Words: Good Sport
Images: Hayden Worsfold
Jake Robertson is a distance runner and he’s rolled some solid times right throughout most distances starting from 1500m. His 10km, half-marathon and marathon times are super impressive and that’s where the arrow is pointed. Jakes focus is tack sharp, maybe because he’s been living in the land of fast distance running ‘Iten, Kenya’ since he was a teen. Or maybe it’s the true New Zealand spirit he carries with him that pushes his determination, drive and boldness further. Either way – Jake is one hell of a runner and a super positive dude. Just check his instagram for an injection of inspiration.
The morning of his flight from New Zealand back to Kenya we managed to catch up with Jake at the track.
What is your mantra?
Believe in myself, go hard, get results, remain humble.
Childhood moment that put you where you are now?
I had just started High School and had made it to the North Island Championships for 3000m, the other boys had started training and I didn’t even know what ‘training’ was, so I was beaten. I didn’t like the feeling so I started training with big dreams in mind.
What are you thinking about the night before your event or race?
I try to think about most things but nothing that can cause emotion or to overthink things. I try to put myself in the type of mood that I have the night before every hard session during my training.
What keeps you up at night?
Over thinking the training program or life issues.
Do you think coming from New Zealand gives you a different edge and push. With things like Tall Poppy Syndrome and being a small island far away from everywhere else. How has coming from NZ shaped your approach as a runner.
While growing up in New Zealand I always felt I had to prove myself and no matter what I did, it never got recognised. This shaped me to strive against all odds and not to care what others think or say. I don’t know why but I always believed in myself through some very dark days.
Ultimate post-race meal…
It really depends if there’s another race close, but usually I try to smash a pizza or two!
What is your coach or mentor continuously telling you?
I’m self coached so I continually tell myself to control what I do in training.
Is it really all or nothing…
In my mind it is.
Is there more knowledge in failure or success?
Both, depending on if you remain humble with success.
Running being both a physical and mental sport – how much emphasis and training goes into things like mindfulness/training your brain and has there been a shift into more mindful based training in recent years? The hardest thing is to stay calm while thinking in depth about training & races. Maturity and patience have helped my younger influenceable self.
What sports person would you want to get breakfast with?
#1 travel tip as an athlete?
Stay warm and move about when you’re awake.
Last three albums you listened to?
Kid the rich – The world is Yours
Chris Brown & Tyga – fan of a fan
Kendrick Lamar – Black panther
If you could change one thing about your shoes, what would it be?
Nike’s working on it as we speak..
Best Sporting related film?
Most underrated sneaker?
After being a runner since your early teen years and running professionally for a good amount of time now, do you still get that ‘runners high’ or is it a different mentality/headspace now?
Still get them highs! It’s not every day but every time I finish a workout or run, I feel a sense of achievement towards my goal. It’s hard to explain but it’s a pretty sick vibe to catch. I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried running to give it a go.
What is your plan for the next week?
Get back into my training up at altitude in Kenya my second home.