nike and 2015

Hello!

To start the year off on a positive note I have some exciting news; I have joined forces with Nike and will be running for them throughout the 2015 season and beyond. I am thrilled to have the chance to run in and represent Nike, admittedly it's been a dream of mine for quite some time! The brands roots and history are in track & field, so their product is second to none when it comes to running.

NIKE

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I unfortunately suffered a bit of a set back at the end of last year with a minor injury in my foot. This led to a few changes in my training program where I've been trying to stay off the tartan track, and out of my spikes, and keep to grass running. I've also had a bit of a longer approach to my sessions which I am thoroughly enjoying for a change!

On another note, I had my first unofficial race at the NSW Club Championships over the 800m. It was a miserably wet and cold day, so I wasn't expecting too much however I ended up winning with a time of 2:07.05. I was really happy with that time considering the conditions and am very positive about the season ahead.


Club Champs


Now I am on track and preparing for my first race of the Australian Athletics Tour which will be on the 31st of January in Newcastle. I'll be racing the Hunter Track Classic in another 800m! I'm really excited to race there again, it is always a fun night with music and all kinds of entertainment, for example, last year I arrived onto the track before my race sitting on the back of a convertible! Here is a link to the meet website where you can find who I'll be racing against, and some of the other athletes competing in different events:

http://www.huntertrackclassic.com.au/news/2015-event-list/

I have also just returned from a short training stint in Melbourne with my new coach Peter Fortune. I did some tough sessions that definitely worked the legs! It was great to train with him and with the squad there...He has some interesting stories about past athletes he has coached (one of particular note, Cathy Freeman) that is really motivational to hear before you begin a hard lactic session!


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That's all my news for now...I will keep the updates coming as the season unfolds. Stay tuned!

A. xx

2014 Wrap Up (Bahamas, Europe, Commonwealth Games, Morocco)

WOW! What an athletics season this has been. 2014 has definitely been my biggest and best year running and I have loved every minute of it.

Starting with the Nationals & Commonwealth Games Selection Trials where I ran a PB and qualified for the Commonwealth Games, then onto the World Relay Championships in the Bahamas which was an amazing experience to run for the Australian 4x400m team... and this was all before May!

Then began my journey to the Commonwealth Games, which was a long one! Starting with a training stint in Cologne, Germany for a month amongst some other Comm Games team members where we travelled around Europe for races to prepare. Then a week with the Australian team in Gateshead in England for final training and team preparations.... Finally I moved into the Village in Glasgow and began the most memorable week of my life!

The whole experience was very surreal, eating in the dining hall with superstar athletes, training amongst the Australian team, but most memorable was of course walking into the main stadium which was filled with people cheering, and running some great 400ms, holding my own against the world's best.

I ran some of my fastest times ever across the 4 races that week, my final results were 10th in the 400m and 4th in the 4x400m which I am extremely happy with!

Here is the only video I could find online: Relay Final (1st leg (52.2)- 4th place)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBUSomNbZC4&w=560&h=315]

Upon returning home to Australia after a short break I was asked to compete for Asia-Pacific in the Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco. I knew I was not anywhere near the shape I had been in Glasgow but unfortunately had less than 2 weeks notice to prepare before I flew out to run the 400m and the 4x400m. It was still a great experience and is the fastest race I've ever been a part of as the winner ran 49 seconds! I finished 7th in the individual and 4th in the relay, which I was happy with considering my lack of preparation..

Now I am finally back home and starting back at training to build a big fitness base. I have made the very hard decision to change coaches and training squads after a decade, but am excited as to what the future holds now.

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to every single person who supported me along this journey, I would not have been able to do it without you. I am so grateful to have an amazing team of family, friends, support staff, and readers who push me to achieve my goals every day.

Training and Racing in Europe

Hi guys! Thought now would be a good time to update you on my progress so far over here in Europe.

I've been here for 3 weeks now and have done two 400m races in the last 2 weeks and had some really solid sessions with some of the other Aussie athletes whilst in Cologne.

I settled into Cologne quickly, we had a good set up as our apartment was in between the track/gym and the physio which was only a 5min tram in either direction. I unfortunately came down with a head cold after getting off the plane which wasn't ideal but luckily it passed quickly and just in time for my first race too.

My first 400m race was in a small town called Oordegem in Belgium. It was a good field with athletes at a similar pace to me and not too far from Cologne so we could just drive there. I came second in 53.22. I wasn't overly happy with the time but considering the circumstances surrounding it, it was a pretty solid effort and I gained a lot of insight into where I was at and things I needed to change in my training.

The next week was a pretty big week of training and I was on the track a lot! I also managed to sneak in a sight seeing session around Cologne with a few of the girls. It is a beautiful city and a very active city. Everyone rides bikes everywhere!

My next race was in Kortrijk in Belgium, it is a tiny town but very fancy and beautiful. Lots of 5 star restaurants and hotels, but of course also very pricey! The race itself was a bit funny as it was a 6 lane track, but they had entered 7 athletes. So unfortunately they had to split the race into two, and the fastest heat which I was in only had 3 girls! I ended up running a similar time to the week before and finished 3rd (out of 3!).

On our second last night in Cologne, the soccer World Cup was on and as it happened - Germany was in the final! We went out to dinner in town to soak up the atmosphere and watch the match. It was absolutely a memorable night. Germany ended up winning and everybody took to the streets to celebrate. And by celebrate I mean riot. It was amazing to be there and see Europeans going crazy for soccer!

Just yesterday I left Cologne and have moved into the Australian Athletics Team Holding Camp in Gateshead, England. It is a relief to finally be here and to be really gearing up towards the Commonwealth Games now. We received our uniforms yesterday which is really exciting!! They aren't as bad as the media made it out to be...just the kermit the frog jacket (see below) but I really like our competition kit and am so proud to be able to compete in the green and gold again. The team atmosphere here now is building and I think everyone can't wait to actually move into the village in Glasgow and start competing!

The weather has been kind to us so far, patchy sun and not much rain. It is a bit colder than I expected though but I think that's just because when I think of summer, I think of warmth...

Anyway moving forward I have my last race on Saturday in Loughborough, England where I will be running in a 200m. We move into the athletes village in Glasgow on the Monday and then it is only 6 days until my first race!!

Enjoy the pictures below of training, races and a few Cologne snaps.

Lots of love to everyone and a big thanks for your continuous messages of support!!

A. xx