Sept 2019 –
Last month I was lucky enough to be selected in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Team to compete in the Australian Cross Country Championships.
This event was held in Wollongong, New South Wales and had runners from 10 to 20 years old all competing for their state at their national cross country event.
When I first put on the New Zealand kit to race in, I felt so proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to represent New Zealand for the first time.
When we first arrived at the venue, I was shocked to see how crazy the Australians are about cross country! There were masses of little kids doing intense warm-ups
in their fancy state tracksuits. It was the most perfect course, marked on both sides the whole way with no potholes or mud (so much for cross country!), and they even
had a merchandise tent where you could buy $15 scrunchies, hoodies with your name printed on the back and many more items designed with the Athletics Australia logo.
I competed in the Under 16 girls race, a 4km race consisting of 2 laps of the 2km course. Like I said before, the course was perfect – for someone who doesn’t like hills!
This made me quite nervous as I enjoy running hills and see them as one of my strengths. Thankfully, I really enjoyed this course and the amount of shade it provided in
the Australian heat! I ran the majority of the way with a group of around eight girls who really pushed me. I ended up placing 6th out of 88 girls. I was proud of my result
and didn’t stop smiling the whole race. I also raced in the U18 relay team and we got 3rd, bringing home a bronze medal each!
It was great to be able to travel with the rest of the team and get to know them. I made some great friends and came back with some memories that I will never forget.
I am so grateful for my parents, the New Zealand Athletics Association, the NZSSXC committee and the Aspect Trust for giving me the opportunity to represent New Zealand for the first time.
I couldn’t have done any of this without them and I hope that I can receive more opportunities like this in the future!
July 2019 – Hannah won the South Island Under 16 Secondary Schools Triathlon Championship in April 2019 and then followed that up with the NZ National Secondary Schools Championship later that month. Hannah also teamed up with her sister and Jaxon Taylor (Southland Boys) and Lachie Baird (Verdon College) in the Under 19 mixed race taking out the fastest time.