Interview: Martin Dent

Marty Dent is a hard working man, no mistake can be made there! As well as coaching himself he also works as a full time Public Servant in Canberra whilst being a father to three boys!

Martin has just competed at his first Olympic Games for Australia having previously represented the Green and Gold at the Commonwealth Games as a Steeplechaser in 2006 (finishing in a fantastic 4th place) and as a Marathoner in 2010 (finishing an impressive 6th). 

Qualifying and being selected for an Olympic Games has been a long time coming too as he had previously achieved the standards for the 2000 and 2008 Olympics in Steeplechase but for one reason or another, the selectors chose not to pick him!

Martin has a marathon personal best of 2:12:23 which he set at Fukuoka, Japan in 2011 and he has stated that he would like to reach a time of 2:10 or better before his career is over.

When did you start running and did you have any particular reasons for starting?

I started running through the school and Little Athletics Club systems. I found I did alright and always performed better in the longer races. I especially liked cross country.

If you could run with and/or race anyone, anywhere who would it be and where? Over what distance and on which surface?

It would have been great to race the Australian Edwin Flack at the first Olympics in 1896. He won the 800m and 1500m. It only took 4:35 to win the 1500m, surely I could have managed that even in 1896!

Running wise, who do you look up to and who has inspired you?

The legends of Australian marathon running during my career have been Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti. They were both the best in the world in their time and the occasional conversations I have had with them have always been rewarding.

What are your favourite training conditions and are they the same as your favourite racing conditions?

Heading to the track on a warm, but not hot, evening in the Summer can make training so much easier – I enjoy those days even if the track sessions are brutal. For racing a cold day usually suits me best especially when it comes to a marathon.

What is your fondest memory of running and, conversely, your worst?

Being selected and then the entire journey to and through the Olympics was awesome this year. My selection was no sure thing so when I heard the news (I received a phone call during a run – I was carrying my phone just in case!) I was ecstatic. The whole Olympic experience was incredible including the ceremonies and heading to the track for some of the big moments of the Olympics. Competing well at the end of the program was a great reward and ending to my Olympic experience.

One of my worst memories is missing the steeplechase water jump on the first lap at the Australian Junior Nationals. I was so focussed on doing everything right that it all went wrong – like spelling your own name wrong on an important form! I bounced back the next day running a personal best in the Open race.

Where do you see yourself in six years?

I would be surprised if I was still chasing the road race scene. I imagine I will be fitting in exercise around my family and work commitments and doing the occasional adventure race or maybe even an ultra marathon. I will also be planning my 40th birthday.

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