Multi Talented Tarli Bird in The Age

Photo: Holly Curtis, Riverine Herald

Reproduced from The Age

Running inspires artist way beyond original motivation

School teacher Tarli Bird uses her participation in fun runs as motivation for her other love, fine art.

Growing up in Donald, 280 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, Bird said she competed in ”every sport I could get into” but it wasn’t until she moved to the big smoke to study fine arts at Monash University that she took up running competitively.

The 27-year-old Echuca woman is hoping for another win in this year’s Sunday Age City2Sea, presented by Westpac, following her success in her first attempt at the 14-kilometre race last year.

The cross-country runner finished in 51 minutes and 53 seconds, to take the title of first female over the line. She finished 32nd overall from more than 9000 competitors.


Despite moving three hours away after completing her studies, Bird still competes for Melbourne-based Glenhuntly Athletics Club.

When she is not at school, competing or training, the teacher creates art. Her last exhibition, Personal Best, was inspired by fun runs. She handmade 4000 stop watches and strung together 4000 identification numbers for an installation at city gallery Blindside.

”When you become a runner, running becomes part of you. It is not associated with the initial motives that made you start running, such as to lose weight or to get fit,” Bird said.

Last week the Moama Anglican Grammar teacher was selected for a 10-person team to represent Australia at the Chiba Ekiden Relay in Japan on November 23. It will be the first time she has represented at a national level. The team of men and women will run different sections of a 42-kilometre marathon race.

City2Sea competitors choose from a range of charities and organisations to which to direct their fund-raising efforts. All money Bird raises will be donated to beyondblue.

For more information or to register for the November 17 event, visit

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