Written: Casey Sims, Jayden Lyttle, Liam Oliver
Photos: Casey Sims
It’s just past the halfway mark of the Virtual GC Marathon and Team QUT is making strides. We caught up with two Tigers from QUT Athletics Club to see their progress and goals for the Virtual Gold Coast Marathon. Jayden Lyttle is currently leading the Unisport 10km and Half Marathon races (at the time of writing). Liam Oliver is our second QUT runner and also taking on the Para-athlete Championship.
Ok Tigers, introduce yourselves. Who are you and what do you typically run?
JL: Hi I’m Jayden - I’m a mathematics and engineering student. My favourite distance is the steeplechase but I definitely like to dabble across anything from the 1500m to the marathon.
LO: Hi I’m Liam, I’m a PhD student investigating mental fatigue and nutrition at QUT. I like anything 10k or above!
How did you get into running?
JL: I started running at 14 after I moved to Queensland. Historically I had never been into running but as a family effort to be healthy we all went out and I enjoyed it so much I haven’t stopped.
LO: I have mild cerebral palsy so started slowly with the Couch 2 5k smartphone app back home in England when I was 16. I was then lucky enough to get a place in the 2018 London Marathon and have never looked back.
What races are you doing for the Virtual Gold Coast Marathon (VGCM) and what are your goals for these races?
JL: For the VGCM I am trying to do all four distances. My goals are just to put a time I can be happy with down. This off season has been long and just getting out there and running is awesome for me.
LO: I had a bad accident five weeks ago where I feel off my road bike at 60km/h and broke three ribs, my scapula and clavicle. I spent three days in hospital and started running two weeks later. At first my goal was just to run once, but I enjoy it so much that now my goal is to run every distance at least once, inspire any other Para- or able-bodies athletes to keep going and become the “Virtual Para-Champion” in the process.
What’s your favourite running path around Brisbane?
JL: I would have to go with the path along the Oxley common. Very pretty scenery and there’s always the chance you spot a cow!
LO: Mount Coot-tha is great. The views there make the tough trail running worth it!
What’s the next running adventure after the VGCM finishes in July?
JL: After july I hope to get back into Cross Country and hopefully qualify for the nationals again. I would also love to do more road races as they come available again.
LO: I’ve never tried cross-country before, so that’s my next big challenge. I can’t wait for the season to get going!
What’s your advice to those who are yet to get involved with the VGCM?
JL: The majority of the effort for the VGCM is getting out there. Once you get started, keep going!
LO: Every step is a step forward and limits only exist if you let them. Find what you enjoy and every run, walk or roll will feel great!
Thanks Tigers! We will be watching those leader boards!
It’s been exciting seeing QUT Staff, Students, QUTAC Tiger Community and Alumni come together to score points in the VGCM races. So, what’s next when this all comes to an end on July 31st? The good people at Queensland Athletics have brought back the cross-country season in the month of August leading into the State XC Championships 5th September at Limestone Park – Ipswich. Cross country is a chance to have a race in the parks of Brisbane, and it’s open to everyone - 10 years to Masters. Cross country has a twist for the open age groups, as you get to choose your distance - Short Course (3km), Medium Course (4-5km) Long Course (6km-10km). The QUTAC Tigers will be at each event, with some running cross country for the first time, it’s a perfect opportunity to get involved. https://qldathletics.org.au/index.cfm/competition/
Good luck out there on your run, walk or roll and go get ‘em Tigers