The Auckland-based mum of three and New Zealand 10km road champion offers an insight into her world by answering our regular Five Minute With questions.
What is your best athletics quality?
I’ve had to show persistence after suffering my fair share of injuries (a series of stress fractures) in my earlier career. I’ve also shown persistence by sticking with the sport after having had three children!
Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?
It is a good way to keep fit, have fun and make friends.
Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?
Jim Blair from Pakuranga AC. He was full of fun and his enthusiasm was contagious.
What are your athletics weaknesses?
I have too many too list!
What is the funniest thing you’ve seen on an athletics track?
When my daughter Sophie was two, my husband and I decided she might like to give athletics a go so we signed her up for tots athletics at Pakuranga AC. After clapping the dusters together to signal the start of her first race, she leapt up into my arms and insisted I carry her to the finish line, where she wriggled down out of my arms, onto the track and carried on around the bend!
What is your favourite athletics session?
I like doing fartlek sessions with my husband (Andrew, who is a former New Zealand mountain running and half marathon rep), especially when we are away on holiday.
What is the greatest thing you’ve witnessed in an athletics stadium?
Seeing the women’s pole record set while attending the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
Who has been your toughest rival?
I have many, but I wouldn’t want to single one out.
If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?
Skiing. I love the mountains and the outdoors.
When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?
It has to my race shoes or spikes. For a road race, I’d bring a couple of pairs of shoes and I’d also take a pair of spikes for a track or cross country race.
What is your greatest regret?
I qualified for the 2011 World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria in Spain, but I picked up a stress fracture of the foot and was forced to miss out.
Who is the person who most admire?
My parents, my husband and my children. They are a hilarious support crew (as witnessed by my coach Chris Pilone on our last road trip)!
What are you most scared of?
Spiders and rats.
What is your favourite movie and why?
The Red Balloon. It is short French film for the 1950s with very little dialogue. I love the cinematography and symbolism and the contrast of the red balloon against the greyness of the skies and the scenery. The film is about a little boy who befriends a red balloon, which follows him about from place to place.
When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?
I can’t remember. It is most likely my children will have taken them out to play with, so probably then!