The annual Sun-Herald City2Surf is the biggest fun run in the Southern Hemisphere. Meet our team captain and find out why he’s running to help save Australian hearts.
To say Warren Williams is a high achiever is an understatement. He juggles his time adeptly between his family, his career as a teacher, a multi award winning entertainer, artist, athlete and his commitments as a running coach.
In 2010, life for Warren was great. He was successful in so many facets of his life and at almost 50 he had the stamina and fitness of someone much younger. So the thought of being struck down with a life-threatening heart condition was certainly something not on his radar.
However, it was when he accompanied his son to the doctors with the flu and his pressing for some routine blood work to be done, just out of curiosity that Warren was stopped in his tracks. His GP diagnosed a cardiac condition that would require urgent medical attention meaning he definitely wasn’t going to make his afternoon training session that he had planned.
The next day Warren was in the office of a cardiologist who recommended he start a course of experimental drug therapy. His world came crashing down. He had always been fit and healthy. He never needed to take medication and suddenly his life was consumed by it and the side effects were debilitating. Soon even walking and breathing became arduous.
Warren knew there had to be something more he could do. What he was experiencing was taking away everything he enjoyed about life. He decided to see a different Cardiologist who recommended having a pacemaker inserted. The next day he was on the operating table and he hasn’t looked back since.
The story of his comeback, both emotionally and physically, is truly inspirational.
Setting challenges and personal goals forged the road to an amazing rehabilitation. Within days he was back at work, within two weeks running and within a month he had competed in his first NSW Cross Country Championships. This was soon followed by an ‘age group’ victory in a major Australian road race and several other podium finishes, from 5 kilometres to a half marathon. All this whilst resuming his successful teaching and entertainment careers.
Early 2016 saw him take on yet another professional role as head coach at Sydney’s biggest and longest running athletic squads “SWEAT Sydney” based in Centennial Park, Sydney with more than 150 members from beginners to elites.
Warren is proud to be this year’s Team Heart Foundation Captain, leading the training and keeping the motivation high in the runners as the edge towards August and the City 2 Surf fun run.