The three Tanner siblings set a family record at last month's Bethlehem College cross country events in winning their individual titles.

Sam, 17, won the senior boys', Logan, 16, the intermediate boys' and Summar, 13, the junior girls' titles. They have continued their good form at the Bay of Plenty Mid Island Secondary School Cross Country and the Waikato Bay of Plenty Midlands Cross Country Championship events held since.

Summar says her big brothers are good role models and she certainly shares their competitive spirit.

"What I like most about cross country is the reward at the end if you do good. It is fun to know that you did your best. I have been running my whole life really but I like hockey too," she says.


Winning the school cross country title in front of the whole school was a highlight of her running career so far.

"Coming through the finishing line it was like 'Oh yes, it is done' and the pain is over. Then you know you have to go through to the next round but it was fun."

Logan is ambitious to keep improving.

"I love winning and competing, running on grass, climbing hills and running around places that are not just a circle. I would like to get top 10 at the secondary school nationals coming up this Saturday [in Taupo]. That would be pretty cool.

"I see Sam doing all these amazing results. I am very competitive as well so I want to live up to that but I try to live up to it on my own scale."

Amazing is certainly an apt description of what Sam has achieved in the past 12 months.

He is the reigning national secondary schools senior cross country champion and last month came within 20 seconds of being crowned the 2018 World Secondary Schools Cross Country champion in Paris.

The part of the race where the runners crossed central Paris near the Eiffel Tower is something he will not forget in a hurry.

"It was pretty surreal because it is not somewhere where a 17-year-old boy gets to go very often. My mum said as a joke that she did not send me all that way and pay all that money for me to come second. She was only joking, but it gave me motivation to set a massive goal for myself to win it.

"I got to 1km to go and thought 'Sweet, I am still here' and it went well until the end."

Sam is not just a cross country specialist.

He is also the national secondary schools 1500m track champion and next month will take on the very best middle distance runners at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Finland.

"Looking at the Kenyans and Ethiopians it is pretty incredible to think they are running 3.30 for 1500m where I can run 3.46 at the moment. I think I can get down to 3.40 but it is more about the experience than the placing at these champs."