Lara Crouch has been running around the world since she was 14.
The Year 12 student, Sports Captain and Prefect has notched up an impressive string of international running experiences, competing in Budapest at the World U19 Schools Cross Country in 2018 and in Fiji at the Oceania Athletics competition in 2017. In July this year, Lara jetted to Finland to compete in the U20 World Championships.
It was in the Finnish city of Tampere where Lara, the youngest competitor at just sixteen, placed an incredible 10th in the world and ran a personal best (9:16.28) in her 3,000 metre event.
Lara said it was a huge personal achievement to place 10th.
“Coming into the comp I was ranked fairly lowly so to come out with a 10th was crazy, especially since I was the youngest in the race. Some people were three years older than me. Plus, a PB to top it off was even better. I can make the team again in two years so hopefully I can achieve a better position then and another PB,” said Lara.
The chance to compete in the world competition certainly allowed Lara to immerse herself in the culture of Finland and adapt to new and different experiences.
“I had to adjust to the different training tracks in the lead up to the event. Finland doesn’t seem to have many full-length 400m tracks. At the pre-comp camp in Pujahlati, we trained on an indoor track, which I’ve never done before. It was only 330m long, which made running certain distances difficult. In Tampere, the training track was also a different length - 350m.
“The Finnish have really different eating patterns to Australians too. They have an early dinner at around 4:30/5pm, then eat another meal around 9pm which looked like breakfast food to me. Then at breakfast, they would eat lunch/dinner looking food. It was as if all their meals were swapped,” said Lara.
For now, Lara is taking a break before QGSSSA Athletics at the end of this year.
Beyond that, she has her sights set globally hoping to achieve her goal of making the Australian Cross Country team which will run in Denmark next year. She will also try for the World Uni’s team later next year which will compete in Italy.
With so much international experience already under her belt, the world truly is Lara’s oyster.