I cannot believe that two weeks have passed since we settled into our Village apartments, full of excitement, nerves and anticipation about the upcoming test against the best of the Commonwealth.
Having had plenty of time now to reflect it is still difficult to provide a succinct summary of one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, humbling and eye-opening experiences of my life because there is so much I would love to write. Firstly, having the opportunity to share an apartment in the Village with our Athletics Captain and Vice Captain as well as four of the other Athletics gold medal winners – Sally Pearson, Kim Mickle, Eleanor Patterson, Dani Samuels and Alana Boyd was invaluable. To observe how athletes of that caliber conduct themselves in training, competition, media activities and every-day life has taught me great lessons that I hope will assist me in reaching the next level. I was so pleased to come away from the Games with a bronze medal and achieving a personal best time was icing on the cake – the feeling of ‘Bettering your best’ as the Asics slogan goes is hard to beat!
Race day was special for many reasons. I was excited and very fortunate to have my parents, my brother, relatives, friends from Adelaide and even some of my clients from Flex Clinic, in Glasgow to cheer me on from various locations around the picturesque course. After the race, people said that I had worn a grin for a lot of the race. I remember breaking into a smile when I saw people I knew along the course, to show my excitement and appreciation for their support – they just so happened to be the people taking the snaps! I was also humbled to know that back in Adelaide my training group, Team Tempo and friends were watching the coverage together at the Alma, a local pub. I was also grateful to receive messages from students at Naracoorte Primary School and people from all walks of life – social media has certainly made communication a lot easier! My coach said to me before the race, “Remember to be ready at half way for the race to begin - you need to be prepared to attack the last part”. In addition to the incredible support mentioned above, I attribute a large part of my result to these wise words on top of years of careful training planning by Adam and can’t thank him enough.
What made the race experience all the more complete was to have Michael Shelley from Australia run a brave and smart race to become the male marathon champion, only shortly before we were to cross the line. Five of the six Australian marathoners achieved personal bests and the euphoria amongst the team at the finish, shared with Chef de Mission and marathon legend Steve Moneghetti, was a moment I will never forget.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games was my third major Championship and I gained just as much, if not more insight from this experience on how I can work to bridge the gap to achieve future goals. I learnt about persistence and self-belief when preparation deviates slightly from the planned path, I witnessed and admired strength of character from fellow athletes in the face of injury or disappointment and I experienced the value and power of support from family, medical staff, friends, team mates, training partners and of course … Mossy & Robbo! The special friendships made were a highlight of the experience and I look forward to strengthening these as we all continue to chase our dreams and add Glasgow to part of our respective journeys!