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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Loss of father spurs runner Ben Crawford to give 100 per cent

Loss of father spurs runner Ben Crawford to give 100 per cent

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Loss of father spurs runner Ben Crawford to give 100 per cent

Duane Schultz
Guardian Messenger
January 22, 2013

Flagstaff Hill athlete Ben Crawford is having his best year on the track. Source: adelaidenow

FLAGSTAFF Hill runner Ben Crawford says the childhood death of his father has strengthened his determination to succeed.

Crawford was nine when his father was killed in a farm accident on the family's property near Broken Hill.

The middle distance runner says the experience hardened him and is the reason for his "go hard or go home" approach to sport.

"That was pretty tough when the old man died," Crawford, now 33, recalls.

"I think deep down inside me it probably did harden me and going through that experience helped develop that go hard or go home training mentality where it is 100 per cent or nothing."

After years of toiling on the pro running circuit the Plympton resident is enjoying a stellar summer.

This track season he has recorded six wins from seven starts in what is believed to be an SA Athletic League record.

But like his childhood, Crawford's early years on the track were tough.

When he arrived in Adelaide as a teenager he linked up with long-time coach Flagstaff Hill Athletics Club's John LeRay but struggled for results.

It was not until he hit form in 2008 - when he won the 800m at the Bay Sheffield carnival and was recognised as the SA Athletic League Athlete of the Year - that his career started to take off.

But Crawford's form dipped again last season as he struggled to pair track running with his triathlon training.

The fitness fanatic was often fatigued because of over training and had what he and LeRay described as a "lean year".

But after 12 months of struggle his body has acclimatised to the workload and Crawford says he has never felt better.

He took out the Open 1600m final at December's Bay Sheffield carnival, despite a strained calf muscle.

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