Next month the reality of a debut Commonwealth Games will come true for Frankston marathon runner Sarah Klein who twelve months ago would never have anticipated nomination by Athletics Australia to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to compete in Glasgow.
It was only when a friend made Klein aware she might have run a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 2:42:30 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon was the idea of competing in Glasgow entertained.
“A friend of mine text me and said you might have done a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games and I thought, I never even though of that, so I looked it up and I was 23 seconds off of the b qualifier and after speaking to my coach we thought there was always a chance with the marathon, you never know what’s going to happen so we had crack,” Klein said.
The fourth place finish in Melbourne instigated a growing ambition for the Caulfield Grammar School teacher to put in place the steps to have a serious attempt at making her first senior Australian team.
“I attempted Gold Coast in 2012 and got injured the week before and went back in 2013 but pulled up a bit lame in the lead up so my debut was Melbourne 2013, it actually took three attempts to get to the start line of a marathon to begin with and now I’m coming up to my third one and guess I’m a marathon runner now,” said Klein.
Focus turned to Europe and at the Marathon Rotterdam in the Netherlands in April Klein secured the ‘B’ qualifying standard with a personal best time of 2:38:53.
“It’s a real relief to work so hard for something and to cross the line and to see the 2:38 I was really proud of myself and so stoked to get the b qualifier,” Klein said.
“A few things had to fall into place for me to be selected and I was, so I’ll take it and can’t wait to get over to Glasgow and run.”
Near on a month after Rotterdam Klein along with Essendon’s Liam Adams was added to make it a full quota of marathon runners nominated by Athletics Australia for the Glasgow Games.
Since nomination training including hill climbs every Sunday in the Dandenong’s has been stepped up and the gradual build-up to longer distances before departing for Glasgow next month has included wins in the 13.5km Puffing Billy’s Great Train Race and last weekend’s victory in the XCR’14 Round 3 6km course a Brimbank Park.
“This was my first XCR event that I’ve won, so I went one better than I did last round, it’s always a tough start out there going up the hill, but I was able to settle in a bit as we got going and felt alright so it was good,” Klein speaking after winning at Brimbank.
“It’s all preparation for the Commonwealth Games, the marathon is the goal and the bigger picture so the races I do in the lead up to that are part of the plan and then hopefully by the time July 27 comes around I’ll be fit and ready to go.”
With a new found belief in competing at this level Klein will be quietly confident heading to Glasgow.
The nomination period has now closed for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a joint announcement by Athletics Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association will take place on Thursday 5 June regarding the final list of athletes to be included on the Australian team.