At the moment I am going through a transition. Having studied at Stony Brook University, in the United States, for the past five years I am now beginning a career as a professional runner. I feel so blessed that I can pursue this dream of mine, and I owe a huge thank you to my coach, Andy Ronan, and my agent, Ray Flynn, for partnering with me.
A week after NCAAs, with exactly one month left to qualify for the NZ Olympic Team, I went to New Jersey to run a 1500m with the goal of running close to the NZ Olympic Standard of 4:07.00. I ran a P.B. of 4:08.09 and was encouraged, knowing I could run faster in an A-paced race. Training had been going really well up to this point and I was feeling as if things were coming together at the right time. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life and so I emailed many of my friends and family to keep me in their prayers, knowing with God’s strength anything could be possible. I had a day at home and then flew to San Diego where an A-paced race was being set up. Morgan Unecy was the pacer - with three Canadians, one American and one Kiwi chasing after the Olympic A Standard - and the weather conditions were perfect. I felt very strong and confident during the race knowing the pace was going to bring me through with a fast time if I just stuck with it. I finished third with a new P.B. of 4:05.76 and my very own ticket to the 2012 London Olympics!
Instantly my world changed. I never expected the incredible response that I got from New Zealand. News channels, radio stations, and newspapers from around the country started contacting me and people whom I barely knew were sending me messages. My mum even phoned me saying a package in the mail arrived full of cards from a class of primary school children…I can’t wait to read every single one! Put simply, I have been overwhelmed with love and support from the whole country. As you can imagine I didn’t sleep much that week, as I was too excited!
I am now in Cardiff, Wales, where I am basing myself with the NZ Olympic Team before I move into the Olympic Village in early August. Being surrounded by an amazing support team has been such a humbling experience and I know I will be ready to run the best race of my life come August 6th. I’ll keep you updated over the next month with everything I get up to as the Olympics draw near. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for all the support!