- Twilighter Stories -

Natasha Price

Hopefully this is what you guys are after…Twilight Bay Half Marathon holds such a special place in my heart. I will be forever grateful for the part Twilight Bay, its participants and organisers have played in my journey to becoming a wheelchair racer. I first took part in my day wheelchair, just a few months after being unable to get out of bed for 9 years and making the decision I had to stop letting my disability control my life. I was absolutely petrified about my ability to complete a half marathon, given I could barely get around my house just months before plus, being legally blind, the lighting on course and obstacles I may encounter certainly put forward their own set of unique challenges. But with the support of the volunteers and shouts of encouragement from other runners on course, I made it to the finish line. My love of racing was cemented in that moment, and I am so incredibly thankful for that. Twilight Bay is such a unique event; it’s so much fun to race at night on a great little, mostly flat course along the Wynnum foreshore, I’m so happy to see it return this year and can’t wait to take part in the inaugural Wheelies Race.


Natasha Price ( Wheels Category)


Why do you enjoy running in Twilight?


I always love taking part in Twilight Run Series events because of the atmosphere that surrounds them. Not only are the intraining team members incredibly supportive and approach their events with a “can-do” attitude, but they have created a wonderful, fun, family environment at their races, making it a pleasure to participate in. Due to this environment, everybody on course is incredibly supportive of one another, which results in a great experience. Regardless of my performance on the day, I always cross the finish line with a smile on my face.


What is a typical training week for you?


I generally train 7 days per week. I do 10 – 20 km of intervals on training rollers (the equivalent of a treadmill) 4 days per week. 2 days are for a distance road session of either 25+ km or 45+ km, depending on my schedule and the specific event I am training for. I also train in my home gym 6 days per week, for around 2 hours per session. This includes a mixture of strength training, preferring free weights and bands to machines, plus boxing. I use the seventh day as an active recovery session, often just stretching and an easy outdoor push in my day chair or, in summer, a swim.


Do you have a special diet for race day… particularly for an afternoon race?


Usually I eat a high protein, low carb (except from non-starchy vegetables), medium fat, clean diet, however, for 96 hours prior to race day I increase the ratio of carbohydrate to protein to 50:50. As much as possible, I only tend to take any extra carbs from healthy sources, including starchy vegetables and low sugar fruits. I tend to make this transition earlier than most would need to as I have a paralysed digestive system, supplemented via an abdominal feeding tube, so it consequently takes days, as opposed to hours, for any oral intake to digest and I want to be race ready.


How do you stay focused on the race so you can keep running strong?


I know what my end goal is (Tokyo 2020 Paralympics), and I am 100% focused on what I need to do to get there. My goal is to better my PB each time I push a similar event (flat, hilly, loop course – greater difficulty for wheelies), however, as with Twilight Run 2019, it isn’t always possible to do that, so I just remember that the experience of getting to the end of a tough race will always offer knowledge I can draw from in future events. And, to be honest, getting to the end of a race I have really struggled in gives me a much greater sense of achievement then one I have breezed through, no matter what time I came away with.


Who is your support crew?


My coach and close friend, retired para- athlete, Adam Sheppard. Plus my mum and dad often tag along to local races with me.


Your Quote?


“Regardless of your circumstances, there are infinite possibilities for any person willing to step outside their comfort zone, embrace their challenges and take on life”.


Anyway, I hope that is everything. Let me know if there is anything else you need from me.