The Athletics SA summer season of 2020/2021 produced some of the highest quality track races ever seen in this state. From 1500m to 10 000m, and including the steeplechase, Athletics SA athletes put on some truly world class performances for Adelaide track fans to witness on their own doorstep. For the most part, there were no real surprises. National Junior medallists broke through in the senior ranks, and classy seniors made the most of long blocks of training without racing due to the restrictions of the 2020 Covid pandemic. However, one new athlete did manage to turn heads at April’s edition of the 3000m state championships on the track. At the front of that race, Izzi Batt-Doyle and Caitlin Adams didn’t disappoint. However, behind these two state record performances a new name claimed a top 5 open state title position. Issie Hume’s time of 10 mins and 12 seconds to finish fifth was impressive in itself for an athlete in her first season. However, the manner in which this result was achieved was perhaps more promising. Her long striding, relaxed style made this feat look incredibly comfortable, and left everyone wondering just how much faster she can go with some more training and experience behind her!
For the sake of chronology, we’ll begin we’re it all started for Issie and her running journey. In high school, Issie played netball and just generally enjoyed being outside. In fact, she believes that her first run for training purposes happened a long time after she actually began running. Early on, Issie discovered that running wasn’t as difficult for her as it was for others, and she would do so simply because she was able to see more of nature in less time than if she walked! When prompted for a rough idea of the distance she would cover in these runs, an answer of, “until I stopped” was enough to reinforce what I already knew about Issie’s refreshingly relaxed approach. However, in 2019, Issie did begin to get curious about her ability to run, and decided she’d try recording one or two runs to track some progress, and perhaps set some goals for improvement. Little did she know, the world of Strava would take notice, and it wasn’t long before Issie was invited to try some more structured running sessions with RunAsOne. So, commuting by push bike in the pouring rain, Issie began to add group interval training in to her weekly structure. Her consistency, and determined approach immediately grabbed the attention of the coaches, and by the first RunAsOne time trial day Issie was already right up the front against her male training partners! She continued to train hard, and it seemed as though she was improving with every session. Unfortunately, an injury did put a brief halt on her rapid improvement, but ever the optimist, Issie writes that off as lessons learned, and valuable perspective for the future; an attitude that no doubt played a large role in her success at her first state 3000m championships on the track shortly after injury!
At this point you are probably wondering how Issie went so long in her life without running, because it seems as though putting one foot in front of the other faster than yesterday is her primary focus. However, behind the humble conversationalist who is always more interested in hearing about you than she is speaking about herself, there is an exceptionally hard working, and busy individual! For most of us at RunAsOne, it took an observant training partner to discover Issie’s hidden talents! On one fateful flip through the pages of Adelaide’s Advertiser newspaper, a training partner of Issie’s made eye contact with a very familiar face offering valuable advice on sustainable living practices; busted! So, for the next few morning RunAsOne training sessions Issie was forced to put her modesty aside for the sake of her new fans! We discovered that Issie was in the middle of her PhD studies as an environmental scientist researching urban sustainability. Subsequently, the many questions began to filter through. As a self-aware guilty party, it was at this point that I was treated to a great example of patience. With a smile on her face, and despite probably spending the preceding hours reading and writing about the exact same topics, Issie gladly offered advice on all things sustainability while sacrificing no focus and commitment to the training session. Naturally, I was curious to know how Issie managed to maintain this balance in her life. While she is forced to admit that it is busy, and it all sometimes feels out of her control, she is confident to attribute running’s ability to relieve stress, to her ability to maintain a level head in high pressure situations. She is even willing to go on record as saying that if she wasn’t able to run, she is not sure that she could manage the workload!
So, with just a sneak peak in to Issie’s life as a PhD student and high-performance runner, it is my hope that this blog is able to serve the purpose of inspiring all you readers out there! Regardless, I think I speak on behalf of everyone at RunAsOne when I say that it’s a pleasure to train with Issie, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her both professionally and in running. In the meantime, we look forward to the many more Strava uploads at paces faster than many can dream of, but captioned “Rancho Relaxo.”