If there’s one person who knows how to push the boundaries of mental and physical capabilities, it’s Tia Jones from Springfield Lakes, Queensland.
Recognise the name? You’re not wrong there.
Jones was also part of the 100k World Team that ran in Croatia this past September, and in 2017 was named Australian Female Ultra Runner of the Year. At age 52, she has accomplished some amazing things, including running the 10th best distance in the world for a 12hr (128.689kms/Aust W50 record) set at the Canberra 12hr in March and taking the Australian W50 record at the 24hr race in Adelaide that same year.
Jones’ 100k World Team bio can be found here, but in the meantime, she just keeps racking up the distances. Her experience includes running Comrades seven times and focusing on timed track races, admitting she truly enjoys the 24/12/6hr format of racing.
Her qualifying race to get on the Australian team for the 24hr Asia & Oceania Championships was her very first 24-hour event – the Canberra 24hr in 2017, where she managed a whopping 210kms.
She reveals her fascination with the distance is all about how the body reacts when it’s pushed to its limits.
“It’s all about the challenge of pushing yourself mentally and physically,” she says.
“The mental side of long distance running is so important, and it’s amazing what you can achieve if you can get your mental focus right on the day.
“The body will do what your mind tells it to do, regardless of how tired you are.
“It’s always a great honour and privilege to represent your country, so I was delighted when I heard that I had qualified for the team.”
One of the things that attracts Jones to the sport, though, is how inclusive ultra running, or running in general, is.
“Running is a wonderful sport, and is for everyone,” she explains.
“It’s a way to get fit, make new friends, see the world and to challenge yourself.
“There’s no limit to what you can do; try new races and distances, the satisfaction and self-confidence you’ll gain will set you up to take on any challenges that life throws at you along the way.”
Pictured: Tia Jones racing in the 2018 Ned Kelly Chase. Photograph – Ned Kelly Chase website/Facebook.