Exclusive tips for the upcoming RACT City to Casino fun run and walk.
With one week to
go until the RACT City to Casino Fun Run and Walk, we sat down with Grant Page
and Ella Atkins to find out how they are preparing for the race on 19 May.
Grant, an RACT
Patrolman is a well-known athlete on the Tasmanian running scene. His favourite fun run is the City to Casino, and he has some impressive statistics to back it up. Grant has
participated in every race since he was eight, except for in 2014 due to being
sidelined with an injury. His personal best on the 11km course is 33minutes and 15 seconds although he modestly
notes there was "a bit of a tailwind that year". He has stood on the
podium 14 times including 11 wins. This year Grant is returning to running
after another injury, but he still hopes to make the podium in the 11km event.
Ella the daughter
of Zambrero’s General Manager Richard Atkins is a rising star who at a 13 is keen to make her mark. She has just returned from the national championships where she placed second in the steeplechase event. Running the City to
Casino for the third time and her first as a competitive runner, she is looking
to beat a time of 26 minutes in the Zambrero 7km race putting her in contention for a place on the podium.
When and how did
you start running?
G: I started running when I was six years
old. My older sister took up Little Athletics and I was dragged along to
compete as well. I certainly wasn’t a natural at it, but once I turned 10 and
started running distance events, my natural ability became more apparent.
E: I started running when I was around
the age of nine. I won a race in grade two and it really sparked my interest.
Where is your
favourite place to train and run in Tasmania?
G: I like a long training run along a coastal route and even enjoy
running around my local eastern shore area. You’ve got Howrah and Bellerive
beaches, with nice bluffs linking to two, plus nice paths around the water.
E: I enjoy running at the Domain and in
sight of the beach or nice views.
Can you recommend
any running groups for people to join?
G: There are lots of social and serious
running groups around Hobart. There is a winter cross country season for anyone
who wants to compete, whether serious or not. The four Park runs held on a
Saturday mornings around Hobart are also a great way to enter the sport.
E: When I was developing into more of a
competitive athlete, as I am now, I ran with Yvette Edwards. This is a small
welcoming group that was at the Domain on Wednesday’s. I also recommend Little Athletics!
Do you have any
tips for those who are starting in their first fun run?
G: For any first time runners, be
realistic about your current fitness, form and ability. Starting off too hard
in the event will cause you to blow up early and the event won’t be enjoyable
at all. You can always finish harder over the last few kilometres if you’ve got
plenty of fuel left in the tank.
E: Have fun and soak up the atmosphere. Look forward to the medal at the end that you can cherish forever!
What does pre and
post-race nutrition look like for you?
G: I actually don’t put too much emphasis
on pre-race diet, I’ve found there to be little benefit in carb loading. Instead, I
make sure I eat something light that I know won't disagree with me during the
The morning of the event, I have just enough breakfast to take away any hunger pains, usually a couple of pieces of toast. I also make sure I’m hydrated.
Post-race is a
completely different story. I'll usually meet up with my other running friends
and pig out or sit back and have a beer or two with my coach and reflect on the
race and plan the next event.
E: Eating a lot pre-race has always been
a struggle for me because of nerves. Usually for breakfast I will have oats and
depending on the time of the race maybe lunch or a protein bar of some type.
Post-race meals are
the best! I enjoy pizza but I stick to a healthy diet the rest of
the time. Nutrition is very important for me and I don't eat anything that is
bad for my body.
Finally, can you
tell us the best piece of running advice you've ever received?
G: A piece of advice that I give to other
runners is that its takes a lot of time and patience to become a fit and fast
distance runner. The quote is “passion, patience and persistence”. My coach
always used to say to me before starting a race “don’t die wondering”. By that I
guess he meant don’t leave anything on the table and give it your all.
E: The best advice I have received is
“trust the process”. It is advice that I live by.
It's not too late to enter the City to Casio Fun Run and Walk
RACT members also save 10% on their entry with the code RACTKK44.