Travelling and fitness training are fusing into a way of life for Tim Hazell, founder of ProSport. Sharing Bali has been running Bootcamps with ProSport for a few years and every time I see Tim he is investigating a new destination for a ProSport trip. New York is one of those destinations. My life in the fashion world allowed me to get to know NYC like a local. It is a city that is equally exciting and frustrating, but it has a heartbeat all of it’s own. I haven’t visited for a few years so I grab any chance to hear travellers tales. I’m asking Tim what it is like to take a group of clients to race in the NYC Marathon.
K: Describe the vibe on race day. Any sign of nerves amongst the group or is it pure excitement?
T: The vibe is so electric, with over 45000 runners standing around listening to New York New York its hard not to be pumped up with goosebumps popping up all over your body. It’s a mixture of nerves & excitement. The key is to take it all in & then try & focus on your race plan & stick to it. After 10 months of solid training, you just stand there amazed its all about to begin! Its an awesome feeling.
K: Highlight of the race day for you?
T: The big highlight for me is the fact everyone in the team is standing there with me. Having the team all fit & ready is such a great feeling. The other thing I love about fun runs (especially New York) is the atmosphere of the start line. Its honestly amazing (& very addictive).
K: Most nerve-wracking moment?
T: I think everyone has moments of ‘have I trained enough’ ‘am I hydrated’ ‘am I going to finish.’ My moment was the 32k mark when my body said slow down or I am stopping you. I felt amazing & then suddenly I hit the famous marathon wall. That was pretty hard to deal with.
K: Most memorable moment for a client?
T: I just love seeing everyone at the finish line. Its so emotional & exciting words can’t really describe what I am trying to say. When you have been working with a group for over 10 months you become a little family so its get very emotional which I what I really like about what we do. Whitney was a girl who when first started could only run 2ks. 2 years later she smashed out New York. Roger was very similar, at his first training session he said he isn’t a team player & no one is to help or encourage him. 10 months later he was my lieutenant & loves everything about running with the team. They are 2 examples of about 50 I could say.
K: There must be a lot to celebrate post-race. What do the ProSport crowd get up to?
T: We have a great meeting spot in New York just around the corner of Central Park. They are a physio business who have welcomed us in. All our friends & family meet us there & we do our recovery session followed by some food & well earnt beers. Then head back to the hotel for a quick wash & then straight out to dinner & a few more drinks. Everyone is on such a high it’s a pretty amazing night (ps – wearing our marathon medal out is a MUST)
K: NYC doesn’t wait for anyone. Pedestrian pace is fast. Yellow Cabs toss you out at your destination, impatient for the next fare. I have visions of race goers shuffling amongst the crowded sidewalks at pensioner pace the next day. “Jumping into a cab” could present a challenge when bodies don’t bend. I can only imagine the amount of soreness and fatigue being shared amongst the group from the race and possibly the ensuing celebrations. What do you plan for the day after the race?
T: We all wake up with sore bodies from the run & very sore heads from the drinks – its not a pretty sight. We get everyone to have a cold bath in the morning, wear some compression tights all day & try and walk around a bit. It’s a tough day but the great thing is every step of pain just reminds us we are a New York Marathoner runner.. so you just deal with it (as best as you can).
K: NYC is an amazing city. What’s at the top of your “must do/see/eat/drink/shop” list?
T: I fell in love with all the local delis & health cafes around the place. The Buddakan is a must for dinner (especially if you are a Sex in the City fan) the Standard Hotel is a great pub. I love my sports so anything on I will go & watch. The place just pumps & the thing I loved about it was you just kept finding new things with every turn. Also hiring a bike & riding around Central park is pretty cool.
K: I’m sure your peers think that taking a group to the NYC Marathon is a thinly disguised excuse for a holiday rather than a “real job”. I know what goes on behind the scenes here at Sharing Bali to create a successful retreat, so I have some empathy. How do you respond?
T: Its not an easy job but as I always say when everyone crosses the line – it was all worth it. Training people for a marathon (most of the time, their first marathon) is a really tough thing to do. But just like you Karen, we are in it for the right reasons which is why people keep coming back. I just took a group to Kilimanjaro which was tough to train & prepare for but once we all were sitting at summit I just sat there & thought it was all worth it. It’s a pretty unique feeling.
K: ProSport has a hectic race schedule in Australia. Is it a pre-requisite that they complete local events prior to travelling to international events?
T: We like all the guys to do at least one ½ marathon. Generally the program runs for 10 months so at the 6 month mark, we all run a ½ marathon (either RUN Melbourne or the Gold Coast) once they achieve that milestone then everything becomes focused around the marathon. The first 6 months is pretty much training for a ½ & then all the big runs come into play. We are pretty lucky in Australia to have so many good to events to run in. I love all the Sydney runs. Maybe next year we can do the Bali marathon?
T: that’s a great question. We are heading to Athens next year followed by Tokyo in 2015. We have a really exciting 12 months coming up.. its going to be a big year!
K: Your family are an important part of the ProSport business. I have met just about every immediate family member on our Bali Bootcamps. They are not bystanders, they get into every moment and make the most of it. I love it when I see there is more than one “Hazell” listed on the client manifest. How many Hazells have you convinced to run a marathon?
T: haha. My family love it. They have really embraced ProSport & the ProSport clients have really embraced them which is nice. Andrew, Fiona & I all did Paris together along with Fi’s husband Archie & my girlfriend Eli. That was a really special day for us all. Mum has done Bali Bootcamp 3 times (she will back in 2015) Livvy has done Bali & is eyeing off Kokoda. Fi has done New York & Bali a few times & my older brother is doing New York next year (he has done Bali as well) Dad hasn’t done Bali but he came to Kokoda & smashed it. The next big trip will be a Kokoda with my son Harry, Dad & Livvy. We have all had lots of amazing times pushing & challenging ourselves. Some people think we are all nuts but we all love it. ha
K: I enjoy the interval training in the run sessions on ProSport Bali Bootcamp, but given the choice I will trek 90 kms rather than run 9kms. So it is unlikely I will be lining up at the start line with you at the next marathon. I have put a ProSport Mt Kilimanjaro climb on my bucket list. What else is coming up for the non-runners amongst us?
T: Everyone is different so we have lots happening which all our clients like. Next year we have trips planned to Kokoda, Kilimanjaro, Everest BC, New York marathon, Athens marathon & of course our Bali Bootcamps which we love! We prep all our clients before they head away so everyone is prepared mentally & physically (if you are heading into a altitude environment such as Everest & Kilimanjaro – you will be training in our new altitude chamber which is really exciting for us).
K: Our 2014 ProSport Bali Bootcamps are planned for April and August. I look forward to hearing your travelling updates.
T: Thanks Karen, you are a gun. Can’t wait to see you & your amazing team next year.
Want to travel the world with Tim and the ProSport crew? Sign up and get ready to do some serious training! www.prosport.net.au