Angie Smit: University a major part of long- and short-term goals

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A series on the build-up to next week’s Commonwealth Games from an athlete’s perspective.

Angie Smit. Photo / APN
Angie Smit. Photo / APN

I am a middle distance runner from Rangiora. I have dreamed of competing at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics since I was young, so to be named in the team was a dream come true.

I am studying part-time at the University of Canterbury towards a degree in education and psychology. I want to do the post-graduate diploma in teaching. I have a supportive family, and an amazing fiance who really help me in my running.

My aim for this European season is to make the final at the Commonwealth Games, to break two minutes for 800m and to place well in some of the big competitions (hopefully a couple of Diamond Leagues) before and after the Games.

My personal best is 2:00.03 so I'm close. I also want to run some really fast 1500s and would love to do the double at the Games, however, if I don't do the time in the 800-1500m double, but the 800m is my main event; the longer one would be a bonus.

As for goals, long term it's to win an Olympic medal and break the New Zealand 800m record held by one of my heroes, Toni Hodgkinson, at 1:58.25. My buildup since I arrived in Britain on July 7 has been okay, but I've had a busy period with university work.

I was still training pretty well but the workload seemed to reduce my energy levels a bit. My first race of this European season was an 800m in Bilbao, Spain. I came second in 2:03.99, so was a bit disappointed, but it was still a great experience, especially competing against top Cuban athlete Rose Almanza, who has a 1:59 PB.

My next race was super-special because it was at my fiance Sam's local track in north Devon, where I have been doing all my track and gym sessions since I arrived here. What was also really special was that Sam and I were in the same race. Because of it being a smaller meet (British Milers Club meet), the meet director thought I would like to go in the guys' race so I would have guys to chase and try to go for a good time.

I ended up running 2.03.1 hand-timed, so it was another all-right race, but not spectacular.

However, I managed to get my third fastest time in winning the 800m at the BMC meet in Manchester last weekend, clocking 2:00.59, so was delighted with that.

I am starting to feel a lot better since finishing my university work and hope my racing will improve soon.

I will do everything I can to give myself the best chance of a top result in Glasgow and keep training super hard, as I always do.

I know that every step, even when I feel like every muscle in my body wants to stop, is a step closer to reaching my dreams.

I feel so blessed to be in this position, living my dream and training in such a beautiful part of the UK and travelling to races around Europe.

The rolling countryside, nice beaches and the all-weather track make for a great training environment.

Angie Smit is part of the SKY NEXT team SKY NEXT supports talented Kiwi athletes She will contest the 800m in Glasgow.

Angie Smitt is part of the Sky Next team. Sky Next supports talented Kiwis athletes.

- NZ Herald

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