Meet our New Coach! - ChickChat with Vanessa Murray

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List 5 interesting/random things about you

  1. I’m a kiwi (don’t hold it against me!).

  2. I have the most gorgeous fur-baby in the world! (You’ll hear me talk about Timba a lot!).

  3. My food weaknesses are definitely muffins and scones! (I will ride for food!)

  4. I’m a morning person - I pretty much can’t cope if I am up past 9pm!

  5. I am completely directionless - so don’t ask me for directions!

Coaching Philosophy & Style

I love to help people achieve their goals and realise that everyone’s goals and needs are different. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing what the triathlon journey can do for someone in the sense of self-improvement, self-confidence and just generally growing as a person and doing things that you never once thought you could or would do.

When did you start competing in triathlons and what was your first race experience like?

My first triathlon was a sprint distance back home in Auckland, NZ in 2009.  The cycling was soooo new to me and I was so petrified of getting a flat tyre, that I made my husband (then boyfriend) wait around the corner on his road bike so that he could ride with me for the bike leg of the race!  

What has been your most memorable achievement to date?

Definitely the experience of doing my first ever Ironman at the Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii.  Some people spend years trying to get there so I knew the opportunity I had was a special one and I didn’t take it for granted (I qualified for the race by winning Auckland 70.3 and they gave all 1st place finishers a spot to Kona). I had a great coach, an uber supportive network around me and the desire to make the most out of the experience.  I worked my ass off and came home with a podium finish - a very memorable and now kind of surreal experience!

What made you want to get into coaching?

Triathlon has personally brought me so much joy.  Yes, I enjoy improving and getting good results but more than this I have learnt so much about myself on my triathlon journey and have made the most incredible life long friends through the sport.  I want to help other women enjoy the experiences that triathlon brings and see them flourish and develop and just generally experience a sport that is genuinely I believe the best sport around!

Do you have any pre­ race rituals or superstitions in the days/hours before a big race?

I am a super organised person - I drive my husband crazy with all my lists! So for me just being super organised and preparing for all outcomes is something I always did/do. But one pre-race ritual I never diverted from is my pre-race dinner of pizza and coca cola.  The perfect combo of carbs, fats and protein! (not all my coaches have approved!).

What do you like to do when you are not training?

I have become a real foodie since moving to Melbourne - I love to visit different cafes and restaurants (although I am also a creature of habit so have my favs too!).  I love being outside in the summer and love to cozy up inside in the winter (with the hubby and Timba!).  

What is your favourite distance and why?

Ironman - I have always enjoyed the mental challenge that an Ironman presents.  Yes you need to do the training and be fit, but it is your mental strength that will be the key to your day out there.  Ironman is not about feeling great all day, it is about managing your day the best you can.

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Personal Racing Achievements

  • Best Half Time 4:34 Sunshine Coast 70.3 2015
  • Best Ironman Time 9:39 Ironman NZ 2016
  • 3rd place Ironman World Champs, Kona, Hawaii (2013, 25-29)
  • 2 x Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Age-Group Champion (2013 & 2015, 25-29).
  • 2nd place Taupo NZ Half Ironman (2014, Elite).
  • 2nd place Ironman NZ (2015, 30-34).
  • 6th place Challenge Half Melbourne (2016, professional).
  • 10th place Ironman NZ (2016, professional).
  • 4th place Challenge Full Taiwan (2016, professional).
  • 5th place Challenge Half Jeju, Korea (2016, professional).
  • 7th place Ironman Busselton (2016, professional).