I’m a Runner: Matt Shirvington


I WASN’T ON THE RADAR TO BECOME A CHAMPION SPRINTER until I was 17. And didn’t take running seriously until I met my first coach Michael Khanel. He helped me transform from an average sprinter to an 18-year-old Australian Junior 100m champion.

I’LL NEVER FORGET walking out in front of thousands of people at the 2000 Sydney Olympics – it was an incredible feeling.

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I’d packed on a few too many kilos while juggling my work, kids and the stresses of everyday life. So, I got back into training, and now try to do something energetic everyday.

THE IDEA OF BECOMING UNFIT SCARES ME so I have a ‘default’ session for when I’m pushed for time. I’ve nicknamed it the “Super Bowl”. It’s short high intensity bursts of 40 metre runs in 20 minutes on a hilly grass park near home.

LONG DISTANCE IS NOT MY CUP OF TEA. I have an aim to run a half-marathon one day and I’d consider a marathon eventually.

MY DAUGHTERS ARE BOTH VERY ACTIVE. The youngest, Winter (aged 7), is starting Little Athletics for the first time this summer – she’s pretty competitive and really enjoys it. The eldest, Sienna (aged 9) likes dancing.

BECAUSE I USUALLY RUN ALONE I TRY TO KEEP SPORTS SOCIAL. A couple of my mates introduced me to wakeboarding – it’s a lot more physical that I anticipated, but it’s great fun. We usually mountain bike or surf on the Northern Beaches in Sydney.

I RELAX by watching sport on the TV. Rugby League wise, I’m a Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fan and try to get to a couple of games every now and again.


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