Introducing Jason Crombie - writer, runner and all round good guy.
Crom is the Editor in Chief at Monster Children; a magazine and website dedicated to sharing music, film, photography, art, news and views… basically all the good shit. Even cooler, he's been authoring a novel for the past few years.
But the coolest thing about Crom - he’s a feverish runner. He started running 4 years ago, with the all so familiar tale of initially hating it. Once it clicked, there was no slowing down. Crom has since competed in local and international races, developed some unorthodox but relatable racing tactics, and established a healthy obsession with the defunct Peg Turbo’s. He was training for his marathon debut this year, but that goal has been put on the back burner thanks to old mate Covid.
We had the pleasure to chew the fat fresh off his Sunday long run, and man it was fun exploring a mix bag of running topics with him.
This, is an Easy Ten with Jason Crombie.
I've got you here post Sunday long - have you got a post long run ritual?
Ahhh that’s such a good question! You know what I do? I get on the fucking couch and I eat a burrito! And maybe even order some churros...
Nah, so I’ll get home and stretch, shower, get dressed, and then I’ll slop on the couch. But one of my favourite things is just chilling. So if I’ve gone for a long run, it’s just guilt free chilling out. I don’t have that whole ‘I gotta do this, I gotta do that’ - no, I don’t have to do anything, I just ran fucking 25k.
How does your training look?
I pretty well just focus on hitting 50km’s each week. I’ve started doing hill repeats on this hill loop around a football oval near home. I like that, it’s hard on the legs and a solid run. But yeah, nothing super specific for me.
I stretch, but I don’t really roll. No yoga or anything like that.
It’s mainly this loop I have around Centennial Park. I find it a little embarrassing on Strava because 90% of my runs are the same loop and shape. It’s a great run with hills and it’s scenic, and it’s a loop which is nice. I try to change it up, flip it around a little and whatever.
The other option is running to the harbour bridge, across the bridge and back. It’s windy up there though.
Are you a music/podcast runner?
No, I don’t normally. I used to when I first started, but I think I injured myself so I stopped. I was listening to Wu Tang Clan or something heavy and aggressive, and it kinda changed my pace or whatever… you know, like I was inspired by the music as it pushes you along, and I think I went a bit hard.
Unless I’m on a really long run, I might listen to a podcast. But I think you gotta listen to your body, right? I like the feeling of your thoughts changing and all of a sudden you’re not really thinking.
So yeah, overall no headphones.
Have you invested in super shoes?
Yeah I have invested, only recently though. Dude, here’s the thing - I watched the marathon at the Olympics and looked at the lineup and they were all wearing Vaporfly's and I thought - fuck, they’re gonna sell out, I gotta get some now! So I bought them before the race even started, because I figured they’re gonna sell out, especially in Australia. So anyway, I took them out for a spin and they’re magic shoes, but you can’t slow down. There was this run I wore them and I was cooked but they just kept me flying and I couldn’t slow down, I was gassed.
I’d wear them in a race if it was like a half marathon and I wanted a fast time. But for a marathon I’d probably go the Peg Turbos - I just love that shoe.
(We went down a rabbit hole here discussing an obsession and online bidding wars to purchase dead stock Peg Turbos).
You’re a fan of Strava?
Yeah, so I started Strava like two years ago when I decided I wanted to get more serious, track stuff, watch what’s happening - you know how it is? I needed to know all this stuff. But yeah, I really like Strava.
I don’t really have many Strava friends but I do have this dream where I’ve tracked down and now follow (from all parts of the globe) John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr)… so yeah, I follow the Beatles. They don’t follow me back.
I’ve had a couple close calls but I’m just waiting for the day where I can scroll through my feed and it lines up - John, Paul, Ringo and George. One after the other. I’ve been close and had three in a row. I kind of also did it because if you looked at who I was following and you scrolled through those names, you might twig. That’s the takeaway from that stupid shit, but it’s fun.
I’m such a nerd for doing that, don’t put that in the interview.
You enjoy racing?
Yeah racing is great fun. I’ve done a few half marathons, 10k’s, and a trail series. I really enjoyed Sydney half the other year, then not long after I was in the States, in Portland, and they had a race on. I was like, international half marathon… I’ll do that. It wasn’t a good one though, I had some dodgy pasta the night before with some homemade cheese and dude, I was ducking into the dunnys. The race was rad though, I came across the finish line and the guy on the mic was all hyped calling out my name, that was really funny.
I find that in a race, and it kind of just happens subconsciously, but I find a nemesis.. it ends up happening every race. There’s always one person I have to race. And it usually happens because someone overtakes me early in the race... and I get a whole ‘I just overtook you’ vibe off them, and then I’m like, ‘RIGHT! It’s on.’ It’s fun as hell.
I did this race in Sydney, it was actually a ‘fun run’, but anyway, somehow I got into it with this kid who was probably like 18. He whizzed past me early, and I’m thinking ‘you cheeky asshole’, and we went back and forth a few times. So eventually I thought, I’m just gonna sit behind him for a while.
Later in the race, I saw him slow down and I thought, ‘ha, you’re knackered!’ and I went straight past him. 500m to the finish line, I could feel his presence behind me, so I put the pedal down and ran as fast as I ever have in my life, and this kid just went (zooming noise) flying past me. I couldn’t believe it. As he went past me right before the line, I actually yelled out ‘NOOOO’ - it came out involuntarily.
Any highlights in your running?
I feel like I have highlights all the time. I get these real zen moments all the time.
Something really cool was running a loop of Central Park in New York the other year. I lived in NY for like 15 years and I never ran back then. So after that Portland race, I went to visit some friends in NY, and got up one morning and ran the perimeter of the park. That was a really nice feeling, because here I am in this city where I used to kinda party every night, and now I’m fit running a lap of Central Park. So yeah, that was really cool.
Biggest lowlight or disaster?
Oh dude, I have a near disaster every few months… with my ass. If I had a dollar for every time I had to walk home on the ball of my feet because I’m going to shit my pants… It’s weird, sometimes it’s because I didn’t plan properly, but other times you can’t plan for it. Sometimes it’s like - where the fuck did this come from? I just went!
But luckily, no real disasters for me, just shit runs sometimes. Like today, I just felt like I was running in glue.
My mate Sam, poor old Sam, ate shit the other month - he had a real hard slam. He tripped on a tree root and just hit the concrete so hard. Oh man, I can still hear it - he got pretty messed up.
Finally, you’ve got a run club - Bueller Run Club?
Oh yeah, so I started a run club and we’ve got about 11 members… very exclusive. Nah, I just thought it’d be cool to start a group and it’s been great fun.
It’s just a few friends and people I met, but it’s an open call. Probably half the people that joined were strangers and I think that’s so cool they came - I find it's really brave to turn up not knowing anyone.
Keep doing what you're doing Crom - we can't wait for you to take down another nemesis in your marathon debut next year.