Growing up in the tiny village of East Kurrajong, west of Sydney in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Andrew lived an active an outdoor childhood often playing soccer, mountain biking and rock-climbing. He did well in cross country running at school but didn’t really do any serious running until he moved to London in his early 20’s.
Initially he started with running a couple of kilometres on a gym treadmill in an attempt to get into shape. Before long he was out running through the streets and fields of Bromley, then he entered the London marathon and it all snowballed from there. As his times improved he got more serious and joined a running club which was a great way to experience many different races and events from track, to road, to cross country.
He also found running to be a great way to discover new places. After London Andrew spent time in Edinburgh, Bristol and then Wales. His memories of each place are of running alongside rivers, through forests and even some snowy mountain passes, always keen to explore somewhere new.
Andrew moved back to Sydney when he was 30 and I concentrated on marathons and road running for a few years before being drawn to ultras at The North Face 100 in 2012. His result was an incredible 3rd place, but he admits he struggled in many parts of the race.
“I find the challenge of learning and trying to improve on each aspect of an ultra keeps me excited about running in more of these events.”
“I love travelling and running. In the future I hope to continue doing both and to experience some of the big overseas ultras in different parts of the world. I’d also like to be a part of another Australian team in the future. I love the atmosphere around the championship events.”
Indian, but not before a race
What music you listen to?
My musical taste has been described as depressing, angry rock, although these days I’m forced to listen to mostly kids movie soundtracks.
I try to eat lots of fruit and vegetables in general. On long runs I’ll always have a good selection of gels.
Three things you always pack?
Something to read, camera, down jacket
I’m always amazed by how quickly your performance in a race can change depending on your frame of mind. One minute you can be feeling great and the next you’re feeling terrible. Learning to recognise these highs and lows is a big part of improving my race performances. So I think mental toughness is a strength I have but also a weakness, I’m just trying to make sure I have more of the ups and less of the downs.
Proudest Sporting Moment?
Probably crossing the line at UTMB 2013, the result wasn’t what I’d hoped for but managing to finish strongly through the streets of Chamonix after the low points I’d had during the night was pretty special.
Most Humbling Moment?
Experiencing the birth of my first child. I still haven’t done an event which matches the endurance of a 36 hour labour.
Favourite TNF Product?
Feather Lite Storm Blocker Jacket
Causes you are passionate about?
Having 2 young daughters, hopefully I can show them the importance of being active and healthy.
Favourite destination for your sport?
Favourite piece of history in your sport?
I like seeing how races grow and change over time. The six foot track marathon has become an iconic trail race in Australia and it all started with a few guys heading out just to run the track. From there it’s grown and grown to the point of being one of the highlight races of the year for a lot of people.
- Representing Australia in the world long distance mountain running championships in Switzerland and the trail world championships in Wales.
- My races at the TNF100 in Australia. My first true ultra-marathon experience and a fantastic event.
- The experience of running UTMB in 2013 was amazing and travelling through Europe for a couple of months with my wife and kids was unforgettable.
- Cycle touring from Nice to Budapest in 2006 with my wife, it was a great adventure.