Anything can happen in the Olympic marathon
Melbourne University Athletic Club member Lisa Weightman will compete in the women’s marathon at London 2012. This will be her second Games after debuting in Beijing in 2008 where she finished 33rd.
Weightman will join a long list of Athletic Club members who have represented Australia at the Olympics including middle distance greats Merv Lincoln and Ralph Doubell (Mexico City 1968 gold medallist in the 800m) and sprinters Nova Peris and Lee Naylor.
While the convenience of having Melbourne University’s training facilities only minutes away from her Northcote home was a factor in Weightman’s decision to join the club in 2010, it is as much an affinity based on the club’s strong team atmosphere.
“The track is pretty close and (husband) Lachlan and I have always done a lot of training at Princes Park,” she says. “It’s great to be part of a club environment close to home.
“It’s nice to run a club race and just be part of that running community again. Sometimes when you’re going to world championships or representing Australia, there’s quite a lot of pressure. To just be part of a local race where everyone’s excited to be there and enjoying themselves – it reminds you why you run in the first place.”
Weightman successfully manages her full time training load with her day job as a business consultant with IBM. August this year will mark Weightman’s 10th year at IBM, and while she admits that it’s a tough mix at times, she also recognises the value in leading a balanced lifestyle.
“It isn’t ideal having to train very early in the morning or late in the evening, and it can take its toll, but it’s about finding the balance and really listening to your body,” she says.
“It’s nice to experience other areas of life that you just don’t get as a full-time athlete. I think I’d probably go a little crazy as a full-time athlete.”
Experience has taught Weightman to be careful in setting goals prior to an event. In a race extending over 42km in distance, anything can happen.
“It (the Olympic marathon) is the race where you want to take a few risks and get the very best out of yourself. As long as I feel like I’ve given it a good crack and have nothing left to give, I’ll be happy.”