Destined to SOAR: An interview with Chloe Harper,  long distance Trail Runner

Destined to SOAR: An interview with Chloe Harper, long distance Trail Runner

Celeste Kocabay

Destined to SOAR.

This interview series is aimed at celebrating, recognising and promoting the incredible talent and ferocious courage of our young women of tomorrow. 

Let's recognise the magnificent effort of girls' in sport across all codes!

Today our interview is with Chloe Harper, Soar Active had the privilege to catch up with Chloe and chat about her love for endurance running and gymnastics.

  1. Chloe, tell us about your early life?

Chloe: I am 12 yrs old and I live on a farm just outside of Launceston, Tasmania. I am a trail runner, though I do gymnastics and was also doing tumbling too but tumbling wasn’t good for my knees.

  1. So how did you discover trail running? 

Chloe: I’ve always loved running. I started Little Athletics when I was 6, though I really enjoyed the longer distances. I loved Little Athletics, but for my age group, the longest distance was 400m. For fun I would use our 2km driveway as my racetrack and run up and down it.

When Dad saw my passion for running at 6 we started doing our local Park Run together and the rest is history. I then started competing in 2km, 5km and 10km road races. Dad then started trail running and I would train with him and loved it so much more than road running! I love being out in nature surrounded by the mountains, running through puddles, the sound of birds calling and the constant change of the terrain. It isn’t repetitive like road running. 

At 10, I was hungry for more and I was really enjoying the longer distances of cross country, so I stopped Little Athletics to focus on cross country events, with a goal of attending inter schools and regionals. 

  1. What was your next step?

Chloe: I’ve run a lot of smaller races 2/5/10km but since then I have competed in 10km to 15km trail races and most recently at age 11 I competed in an open age 25km trail race finishing 8th female! 

  1. How do you balance your competitive training and managing school?

Chloe: This term I have 2.5hrs of gymnastics a week which is great foundational training for running and for stretching my muscles and I go for a long run with Dad on Saturdays. As our days get longer with daylight savings I’ll do another shorter run during the week. As my race distances are now longer I choose a few races that I want to compete in for the year and work towards training for that event.

I need to be conscious of my growing body especially my knees and ankles and rest when my body needs to rest. To make sure I manage school as best as I can I fuel my body well and also make sure I’m getting enough sleep so I can perform and stay focussed at school. I like getting my schoolwork done during school hours so I have after school hours to train or rest and relax.

  1. What do you do in your downtime?

Chloe:  I love my trampoline and catching up with my friends. I have pet ducks and also have a pet bottle fed lamb that I’m raising at the moment, they keep me busy and get a lot of attention and cuddles.

  1. What makes you feel happy, brave, and strong? 

Chloe: Definitely when I overtake adults on my races and training! I am small, but powerful and I think most people don’t see me as a capable athlete due to my age and being a girl. When I cross the finish line I feel a huge sense of achievement and have a woohoo GO ME moment! 

  1. Tell us about a special moment in the last year? 

Chloe: Definitely finishing 8th female in a 25km race with 1000m elevation gain when I was 11 years old. 

  1. What is your ultimate goal?

Chloe: Trail running is different to most other sports as there is no Olympic level or national level. It is a race against yourself to see what your body can do. My ultimate goal would be to compete in an ultra  (50Km plus) and to compete in trail races around the globe. 

  1. What's your favourite attribute about yourself? 

Chloe: My endurance level and strength in my legs. 

  1. What would you say to other young females about following their dreams?

Chloe: Always believe in yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to and don’t be intimidated by older athletes. 

  1. What has Trail Running taught you about life?

Chloe: Perseverance, determination and satisfaction. 

Follow her journey on Instragram. 


Know another inspiring young teen or want to be featured? 

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