RT Interview with Craig Huffer: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
Craig you’ve been sidelined most of the season through injury. Can you tell us a bit about it and where you’re currently at in training?
Getting struck down for the 6th year running was tough. In 2010, I felt the world was at my feet after my 3.36 as a 20year old off minimal training. However, since then I’ve spent more days off the training track than on it.
After my last setback I have worked closely with the rehab team at South Yarra Spine & Sports Medicine & Tan Track Club. Using 3D motion analysis, the team of practitioners in correspondence with my Coach (Ron Warhurst) have been able to iron out a number of my underlying issues that have caused my reoccurring injuries. It now feels good to be back running pain free!
I’m hopeful that taking one step back this year, will allow me to take two steps forward over the coming years. In January, I’ll re-join the Very Nice TC crew for the January training camp in New Zealand.
Early on in the year, you had a successful race in Boston finishing 5th (3:58) and watching your training partner, Nick Willis break the NZ record for the mile (indoor). What’s it like racing on the big stage over there compared to competing in Australia?
It was an exciting night to be apart of Team Willis. I enjoy racing in America at the professional meets, as there is a real connection between the fans and athletes.
You were a student athlete at Adam’s State University. With hindsight, what did the college running experience mean to you?
To play a small part in the most successful cross country program in collegiate history is something I will forever treasure. It was a fantastic experience that offered me many rewards and highlights.
Where are you currently at in your studies?
After joining the Very Nice Track Club at the end of 2011, I transferred my studies to Deakin University – Bachelor Business/Sport Management. I am now in the final stages of graduating after doing it all on a part time basis.
Has the thought of just being in contention to make the Rio team, been a motivating factor in your return?
Absolutely, It has always been my dream. But at the moment I’m just trying to take it stride-by-stride, day-by-day. Things will happen if I can stay fit and healthy over time.
Could you tell us about one of your most memorable races?
Representing Australia at World Junior Championships was by my far greatest honour, but my most memorable and satisfying result was bouncing back from two stress fractures to place 4th at the 2012 5th Avenue Mile in 3.53.
What’s it like training under Ron Warhurst with the Very Nice Track Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan?
I am most fortunate to have training partners such as Nick Willis and Will Leer. We are all very much individual personalities but we all share that blue-collar attitude when it comes to the training track. This is helped by the fact that Ronnie is a real mentor in allowing us to grow as individuals on and off the track.
The Very Nice TC is a unique training group in that we can be a world apart at times, but we are still looking out for each other as one big family. It’s always an exciting time when we all get together in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Favourite restaurant in Ann Arbor?
Quickie Burger on the corner of Hill & State Street on football game day is always my fav.
Do you cook much and if so what’s one of your specialty meals?
I cook, but doesn’t mean I eat it. Usually a Wednesday night Oyster Velouté with sterlet caviar is my go to.
All the best with your running endeavours.