One of the key aims of the Tasmanian Road Runners is to not only make it an easy transition for those who are looking to take up running, but also show how an individual can benefit from making running a key part of their life, providing they enjoy it, of course. So when the TRR committee decided that member profiles would be a great addition to the website, there inevitably came talk of who we should first approach. This conversation soon morphed into talk about membership and whether it would be a good idea to give out the #1 member card to someone who we thought best embodied the idea and values of TRR.

In order to find out who this person should be, several ideas were floated….

Should we have a contest where people write in and share their own running story?

Should we have members of the running community nominate the person who they believe is most worthy?

Should we put it to a vote on Facebook?

While these approaches weren’t necessarily bad, we realised that the most fitting person was right under our nose. Dave Bailey is arguably Tasmania’s most prevalent runner; you’ll see him at most of the fun runs around the state. Whether it’s the Bruny Island Ultra, Point to Pinnacle, Flinders Island Running Festival or the Westbury Fun Run, Dave will be there. Despite the fact that his work ethic has resulted in him being a regular in the front of the field, his motivation for running has never changed.

He just loves it.

You’ll never hear him talk about wanting to win (although on many times has) or worry about where his fitness level is at going into a race.

He just loves it.

Like many recreational runners, Dave started running relatively late in life – well, 19 is pretty late for a 25 year old – and in a relatively short time he has shown what an individual can achieve if they are committed. He has a great attitude toward running, just as he has a great attitude toward life. Be sure to say hello to Dave at your next fun run.

He’ll probably be there.

After all, Dave Bailey has, does and will always run this island.

View Dave’s profile below.


We’d love to hear your running story!

E-mail us here.

10805701_10205482061474422_1252088390362585843_nDave Bailey: in his own words…

I was never particularly good at running at school. I was used to watching my faster friends sprint away from me over the shorter distances. I would rather throw discuss or shot put than run mindless laps around the track. I never ate healthily and would rather spend hours in front of the TV playing Grand Theft Auto. In Grade 10, I noticed I was actually not too bad of a runner over longer distances. Two second places in the Cross Country and 1500m surprised me – but I was still outsprinted in both merely metres from the finish line. I have always been extremely active playing football and tennis every recess and lunchtime during High School. However, running by an of itself never interested me. I remember my friend who was selected to represent our school at the State Championships running 3km at a time and I thought he was crazy.

I did not consider running to be anything other than torture until I was 18. One day, while visiting my parents on Flinders Island during College school holidays, my Mum suggested I should participate in the local fun run. Not wanting to back out of my Mum’s veiled challenge directed towards making me get back into some form of sport I decided to give it a go. It was a 5km run which had been won by the local policeman the last couple of years. He was a talented runner who had a sub 16 minute 5km personal best and I could not believe someone could run that fast. My main motivation for lacing up and stepping out the door an hour after my Mum’s suggestion was to get fit. I had been a chubby kid in my younger years and had been bullied about my weight when I was younger. I had always been fit but self-conscious and embarrassed about my weight.

An hour later I headed out the door towards “the bridge” down the road which I knew was 2.5km away. Little did I know, this course would soon become a daily challenge which I would relish and attempt to run a new personal best every day (those days are now long gone!) I settled into what I consider to be a fast pace. My heart was soon attempting to escape my chest and my legs felt like lead by halfway. I almost pulled the pin and started the demoralising walk home. However, something drove me to keep going I was going to do this 5km even if I had to crawl. I reached my the “Home Gate” finish line almost crawling. Hands on knees gasping for breath. I glanced at my watch – 28 minutes. At the time I was pretty happy with that considering I had thought running 5km non-stop impossible before!

Every day I ran the “Home Course” slowly improving my time. No warm up, stretch, recovery food or even shorts. This would become a distinctive feature of my initial participation in fun runs. I became the guy who wore track pants!

I had a severe motocross accident when I was 13. The bike flipped and came down heavily on my left leg. Soon after, my left leg started to swell uncontrollably to the extent it was more than twice as large as my right. We waited for tests back from the doctor. One day I walked inside after school. Mum and Dad were both at the table crying. They told me I had cancer. We lived with this belief for a week before a subsequent test revealed I had been misdiagnosed, I did not have cancer and in fact had a permanent condition caused from the accident called lymphedema. The doctor informed us it was not life-threatening but still a permanent and serious condition which needed continual maintenance to stop the swelling.

That is why you may have seen me a couple of years ago wearing trackpants. They were to hide my severely swollen left leg. They never prevented me from running well – my “trackpant PB” for 10km was 34 minutes and 59seconds! Not bad I would say! Soon after running, I discovered the training actually helped my leg significantly. Today, to the surprise of specialists, my leg is back to normal. I wear racing shorts and you would never guessed I even had the condition. Apparently specialists have never seen such a positive outcome. Usually it is a chronic long-term condition. It was the running that has helped me become the person I am today. It gave me confidence.

I soon learned how much I loved running. I had two weeks before the local fun run. My time went from 28minutes to 25 then 22. One day I laced up and broke twenty minutes for the first time – I was addicted. All I wanted to do was get the best out of myself. I did not care where I finished in the race so long as I gave it my best on the day. Being a small community, word soon spread that I was doing “serious training” and out on the roads every day. Back then I thought a 5km training run was pretty serious!

On race day, I stuck with the lead bunch. I thought I would never be able to recover from the early fast pace. However, I zoned out, focussed on the present and soon I was at the finish – my first win in the Flinders Five. A race I have participated in every year since! From then on, I started to train seriously and good results soon followed. My life has dramatically changed since I laced up those shoes 6 years ago. Running has given me more than I can ever put into words. I have met my best friends through running. I continue to be inspired and motivated by other runners. Running is now a part of who I am entrenched for life. I cannot imagine not lacing up the shoes for the daily run. The highlight of my week is heading out for a long run surrounded by mates chatting the entire way and pushing each other. I now eat healthy, barely watch TV and 5km is nothing more than a warm up. Running is a lifestyle.

Today I race a diverse range of distances from 3km up to Ultra Marathons. However, I have found my niche racing in ultra distance events – pushing myself further than I ever though imaginable.

I am glad to be a part of the Tasmanian Road Runners. Formed by a fantastic bunch of people who are great runners but even better people. I appreciate all the friendships I have formed and the good times we always have. We all share a common approach to running. It is about maximising YOUR potential. It is not about results or competition. Sure that is a part of running and is to be enjoyed. However, running primarily is for enjoyment and self-fulfilment no matter your age, weight, gender, beliefs or religion. We want to share this fabulous thing we call running with as many like-minded people as we can. Running is fun and should not be considered torture. Running for me has created some of the strongest bonds in my life. I would be nothing without the experiences I have had so far and will continue to through running.

Joining TRR will provide you with the best opportunity for you to maximise your potential, have fun, live a healthy lifestyle and share in the camaraderie of the Tasmanian Road Runners.

See you somewhere on the Roads soon!

– Dave


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