AGELESS DIVER TO COMPETE AT SUNDAY’S SYDNEY MARATHON
By Lachlan Moorhouse
(c) 2023 Athletics Australia; used with permission viaRace Results Weekly
(13-Sep) — The marathon is a fragile affair. It’s a discipline perched on the precipice of testing boundaries yet respecting limits, and seldom are those who strike a greater balance than Sinead Diver. Ahead of Sunday’s Sydney Marathon, go stride-for-stride with the woman who runs 3:20/km for 42.195 km – she might be more relatable than you think.
Too often in the world of sport are athletes dubbed freaks, blurring the distinction between generational talents and years of hard work. For Diver, 46, the difference is everything. The mother of two who works as a software engineer at NAB and started running at the age of 33 lives a more normal life than most elites, but it’s a storyline rarely aired.
“The focus on my age drowns out every other narrative,” she said. “For me, it’s the least interesting part of my story. The fact that I carved my own path in athletics is a lot more significant.
“I didn’t have the same opportunities as others growing up. I didn’t fit the typical athlete mold and I faced a lot of challenges as a result. But despite all of this, I’ve become a successful runner whilst juggling motherhood and an IT career. I think a lot of people can relate to this, so it’s frustrating and boring when all I hear is commentary on my age.”
Earning her stripes with routine 4:00 a.m. alarms to squeeze in training before work and family commitments, Diver’s remarkable journey to a top-10 finish at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 has been largely lost in translation.
“Ultimately, I think this is as a result of the broader issue in athletics – that there is a real disconnect between what’s perceived as media-worthy and what’s actually interesting and motivating for most runners,” Diver said. “Personally, I have no interest in seeing influencers or motivational speakers promoting running events or sporting brands. I want to see the real athletes being featured. Those who are out there on the road and the track achieving the performances. I want to hear their stories, learn about their experiences.”
She continued: “Imagine if, in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup this year, influencers were being featured instead of the actual Matildas (the Australian national soccer team players). How ridiculous would that be! Unfortunately, that approach is very prevalent in promoting athletics.”
Arriving at Melbourne’s…