Interview: Katherine Prumm

Former motocross world champion

Katherine Prumm is enjoying her new life. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Katherine Prumm is enjoying her new life. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Q: Your name has been popping up in a few running events lately, including second place at the Rotorua half marathon at the weekend. Are you competing for fun, or is it more a serious thing?

A: A bit of both really. I'm enjoying the challenge of being able to test my body since my motocross accident a few years ago and I'm also working as a performance physiologist for Athletics New Zealand for its distance running programme, so it's cool to be able to apply what I'm learning in my role for my own training.

Q: How long have you been concentrating on running?

A: Probably only seriously for the last year. I started with my coach [John Pylden] about eight months ago.

Q: Did you think you'd be as competitive as you are?

A: The competitive nature in me wants to be up the front, but I know I don't have as many years behind me as some of the other girls and I'm very aware of that, so my goal is always to go out and do the best time I can.

Q: The other girls wouldn't have broken their back in three places either. Are you amazed at how far you have come physically since your accident?

A: Definitely. If you'd asked five years ago if I'd be doing what I'm doing now, the doctors and I would have said no, there's no way I could run that much. My body has come a long way and that's probably why I love physiology so much because the body never fails to amaze you in what it can do.

Q: Does your back still give you a lot of grief?

A: It's pretty good, I've done a lot of rehab over the last few years to get it strong again, so it's pretty good from that sense. To be honest, it doesn't seem to mind running or light work in the gym, the thing it hates is sitting in a desk chair all day so getting out and getting active helps a lot.

Q: Did your doctors have any reservations about you doing all this running?

A: I'm not sure if they know if I'm doing it. I think the doctors will realise that I'm pretty driven and I was always going to get back to being an active person, it didn't matter if it was running or cycling, I would have found a way to keep busy. It hasn't happened overnight, it's been a slow progression and my coach has been really good about making sure my training has been increasing at a rate my body can handle.

Q: Sounds like you've well and truly caught the running bug, do you miss motocross at all?

A: I think initially I did a lot. Obviously it was a huge part of my life but now I'm still involved with people in the sport, but I think that I did it for so long that I was ready for a new challenge, and I've just embraced my study and my new role at High Performance Sport and moved on to the next thing in life.

Q: Do you still keep an eye on results and what is happening in motocross competitions?

A: Every now and then when it pops up on Facebook and that sort of thing. I've still got friends that do it but I wouldn't say I madly check it on a Monday morning.

Q: Do you enjoy working with top-level athletes?

A: Definitely, if I can't be an athlete myself I want to be able to hopefully use some of the tools I learnt with my own experiences and use them to help other athletes.

- NZ Herald

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