Yazmin Hayes continues to push on

By Brayden May

ELMORE’S Yazmin Hayes has overcome more than most at the start of her running career.

At just 13, she was diagnosed with coeliac disease — which saw her lose weight quickly and suffer chronic exhaustion.

There were times where her legs would go purple and numb during a race.

But just a year later Yazmin had overcome the health issues and bounced back to her best.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown all her plans for 2020 into chaos.

She had planned to race at the National Cross-Country Championships, State Cross Country and various road races, but those all now appear unlikely.

Despite the changes in her life, Yazmin has taken on a positive outlook.

“I’m lucky I can still go outside and train, even if it is on my own,” she said.

“Motivating myself to do the work can be hard at times because I would usually go to Bendigo three or four times a week and train with a squad.

“Not having that opportunity now is something I’m certainly missing.

“But I’m still putting in a lot of hard work to keep up with my training schedule.”

With so much uncertainity surrounding the 2020 racing calendar, Yazmin already has one eye on the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst next year.

“It would be an honour to represent the country, especially when it will be the first time Australia has hosted the event,” she said.

“My biggest goal is to get to an Olympics because I specialise in running between 3km and 5km. Competing at Bathurst next year would certainly do a lot for my confidence.”

Yazmin has found a running partner in recent weeks after her eldest sister, Teleah, returned home due to the pandemic.

And the youngest of four is enjoying every moment of it.

“Teleah has had a big impact on my running because she is so heavily involved in the sport,” Yazmin said.

“She’s a 1500m runner but we are still quite competitive with each other. It makes training a lot more fun.”

While Yazmin is continuing to train, she is also heavily focused on her year 12 studies at Rochester Secondary College.

“We’ve moved to online learning, which has been a big change,” she said.

“It’s challenging but it will all be worth it when it’s all over.”