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Testimonials

Throughout our years as an active running community we've had many success stories. Here are just a few of them.

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Josh Phillips

How did you start your journey with Run Cross Country and Track?

I first joined Run Cross Country and Track when I was just 10 years old! I was training with my Little Athletics Center once or twice a week, and when I didn't get selected for one of her “talented” training groups, I felt like it was no longer the right training environment for me. Dad had heard of Sydney Striders (with whom Run C&T is associated) seeing the singlets everywhere, so we checked out the website and found the (at the time) small group coached by Tony and Caroline and decided to give it a go! I was quiet at the start but continued to show up and quickly Monday nights at Narrabeen became my favourite part of the week, there was rarely a Monday I didn't attend!

Tell us your Top 3 achievements while being a member of Run C&T?

  • Qualifying for the ISF World Schools cross country championships in Hungary Budapest. That was the best two weeks of my life traveling around Prague, Budapest and Vienna and racing some of the best high-schoolers from around the world, finishing 25th overall! 

  • Finishing 3rd in the 1500m in Fiji at the Oceania Championships in the 1500m was pretty cool.

  • My entire 2014/2015 season! This included winning Double gold at both the Australian All Schools Championships (2km Steeplechase and 3000m) and the Australian Junior Championships (2km Steeplechase and 1500m). I think this is still the best season of athletics in my life!

 

What is your fondest memory of the club? 

 

It would have to be this one night of training many, many years ago where we trained down at Manly Beach despite some of the worst weather ever! (We always got things done no matter the weather!) There was a King Tide which covered the whole walkway from Manly to Shelley, but we still ran through the ankle deep water and finished the session with some hard hills and core!

 

Also the time I dressed up as a bunny for the Easter Mile was pretty fun as well!

What advice do you have for the younger members of the club?

 

My main points of advice would be to just keep rocking up to training, continue to try your best and eventually you will improve! One of the most important things is consistency, so make sure you keep a little extra in the tank for the next run or session. In saying this, there's nothing wrong with pushing yourself hard from time to time or taking a break or some time off if you feel it is needed. (Tony and Caroline can always help you with this if you ask them) And when things are not going as planned don't get disheartened and try to blame something or someone! These bumps in the road will only make you stronger later on!

 

 And most importantly you must enjoy it! Make friends and get talking with everyone you train with. Running is way more fun when you have a good group of friends to do it with! And the last thing I'll say is to the parents, don't push your children too much! Know when it is the time to give them a kick up the backside but please also know when you may be overdoing it.

 

Striders has been the best thing that has ever happened for my running, it has helped me to make friends, improve my running and pick up some medals along the way. The training is fun, interactive and not over the top or too serious, which I think is why it works so well. I want to also just thank Tony & Caroline for all their efforts over the last 8-9 years, they have been a huge part of my running as well as my life in general which has been absolutely awesome. Good Luck to everyone at Run C&T and I hope everyone has an awesome season this year!

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Amy Thake

I began running with Run C&T (Caroline and Tony) in January of 2019. I had previously been training alone and was seeing a plateau in my performance. I decided to join a local group with hopes to both improve my running and make some new friends. I was shy at first, just focusing on running and trying to beat Caroline! At this time, I was running 24 minutes for 5km and not doing much else in the way of racing, as I was too scared.

After training twice, a week, with long runs with the group on Sundays and easy runs during the week, my times started to decrease, and I began to overtake Caroline in the sessions. Then lockdown happened, but since we got the sessions sent out via email, we were able to meet up in tiny groups and train. During this time, most people were at their peak performance as we ran most days for mental health purposes!

Now, more than 3 years later, and after moving from high school to university, I try to run as much as I can with Run C&T. This year I have made the effort to complete in as many Striders 10k races as possible (the ones i can make with time to get to work!), and it has been amazing seeing my times getting better, now at 42:02. I recently completed my third half marathon with a time of 1:45:07, and the park runs are at 20:12.

I am so glad I joined Run C&T, not only for the amazingly motivating coaches who have so much faith in runners of all abilities, but also for the lifelong friendships I have made, which make for the best long run conversations!

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