MY STORY (SO FAR)
Name: Alexander Hartmann
Born In: Adelaide
Living In: Brisbane
100m PB: 10.29
200m PB: 20.45
Height: 6ft 4in / 195cm
“I was told by a number of teachers to stop dreaming, be realistic and pick a ‘real’ job”
Sprinting always has and always will be my passion.
It was after I won my first race in preschool that my passion for sprinting was ignited and since that day, I’ve seen myself as a sprinter. Throughout school I would compete when ever the chance arose but would often get beaten when it came time to race kids from private schools – who obviously had been training for a period of time. It wasn’t until 2009 when I was sixteen that I met my coach, Travis Venema, that things started to change. After a few months of training I was on par with the kids who had beaten me in previous years and after years of trying, finally had the chance to compete at the state level.
As the years went by my training load increased, going from one to two sessions a week to five. As a result of all the training and hard work I was finally quick enough to compete at the National level – which happened to be my final year as a junior (I was nineteen years old). I went into the Australian Junior National Championships unknown and after tying fourth in the 100m and placing third in the 200m, I found myself as part of the Australian 4x100m relay team that was heading to Barcelona for the IAAF World Junior Championships later that year. I ended up being a reserve for the relay but the experience was amazing. Experiencing another country and seeing how an international competition worked fired me up for the years to come!
Fast forward to 2014 and after countless training sessions I had become even quicker. My times had dropped by a quarter of a second in the 100m and after a fairly decent domestic season I was selected as part of the 4x100m relay team that would represent Australia at the first ever IAAF World Relay Championships. Although I was going over as a reserve I was expecting to compete and in the warm up before the big race, an athlete injured themselves. Before I knew it I was racing some of the best athletes on the planet! I wasn’t scared or nervous. I felt like that’s exactly where I belonged and I took in every little detail so I could use it as fuel for training when I got back home.
A couple of months went by after the World Relays and I received a call to say that I had been selected as part of the Australian Team heading to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games for the 4x100m relay. I was unbelievably excited! The experience was something else and I learnt so much about athletics, international competitions and about myself. I ended up being the reserve but told myself that that was my part to play this time around – but it certainly fueled the flame! I didn’t want to go to these major international competitions to just watch, I wanted to compete!
I went back to training – harder than ever! I wanted that individual spot on the Australian team!
The 2015 season was my best to date. Running within 0.09 seconds of the 200m World Championships qualifier, won a silver medal in the 100m at the Australian Nationals Championships and became the 200m Australian Champion. My performances earned me place on the 4x100m relay team at the 2015 IAAF World Relay Championships but wasn’t quite enough to get me into the IAAF World Championships in Beijing later that year (which I think was a blessing in disguise)!
After the 2015 Australian National Championships I made the decision to leave my job at Big W (an Australian retail outlet) which I had worked at for the last nine years to pursue my Olympic dream and train full time! That’s when things started to get serious! I started training ten or more times a week, started seeing a physio once a week, started getting regular massages and took control of my nutrition and eating habits.
2016 has already been a massive year! I’ve bettered the Olympic Qualifying Time twice for the 200m, running 20.45 seconds in Canberra and 20.46 seconds at Nationals in Sydney (20.50 is the Olympic Standard). I am undefeated over 200m for the 2016 domestic season and have bettered my 100m PB!
After winning the 200m and bettering the Olympic Qualifying Standard at Nationals, I have been selected to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games! This will be my first Olympics and I’ll be doing everything to make sure I leave an impression on the world!
One of my strengths is being unreasonable towards my goals and dreams. Over the years I’ve been told by a number of teachers and other people that I should stop dreaming, be realistic and pick a ‘real’ job. Of course I didn’t like what they had said but I never got angry, instead I wondered what made them think that way. At what stage did they give up on their own dreams and stop believing that anything is possible? When I told them I was going to be an Olympic Champion, I wasn’t looking for their approval or opinion, I was telling them a fact.
I now surround myself with people who believe in myself just as much as I believe in me. I refuse to be around people who aren’t striving for greatness because you become the average of the people you spend the most time with and I certainly don’t want to be average!
Believe in yourself, chase your dreams relentlessly and surround yourself with people who are doing great things. Good things happen to people who devote themselves to a cause!
Team Hartmann has continued to grow over the years. Starting with just my Track Coach, Travis, we’ve become a team that continues to grow every year. Everyone on my team is outstanding at what they do and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and expertise. Together we will take over the world! #TeamHartmann
(To find out more about my team, click on their photo!)
Being a full time athlete means not having a job which means no constant income. These wonderful companies believe in myself and my ability enough to help support me towards my goal of becoming and Olympic Champion. Without these sponsors, I’d undoubtedly be back at work not training full time watching my dream slip by.