McMurtrie hits the track again
ANNA McMurtrie gave up her passion five years ago to chase another dream but now the Rockhampton woman has built herself up from scratch again to make the cut as a competitive athlete.
The 24-year-old last night competed in the UQ All Comers Meet in Brisbane in an attempt to qualify for nationals in 800 metres and the Grand Prix events this year.
“A couple of weeks ago I qualified in the 1500m for nationals, however, the 800m is my preferred event,” McMurtrie said.
“If this is achieved I’m automatically selected to compete at Nationals in Perth in April.”
The athlete gave up running in high school after being ranked No. 2 in Australia in the under-16s, competed in nationals and won the state championships more than once.
“I want to better how I performed at nationals last year, and just try and push my times down low enough.
“I competed at a high level at school but left for Brisbane for study and sort of stopped competing,” she said.
The long-distance runner said if she qualified for the Grand Prix she would be up against some of the best open runners in Australia and would travel to all the major cities in Australia for the series.
“It’s at a very high elite level - most of the athletes there will have sponsorship and I don’t have anything like that,” she said.
“I haven’t tried out for the Grand Prix before – but I am at the best fitness level I have been in for years.”
McMurtrie said after moving back to Rockhampton, after the completion of her degree, she had been able to dedicate more time to training.
“At the moment I am enjoying being back in Rockhampton and training at this level,” she said.
“I was expecting the move from Brisbane to possibly have some affect on my training – being away from my coach and training facilities – but I am fitter than ever.”
McMurtrie has now opened her own podiatry practice, Evolution Podiatry, in Rockhampton.
“I find that my running has enabled me to relate to and understand any lower limb and foot issues,” she said.