Recently minted Athletics NZ Trail Running champion Andrew Thompson of Olympic Harriers is next up to answer our Five Minutes With Questions.
What is your best athletics quality?
I've always loved smashing myself up hills. The tougher and higher the better. This helps when you live in Wellington!
Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?
The more the merrier. Being part of an encouraging athletics club has been the best move I could make to help my running. You get a heap of support while consistently competing against some amazingly talented runners.
Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?
First athletics coach was and still is Chandima Kulathilake (aka Chan) from Run Wellington. He's been a massive influence, teaching me the art of how to train consistently and how to prepare mentally for a race.
What are your athletics weaknesses?
Top end speed and a good custard square!
What is the funniest things you’ve seen on an athletics track?
Sprinklers being turned on during a race.
What is your favourite athletics session?
Strangely enough, not hill repeats. I love the alternating tempo run. It's great preparation for the undulating and inconsistent effort of a trail ultra.
What is the greatest thing you’ve witnessed in an athletics stadium?
I don't often head to stadiums, but in the trail running scene, I was at the finish line in Kawerau to witness Jim Walmsley smashing the Tarawera 100km course record in 2017. That was special.
Who has been your toughest rival?
Definitely Will Bell of Wellington Harriers. He is both an amazing guy and athlete. He has pipped me a few times, although I was glad to get one over on him at the Athletics NZ Trail Running Championships.
If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?
Orienteering. It was what first got me into fitness and it's still a similar idea (to running) in terms of propelling yourself forward through the outdoors as fast as you can.
When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?
Notepad and pen. I hate typing notes and storing them on my phone. And I have a shocking short-term memory. Plus, if I get bored, I can also doodle!
What is your greatest regret?
Not persisting with orienteering or running through my 20s.
Who is the person who most admire?
Jono Wyatt (the Kiwi who won six World Mountain Running titles) An absolute monster of a trail runner.
What are you most scared of?
What is your favourite movie and why?
Predator - there's a good amount of 80s cheese, but the sci-fi and action are top notch.
When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?
Just this morning. I got told I had to move the new ones somewhere other than on the kitchen table!