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The rise of a runner

Nick Earl, a British Expat and University of Tasmania Staff member is taking over the Tassie running scene on his way to the Olympics

Nick is becoming a huge name in the marathon world. Hear about his recent achievements and how he balances the sport with work commitments at the University of Tasmania.

I've been working for UTAS since January 2018 and in that time, I've started running marathons. The trails around Hobart are perfect for building the strength which you rely on in the last 10km of a marathon! Having been a runner for about 12 years, it was about time I stepped up to the marathon and in March 2019, I ran 2:14 in Japan, which was a World Championship qualifier for Doha 2019. Unfortunately, being British, this was not quite fast enough to get on the GB team, though I was faster than the Aussie representative (a bitter pill to swallow). This time did however get me a qualifier to represent team England at the Toronto Marathon in Canada as part of the Commonwealth Games development squad. This race was in October 2019 and during the build-up I got Silver in the Tasmanian Cross-Country championships and Gold in the Tasmanian 10km road championships, representing UTAS. I decided to travel to Canada via Europe so I could catch up with friends and family, so picked out the Brussels Half marathon as a final hard hit out 2 weeks before Toronto. Being British in Brussels isn't ideal right now, so I decided to rock the UTAS singlet as it's similar to the Belgium colours to get some support and it also looks cool. I was up against local legend and current European Marathon Champion Koen Naert. I ran tactically and managed to outsprint him in the final 100m and took the win, which, in a big city half marathon, was awesome! Two weeks later, Toronto marathon didn't go too well as I'd picked up an injury whilst training in Europe (missing the Tassie trails). I've been back in Tassie for a couple of months and with my shin splints on the mend finally, I came 2nd in the Point to Pinnacle race behind the Aussie 10km record holder Ben St Lawrence. Most recently I took out the Cadbury marathon, breaking the record and representing UTAS with pride.

As a full time Climate Scientist, working for the Climate Futures for Tasmania team within the Sandy Bay based Geography department, it's hard to compete at the elite level in athletics, up against professionals. I could never be a professional runner myself because my brain would turn to mush, so that's not an option! It's all about time management and trying to get the training to fit around work. I find running to/from work helps get the kilometres in along with being flexible with when I get my hard training done. I'm planning on running the London Marathon in April 2020 and be in the mix for Tokyo Olympics. But it's concentrating on Climate Science and racing in Tassie in the near future.

How exciting and thank you to Nick for sharing his insight with UTAS Sport. We are confident that the University community will be watching Nick in Tokyo later this year take on the world's best!!

Published on: 29 Jan 2020 9:36am