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Hungry for the Long Run

Group of coaches from Hungry Runners wearing uniform shirts and standing with Castle Hill in the background

For many people, starting a business usually begins with a passion for the product or service that they sell. For Sidney Willis, the owner and creator of Hungry Runner Coaching, his passion for sports and training, he says, defines him as a person.

“I’ve always been a bit crazy about my training. It started when I was rock climbing, creating training programs for myself,” he explains.

“I started running because I kept getting injured from rock climbing. My brother was doing things like Ultra Marathons, so I got into it that way. As many runners can attest, I just kept going, wanting to run further and further, to see what I was capable of. I was creating programs and workouts that my friends would also start following.”

Photo of Sidney Willis
Sidney Willis, owner and creator of Hungry Runner

Moving to Australia from France eight years ago, the former finance analyst created Hungry Runner Coaching to offer running and triathlon coaching and to share his passion for endurance sports.

“It was only when I moved to Australia that I took steps towards coaching; I got my Certificate IV in Personal Training and Athletics Australia Run Coaching Certificate.

“I also worked for a while for Sam Steadman from Outer Limits Adventure Fitness. I started training a few people within the group we had and through word-of-mouth, more people started reaching out.”

As the name “Hungry Runner” suggests, Sidney has a hunger for knowledge, which is what influences his methodology and training programs.

“I was coached for a while back home by a French coach and I drew on my experience from years of playing different sports. I like to read a lot of books and see how other people are doing it,” he says.

“All through my career and as a coach, I’ve made a point to keep learning and to stay curious. It’s also why I’m going back to uni to study for my Master of High-Performance Sport to get a strong foundation in Sports Science and really understand how the human body works.”

While admitting that the corporate world of the Finance industry never resonated with his soul, it has provided Sidney with strong foundations for building his business. Hungry Runner Coaching has grown exponentially, with six coaches on staff and over 60 athletes on the roster. Sidney sees the similarities between running a business and running a marathon.

“I really push my athletes to look long term. A lot of people have their short-term goals and can really struggle to want to plan further, figure out what their dream is or what they want to achieve in four or five years.

“It’s similar with business where every thought and step you make now contributes to a bigger picture. If you burn a step and rush somewhere, your foundations suffer and things won’t end up the way you want,” he continues.

“In sport, that can lead to injury and self-doubt. In business, we need to accept the challenges and the discomfort. New skills take time and practice and if you only focus on the short term, you will get deflated by the road ahead of you.”

group of people running on a track wearing yellow shirts

Images supplied

Luke Lum

Luke Lum

Luke is a former radio announcer with over 10 years broadcasting experience. His interests include anything health, fitness, food and travel related. He's an avid runner and a mental health advocate.
Luke Lum

Luke Lum

Luke is a former radio announcer with over 10 years broadcasting experience. His interests include anything health, fitness, food and travel related. He's an avid runner and a mental health advocate.