National 400m champion Brooke Cull of Takapuna AC has enjoyed a successful domestic campaign. Here the 24-year-old answers our Five Minutes With questions.
What is your best athletics quality?
My commitment. Once I have made a decision to do something - I will do so wholeheartedly and to the best of my ability.
Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?
I believe it’s the best sport to experience. Whether you can run, jump or throw there are so many varied options to try. Not only that, it is a great social sport in the summer sun.
Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?
Kevin Hoare, who scouted me at school champs at the age of 13. I started out as a 100m and 200m sprinter but he always told me the 400m would be my best event. I typically used to laugh at his response, but he is definitely the one laughing now! I finally gave the event a crack and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.
What are your athletics weaknesses?
My love of food. Having to resist all those sweet treats can be challenging at times.
What is the funniest thing you've seen on an athletics track?
Maybe slightly more bizarre than funny, but when I was living in North Carolina, it was snowing during one of our biggest competitions of the ‘summer’ outdoor season.
What is your favourite athletics session?
My favourite session, which I have a love/hate relationship is 9x300m (carried out in sets of three). It is lethal but once completed I always feel a biggest sense of accomplishment.
What is the greatest thing you've witnessed in an athletics stadium?
Watching Usain Bolt live at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m and knowing that I raced in the same competition was a huge highlight. (Brooke was part of the New Zealand women’s 4x400m team in Glasgow).
Who has been your toughest rival?
This season it has been Portia Bing. She’s a star athlete, who has switched from heptathlon to the 400m with big success. I’ve been very lucky to have her as a target this season.
If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?
I think it would have to be gymnastics. I loved competing in the sport at a young age. What gymnasts can do physically is incredible.
When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?
Definitely my spikes. I could borrow any race gear but with these big feet of mine it’s an absolute necessity I have my own shoes.
What is your greatest regret?
Racing through injury. I’m not one to stop unless I have to. But I have learnt over the seasons to listen to my body and play it safe, if necessary.
Who is the person who most admire?
My mum. She is my absolute rock and I don’t know what I would do without her. She was a gymnast herself, so she just understands sport so well. I am beyond lucky to have her by my side and the support from her and my dad is unbelievable.
What are you most scared of?
Making decisions. It’s something I’m trying to get better at.
What is your favourite movie and why?
It would have to be Bridesmaids. It is a classic, which will forever make me laugh.
When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?
Just recently when I was back home for Auckland Champs. My proud mum still has them hanging on display in my room.