News & Updates
Miller seeks more national success in Cambridge
Hannah Miller hopes to maintain her outstanding record in national championships this year by making an impact over what she believes is currently her premier distance at the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships in Cambridge on Sunday (Oct 16).
Since arriving back to her native New Zealand in April following a six-year period studying and training in the US, the 24-year-old Wellington Scottish athlete has picked up national marathon and 10km road titles as well as earning bronze at the New Zealand Cross Country Championships in Taupo.
And now Hannah is seeking to add to that list at the national half marathon championships in Cambridge.
“I originally signed up for this event when I signed up for Reboot (Marathon) and while the marathon is my long-term goal and my eventual sweet spot – right now the half is probably my best distance,” she explains. “I’m not sure where I am at with my training, but I’m definitely keen to give it my best shot and to see what’s in the legs.”
Without question Hannah, who has raised on a sheep and beef farm around 20 miles outside of Gore in Southland, has enjoyed the best season of her career so far.
On her half marathon debut in January she ran a slick 1:12:41 in Houston, Texas before defying the humid and windy conditions to win the Woodlands Marathon – on her marathon debut – in an impressive 2:38:30.
The following month she returned to her native New Zealand to take up a role as junior policy officer in strategic planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the capital and within weeks claimed the New Zealand marathon title at Reboot in Canterbury, recording 2:37:31.
“I was really happy with the lead up, although I wanted to go a bit quicker,” she explains. “It was a great second marathon and I’m looking forward to doing something similar next year. I was super grateful for the opportunity.”
Hannah, who is coached by Laura Bowerman who guided her during her time at the University of New Mexico, admits she has found balancing the demands of training an average of 100 miles a week with working full-time “pretty hard.”
She trains each morning before undertaking a demanding 9-5 job before often completing a second session (run or gym) and does not return home until 9pm. Relocating into a Wellington winter with its notorious windy weather has also not been easy but the success continued in Taupo when she won senior bronze at the New Zealand Cross Country Championships.
“I was stoked to win bronze because I’d not done any specific cross country training,” she says. “I was undercooked going in, so to still podium was a good effort on such a brutal course. Lisa Cross (national gold medallist) had the run of the day, she is such a special athlete.”
In September she added the New Zealand Road title in Upper Hutt where she led home a Wellington centre clean sweep of the podium but now she shifts emphasis to the half marathon distance, where she is looking forward to once again fighting for a national title.
“It is really cool,” she adds. “There is always something special about lining up for a national championship. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that even if I think training has not gone quite as well as I would have wanted.
“I had a fairly decent performance in Houston when I ran 72 minutes (for the half marathon in January),” she adds. “I’m not sure I’m at that level right now, but I’m excited to measure myself up against that leading into a summer season, which I hope to end with another marathon.”
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