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

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

IAAF World Relay Championships, Bahamas 2014

Hello! So I have just returned from a whirlwind trip that took me around the other side of the world and back again within a week! This was to compete for Australia at the first ever IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in which I was selected as part of the women's 4x400m team. The 4x400m team was made up of Morgan Mitchell (400m - VIC), Jess Gulli (400m hurdle - VIC), Lyndsay Pekin (400m hurdles- WA), and myself (400m - NSW). After two and a half days of travel through America and the Caribbean, we arrived in the beautiful balmy Nassau in the Bahamas. As this was the first time the event had ever been held, we really didn't know what to expect but as soon as we arrived we were stunned with how professional and happy everyone was to have us there! The Bahamians really put on a great show and we were very well looked after. Particularly on the accommodation side of things...

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Our races were scheduled for Saturday afternoon (the 4x400m preliminary heat) and Sunday night (the 4x400m A and B Finals). Unfortunately after receiving the lane draws for the preliminary round we discovered that we had landed the hardest heat with USA, Jamaica, England and Poland, all who had sent their top teams. This was going to make it very tough for our team to get through to the A Final. Considering it was the first time we had ever run as a team, we exceeded everyone's expectations by running a great time (3:30.90) and coming 6th in the heat. I ran the first leg and handed the baton to Jess Gulli, who in turn passed it onto Lyndsay Pekin, and then it was on to Morgan Mitchell to bring it home.

ImageUnfortunately our place was not enough to run in the A final (annoyingly if we had've been in the other heat our time would have made it through!!) But nevertheless we were through to the B Final and still had very quality teams to run against in Canada, the Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago.

We changed a few of the positions in our team to ensure we had smooth changes and possible a better chance. The new order was 1st leg: Me, 2nd leg: Morgan Mitchell, 3rd leg: Jess Gulli, 4th leg: Lyndsay Pekin.

Everyone ran exceptionally well and we managed to pass the baton in the lead at each change. The enormous crowd that filled the stadium was on their feet cheering for the Bahaman team, it was so loud but amazing at the same time! We extended the lead in the last leg and won the race from the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago in a very similar time to the day before, 3:31.10 sec. It was such a gutsy run from everyone and that made it even more exciting to win the race as a team. The experience has given us a lot of confidence and a lot of things to learn before we compete again at the Commonwealth Games in August. It definitely brought us together and makes us very hungry to do well at the Games.

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You can watch the videos of each race here:

Day One (Skip ahead to 2hrs 22mins for our entry to the track)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Shy_BRqAU&w=560&h=315]

 

Day Two (Skip ahead to 32mins)

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

 

I met some amazing athletes and gained so much from the experience, it has made me that much more excited to head overseas to Europe to finalise my Commonwealth Games preparations.

The final Commonwealth Games Team selection is announced this Monday the 2nd of June, which I am hoping to be officially selected in the 400m individual, and the 4x400m team. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for every body's support! Please enjoy this slideshow of photos from my trip.

 

A. xx

Comm Games qualifier, PB and a Silver medal!

Hi Guys

WOW what a weekend....!

The Australian Championships & Commonwealth Games selection trials were on last weekend in Melbourne and I ran the 400m and 200m. Going into the Championships I was pretty confident I had a chance to take out the gold medal in the 400m, but due to inconsistent weather conditions down at Melbourne I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get the Commonwealth Games qualifier too. What resulted was not what I was expecting but I am very happy nonetheless.

On the thursday night I ran the 400m heat and was able to run pretty conservatively and save up my energy for the final on the Saturday night. I ran a 54.31 and was drawn lane 6 for the final. Over the weekend we were pretty lucky it wasn't forecasted to rain but unfortunately that's where our luck finished! Cold wind swirled around the track all afternoon the day of the race and was not ideal conditions for fast times.

I felt really good going into the race, no real injury niggles and my training had been going really well. Caitlin Sargent, my main competitor from QLD was 2 lanes inside me, and a young girl from Melbourne, Morgan Mitchell, was on the lane inside me so I knew I would have to focus on my own race and not get distracted by what they were or weren't doing!
I did just that and ended up with a silver medal in a new PB of 52.35 seconds! Unfortunately I didn't judge the timing of the end of my race exactly right so I finished with a bit left in the tank, and I was only 0.13 seconds behind the winner Morgan. But I was extremely ecstatic with the result because my time was the exact Commonwealth Games 'B' qualifier!

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The fact that I didn't win meant I couldn't be automatically selected in the team, but I will have to wait until June 1st for the final selection announcement.
I am pretty confident of an individual selection, and am certain that our relay team (which I will be a part of) has a good chance to make the final and maybe even medal in Glasgow!

The next day I had 2 rounds of the 200m to get through, and even though I was on a bit of cloud nine having run the qualifying standard, I had to re-focus and get back into racing mode.
I ran through the heats relatively easily and secured a place in the final. I ended up running a really good 200m and finishing strongly enough to take out the bronze medal in 23.88 seconds! The time wasn't quick because we had a strong headwind but I was extremely happy to finish the weekend with two medals.

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If you want to watch my races, here is the links

400m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO759kAtRDc&feature=youtu.be

200m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0cDGhyptpw&feature=youtu.be

Now I am going back into hard training for three months before heading overseas in June. With lots of things to work on and improve in my race I am very confident I will be able to run some fast times if selected to go to Glasgow and am very excited to get to work!

Thanks everyone for your messages of support over the last couple of months! It really has helped me push to be a better athlete and to compete for Australia this year at the Games.

Love A.x

Sydney and Melbourne Wrap Up

Hello!

I've had a very busy last few weeks beginning with the 400m race at the Sydney Track Classic, a short trip to Melbourne for training and finishing with a 200m at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Sydney Track was a great meet - lots of entertainment and although torrential rain poured down minutes before the start of the event, the conditions weren't too bad! I knew the 400m was going to be a great event for the night with the news that Natasha Hastings (400m American Champ) was to be competing against us. Turns out, it was! 

I crossed the line 2nd behind Natasha in my second fastest time ever (52.70). Although this was slightly slower than what I was hoping for, I was really happy to finish second and ran a good race! You can watch the whole meet here (my race is at 2hrs 14mins and I'm in lane 3):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zkO9re50vk&w=560&h=315]

I had a chat to Natasha after the race and she asked if I wanted to jump in on a few of her training sessions to learn about her training and life as an athlete over in America. I decided that I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that and booked my flights down to Melbourne a few days later. I did one 400m specific session and one 200m preparation session with her and learnt a lot!! She is very strong and extremely fast, so I was definitely pushed more than I have been in a very long time. The other American athletes were also down in Melbourne and being surrounded by athletes of that class was very motivating. Training at the same time was LaShawn Merritt (400m Olympic & World Champion), Duane Solomon (800m Olympic 4th Place), and David Oliver (110m hurdles Olympic/World Champion) and they were very generous in giving me tips on my running technique, block starts and racing/training plans. All in all, a very worthwhile experience!!

That weekend I competed in the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge meet in the 200m again against Natasha Hastings and some of Australia's best sprinters. After a demanding week of training I wasn't feeling 100% in my body unfortunately but I knew that was going to happen after some tough sessions so I just tried to run as fast as I could under the circumstances. I ended up in 4th (3rd Australian) and had a lot of fun! The times weren't super fast because of fairly cold and windy conditions but it was a solid race.

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You can watch the whole meet and my race here: (my race is at 1hr 53mins and I am in lane 6)

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

Next up! the 2014 Australian Athletic Championships and Commonwealth Games selection Trials in Melbourne on April 3rd-6th. I am competing in the 400m and 200m. Can't wait!

I am extremely excited to be wearing the 2014 New Balance racing kit this season which is very bright and eye catching. Love the fresh colours and as always, the super comfy and FAST designs. Image

Also wanted to say thanks to Sydney University Sport and Fitness for their ongoing support and care! I wouldn't be able to compete at any of these meets without their help!

Love A.x

2014 Season begins!!

Hello!

First of all, a belated Happy New Year!

Down to business... Well the 2014 Athletics season has officially begun!

My campaign to qualify for the Commonwealth Games started off great with a PB in the 800m at the end of 2013. I ran at an inter club meet in Sydney against the clock and ran a 2:05.84, which was almost a second off my old personal best time! This was a great indicator of my fitness and strength, proving that all of the hard sessions during winter were paying off. After I ran this race there was speculation as to whether I would focus on qualifying for the 200m, 400m or 800m for the Commonwealth Games as I am relatively close to all three - I think it's safe to say I am sticking to the 400m this season!!

My first 400m race was two weeks ago at the Club Championships in Sydney, it was definitely a lung opener that's for sure! I ran a time of 53.32 which was great considering it was the first race of the season and I was out on my own. This time is less than a second away from the Comm Games qualifying time and there is plenty of things I need to fix up in my race plan which should take a big chunk out of the time too.

Last weekend, I ran my second 400m at the Hunter Track Classic in Newcastle. Hunter is such a great meet with lots of music, fancy cars and great competition, so I always enjoy racing there! I entered the track on top of a convertible Mercedes Benz!

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I was happy with the way I actually set up my race, however unfortunately the time did not reflect the effort I was putting in just yet! I ended up just being overtaken in the last 20m by Caitlin Sargent. It was a great race for both of us to get out of the system I think and good to have someone so close to me to push those fast times out.

I am now focussing on the 200m for a couple of weeks to get my speed up and then will return to the 400m for the last few races of the season before potentially heading to the Bahamas for the World Relay Championships in May!

My next two races are:

- February 1st, Club Championships 200m

- February 8th and 9th, ACT State Championships 200m

Then after that I continue with the 400m at:

-March 15th, Sydney Track Classic 400m

-March 29th, Queensland Track Classic 400m

-April 3-6th, Australian Athletic Championships and Commonwealth Games Selection Trial (Melbourne) 400m & 200m

I am ready to jump into my next couple of weeks of training and am definitely very confident for my next races!

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Thanks for all of the support and well wishes!

A. xx

Stylerunner Blog-azine & State Relays

Hey guys!

I was recently Q & A'd by an amazing online sportswear retailer called Stylerunner about my training and journey towards next years Commonwealth Games - it also details how you can show your support to help me get there! 

Have a read and let me know what you think! 
http://www.stylerunner.com/blog/running-dream.html

Only 2 more days left on my StarStadium goal too.
Please help me reach the final target - I'm so close!!

https://www.starstadium.com/view/10/2014-commonwealth-games

In other news, over the weekend my Sydney Uni team mates and I competed in the NSW State Relays - and we brought the rain (literally!) Image

Almost completing a clean sweep of every open's race, it was a very successful weekend.
I competed in the 4x200m, Sprint Medlay, and the 4x400m events, we won all three and broke a few State and National records on the way too.

I was very pleased with my performances and we got a few rough times for my leg in each relay...it is safe to say I am on track to attain that qualifying standard in a few months!
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In the gym this morning I also recorded a few PB's in my lifts (Hang clean = 62.5kg). Definitely getting stronger and faster for next season!Image

Thanks for your continual support!

A. xx