My name is James Hansen. I am a middle distance runner from Melbourne. I am currently in training to try qualify for my first Olympics at Tokyo in 2021. My main event is the 1500m and in 2019 my world ranking peaked at 47. I am also the Current Australian Mile Champion.
I have worked numerous jobs for the past 5 years to support myself in a sport where I haven't received any funding despite my World ranking in 2019. I'm willing to sacrifice all of my funds to realise my dream of representing the country I love at the Olympic Games. Qualification is going to be tough and any support will help me in chasing this dream.
My story in running started as a little boy who did Little Athletics because my mum thought it would be good for me to do a sport. I found myself winning races very early into my athletics career and with that carried a lot of pressure. I would suffer severe anxiety before races and as an 8 year old and I would do anything I could do to get out of racing. It was fair to say I completely resented running.
This all changed for me when I was getting into my later teens and made a decision that I wanted to make an Olympics. Unfortunately for me at the time there was only one sport that I knew this could be a possibility. It wasn’t long after discovering this dream that a coach came into my life that taught me how to train as an elite athlete. It required consistency, discipline, a science based approach and me trusting and believing that his principals would help me achieve the results I was aiming for.
All of a sudden the anxiety that I faced as a young boy, almost completely subsided before races, because I knew that by having a training plan I could control the outcome. This completely changed the way I looked at running and I actually found myself finding joy in the process of finding my physical and mental limits as a runner.
I wrote a quote in 2018 describing what running now means to me and how through learning to train effectively you can experience the joy of running.
“It wasn’t till recently that I really understood how powerful running is. It’s not about winning the race against others, It’s about winning the race against yourself. Everyday you battle between your flesh telling you to quit and your spirit telling you to push harder. It’s always the size of your dream which determines which one wins. I don’t know any other sport which pushes your mind and body to the level which running does. But when you give your all, there is nothing more satisfying. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, it’s about winning that battle within your mind and body to truly understand your physical and mental limits”.
My favourite running story is Roger Bannister breaking the once impossible 4 minute mile. In the early 1950’s scientist’s said that humans don’t have the capacity to run a mile under 4 minutes and it could put their lives in danger if they even attempted this feat. One man however didn’t let this statement change his destiny and he decided to still believe in the impossible. He trained harder and smarter than anyone ever had before . On the 6th of May 1954 in front of a crowd of over 1000 doubters he became the first person to break this so called impossible feat. Just over 2 years ago I became the 69th Australian to break this barrier, and it was one of my proudest achievement because of what it represents.
One person fighting for their dream and through that helping many others break through their own barriers.
Mile (1609m): 3.59.32
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I welcome any tax deductible donation of any kind to help me realise my dreams and be the best athlete I can be!