Totally tropical.

Stable newbie Phil “Wooly” Roberts sheared 5’11” from his hairy half-Mary best at the Run for a Reason half-‘thon held in and around the CBD of Perth, Western Australia.

The wool dealer came into the race like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, stalking the 4:30/km pacer through the flock before going in for the kill and landing a 1:32:26. Roberts finished well up the standings: 14th M50 and 225th out of 4,000+ overall. His kids (who normally win races they enter) were unimpressed.

Ally “the Chin” Smith was on the Australian leg of his Chin-Mania World Tour, so after meeting thousands of fans at Optus Stadium, he popped over to Phil’s for a catch-up:

AS: How’s it going, Phil? Welcome to The Stable. Although a little birdy tells me you’ve been a fan for a while?

PR: Ha-ha, yes—I joined about five weeks ago. I had been stalking Coach Stazza on various podcasts and cobbled together a version of his Super Base, which I had started about three months ago. That had been going so well that I decided I should come out of the shadows and sign up to get the full benefit.

AS: Aye, there’s nothing like getting the full package. So how’d the half go?

PR: My goal for this race was sub-1:33, but I wasn’t confident, as my legs felt a little heavy despite the taper—and I only had four-and-a-half hours of sleep the night before.

Wasn’t a big night out, but I just had something on and didn’t get to bed until midnight, and had to get up around 4.30am.

AS: Excuses, excuses, hahaha.

Looks like he had a long night on the golf course.

PR: I started a little far back in the mass start and had to move through a lot of traffic the first km. Caught up with the 4:30/km pacer at 4km and thought I would run with the pack and see how I felt at the 16km mark. Of course, the 4:30/km pacer was running splits anywhere between 4:15-4:25/km, saving the faster splits for the hills! I was happy to tuck in and felt very comfortable. So I pushed on after 16km and finished strongly, with a nice negative split. (Not usually my strong suit!)

AS: Aww, mate, that’s ace! Maybe the late night helped you keep some in the tank for the finish, although I wouldn’t recommend it for every race, hee-hee. Super stoked for you, cobber. Anything else coming up?

PR: Nothing definite right now. Looking to maybe do a quick 5K in the next month or so, and longer-term target a PB in the marathon in 12 months’ time.

AS: Thinking strategically; I like it. Bank the training and get an even bigger PB. Nice meeting you, Phil, and I’ll see you next time—whenever that is.

PR: Thanks, Ally. See you around.

The Stable News found Coach Stazza on the coast partaking in a spot of spearfishing (picture a fatter and balder Cast Away Tom Hanks): “Ah, this is as fresh as it gets; from sea to stomach in under an hour. Watch this!


What a throw … That’s tonight’s dinner sorted … No messing about with me … Or, in fact, one of our newest members, Phil Roberts. He worked through the field patiently until he knew he could go for glory. Well done, my boy.”