Athletics Record Breakers by Humeera Imran

AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH HOUGHTON
by Humeera Imran

How many times have you attended Athletics?
This was the first year I went to the MAGS athletics day (with my friends), which I totally regret now because it was so much fun I wish we had gone every year! However, the 3000m is run as a separate event after-school and this is my third year doing it.

What did you think of Athletics this year?
I was very impressed! There are way more people participating, both in the 3000m and Athletics Day, than there have been in previous years and everyone seemed to enjoy the event no matter their skill level. I did shot put and discus as well as runs on Athletics Day which I have zero experience in but the great thing about Athletics Day is it is just filled with students giving it a try without judging themselves or others.

What was the best part about Athletics?
For me the best part is the 3000, because I'm more of a long distance runner - I get wasted in the short stuff! I really enjoy athletics because it is both a team and individual sport. There is great camaraderie and support between the athletes and I have made some lifelong friends in the sport. However, when it comes down to the race and your performance, it is ultimately on you. This can feel great or awful depending on your result but I like the fact that you are solely in control of your performance.

What sports do you play?
I play 1st XI hockey for school, and also do athletics. But I'm getting into yoga too!

What other races/sports did you compete in and which of them all was the hardest for you? Why
At Athletics Day I also did shot put, discus and the 1500m. I find the 1500m a challenging distance for me as, because of the distance, it is like racing an extended sprint! While the 3000m is mainly aerobic, in the 1500m you'd definitely max out both your anaerobic and aerobic systems which definitely hurts your body coming into the last lap.

Were you planning on setting a record for the Senior Girls 3000m race?
I was hoping to! I was feeling fit, but it was my first 3000m since Nationals at the start of December so I wasn't quite sure what sort of time I was running leading up to the school race. It also wasn't the best conditions being a hot Friday after-school but racing with the boys was a good source of motivation.

How did you feel when you set the record knowing that you had set the record for the 3000m race previously too?
Yeah I was stoked to beat my old record! To be honest it would have been a bit embarrassing if I hadn't - it would have meant I hadn't got faster in a whole year!

Would you recommend other students joining Athletics?
I would 110% recommend joining Athletics to students of any ability and experience. It is such a diverse sport, ranging from the pure strength of shot put to the speed and flexibility of hurdlers! I've found Athletics also hugely helps any other sports you play. My speed and endurance from track training has helped me play better and for longer on the hockey turf. As a summer sport, Athletics is a great way to get outdoors in the warm weather, and also great off-season fitness for winter sports. There are school Athletics trainings open for anybody keen to try, which I strongly recommend people do!

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