With her support team and family behind her, Amanda Roberts has become a national champion. Knowing that she always craved more out of the sport of racing, Roberts found her niche as a member of the USATF Masters track and field team and set her sights on winning gold! And, she did just that.
Tell us about you!
I’m a mother of three (ages 6, 8, and 12) and an athlete. My main focus in life is my family. Keeping everyone healthy and making sure everyone is where they need to be, with everything they need for whatever part of the day it is. All three kids do various extracurricular activities; so, between school and sports, our mornings and afternoons are full and hectic! But, while the kids are at school, I get to dedicate a few hours each day towards my training.
How long have you been racing/ running?
My love for sprinting began when I was just a little girl. I loved racing the other kids, especially the boys, because I’d usually win! For me, finding that special something I knew I was good at meant a lot to me, and I just kind of latched onto it. I couldn’t wait to get into middle school so I could join the track team. I took a long break from competing after high school, but that love for running fast never left.
What do you enjoy most about racing/ running?
Racing definitely helps channel my competitive nature, but the training is what helps keeps me balanced. The track is a great place to go and burn off stress—a place where you can go and just be aggressive! There are some evenings when, after a particularly trying day of parenting, my husband will get home from work, and I’m like, “The kids are yours! I’m going to the track!” I guess I’m someone who needs physical activity to stay centered, and running track helps to meet that need.
What keeps you motivated?
My next meet. Defending my National titles. The goals I’ve set for this coming season.
Tell us how you got into racing/ running?
I began running again as a way to get back into shape after my first baby was born. I did some 5k’s and even the Gate River Run once, but things never clicked for me. I wasn’t fast at running distances; I wasn’t able to compete in a way that was fulfilling to me. There are elite distance runners, and then there are runners. I fell into the latter category. For plenty of people that is a fine place to be, but for me it was very unsatisfying. Then I learned about USATF Masters Track and Field, which is the National track and field circuit for athletes ages 35 and up. After that, the prospect of getting back into sprinting and competing on the track was too appealing for me to ignore. I knew I had to do it.
Definitely the sprint hurdles and the 100- meter dash. Both events are so technical and fast.
What was your biggest moment in running/racing? What did it mean to you?
My biggest moment was this past summer, becoming a National Champion and winning gold in the 100m and 200m races. It was my first outdoor National Championship meet and the biggest meet of my life. So, it was incredible to win my first golds there. We took gold in our 4x100m relay too, which was a really fun experience.
What is a goal you would like to complete in the near future?
The big goal for 2020 is to compete and medal at the World Masters Championships in Toronto this July. That will be a huge meet for me, with an expected 4,000+ athletes from all over the world coming to compete.
How would you encourage others to start living a 360life?
To anyone thinking about making a lifestyle change, I’d say you owe it to yourself. Being active and eating healthy will absolutely make you feel better in so many regards. Don’t wait until the New Year. Do it now!
What is your favorite way to wind down from a busy week?
This may sound lame, but I like to spend at least part of the weekend resting at home. And if there’s a track meet on TV, then that’s a truly perfect day of downtime.
What is your favorite food?
There are so many… Let’s go with tacos today. I may give you a different answer tomorrow!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
The USATF Masters community is always excited to welcome new participants at their local and national meets. If you are interested in competing, you can visit their website (https://usatfmasters.org/wp/) for lots of information on how to get started, as well as a list of upcoming events. There are athletes at every level who participate in this exciting sport, from former collegiate and professional athletes, to those who are just starting out for the very first time. How competitive you wish to be is up to you!
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROB JEROME AND AMANDA ROBERTS