News & Updates

22 September 2021 • General

Q and A with Cameron Clark

Cameron Clark competing at the 2020 New Zealand Cross Country Challenge. (Photo: Adam Binns)

The 2021 national U20 3000m champion is one of the country’s leading male distance runners. We found out more about the Christchurch Avon AC athlete via our regular Q and A segment.

Why did you start athletics? 

When I was younger, I loved anything to do with sport and found that I was pretty good at running after winning my school events. Some family friends invited me to join Christchurch Avon Athletic Club which I really enjoyed. After a few years of running to supplement my other sports, I decided to put all my energy into my running to see what I could achieve.

What was the last piece of athletics advice you received? 

My coach, Barry Magee said running is simple, don’t overthink it, use the lessons you learnt to help you succeed and distance never kills.

What has been your career highlight? 

Winning the 2020 U20 New Zealand Cross Country Challenge and the 2021 New Zealand U20 3000m titles along with receiving the Canterbury Junior Athlete of the year award for the 2020-21 season.

What has been your athletics low? 

Qualifying to represent New Zealand in the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships but missing out due to the event being postponed because of Covid.

Where do you see your athletics career ten years from now? 

In ten years, I would like to represent New Zealand and help others reach their goals through coaching or mentoring.

What is your greatest mistake in athletics? 

Putting too much pressure on myself.

Which athlete is the most interesting to follow on social media? 

David Goggins who is an ultra-athlete and ex-Navy SEAL. His work ethic and mentality is incredible and he always shares this with people to help them realise their potential.

Do you have a favourite athletics social media post? 

Tinman Elite (a professional road running team based in the US) because they share insights into their training and promote teamwork in the sport. They also have a lot of fun and you can relate to the experiences they face as they work towards their goals.

If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be and why? 

One thing I would change would be to improve the level of participation and support so that it increases the profile of athletics in general. It would be great to see athletics on a similar level to other high-profile sports.

Which athlete do you most admire from your event? 

I admire a few athletes, but at the moment it would have to be Jakob Ingebrigtsen (the Olympic 1500m champion) because he has achieved so much at such a young age.

Outside of athletics what is your greatest accomplishment this year? 

Managing an architectural degree whilst training and being offered work in an architectural firm as a year two undergraduate student.

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school? 

Being one of the shortest in my class in year 9.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? 

I would have to be a cheetah because they are sleek and the fastest animal on land plus, they get to live in a pretty cool environment.

Do you have a nickname? 

People generally just call me Cam.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? 

I would be able to fly because it would be fun, I would be able to get places faster, travel the world and achieve more in a day.

What is the funniest joke you know? 

What do you call a man who can’t stand up – Neil.

Where do you see yourself when you are 50? 

When I am aged 50, I can see myself still running and being involved with athletics or sport in some way, being a coach or mentor to future athletes. I would also like to be travelling and designing architecture around the world.

What is the most ridiculous fact you know? 

One teaspoon of honey is the lifetime work of 12 bees.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why? 

It would be climate change as it is one of the biggest problems that we are facing now that will have a huge impact on the world and the human race in the future.

If you could host a talk show what three guests would you invite and why? 

I would invite Roger Federer, Eliud Kipchoge and Lewis Hamilton because they are all leaders in their sport and athletes I admire, and it would be interesting to understand what has made them so successful in their chosen sport.