Aussie sprinter found her automotive soulmate
AUSTRALIAN Olympic sprinter Anneliese Rubie has found her automotive twin.
Rubie starred at the Rio games, making it to the 400m semi-finals, and was part of the Australian women's 4x400m team that advanced to the final.
As a sprinter, Rubie loves a car that goes fast. She reckons she has s special affinity with her dream car, a BMW M140i.
"It is one of the smaller cars but up there with the quickest," she says. "And I feel a little bit like that myself as a runner when I'm up on the start line against some of the big American girls - but I've still got a big engine."
Fast cars help with her sprint training. "It's weird but (going fast) sort of helps me visualise what I have to do," she says.
"If I am on the open road, I accelerate and feel the drive and the power and shifting gears and going up another level.
"It helps in training, when I'm lactic as hell, to visualise that … to keep me going."
For now, Rubie drives something a little more sensible and suited to her everyday lifestyle, a Honda HR-V. The compact SUV with its "Magic" flexible seating is ideal to fit all her gear, bike, surfboard and even the dog.
She is something of a Honda fan. She previously owned a Honda Jazz for 11 years.
Her first experience of car ownership didn't go so smoothly.
"The first car I owned was with my brother and sister," she says. "We each put a few hundred dollars in and bought a beat-up Volkswagen Polo.
"It was originally red but had faded into this light pink colour which I loved. But that didn't last long.
"Every time you'd turn right, the engine would cut out randomly, which was frightening - especially for my little sister who was still on her Ls and would panic. We got rid of that one pretty quickly."
She saw the silver lining in owning a car that wasn't reliable.
"It was a good learning experience … it showed just how important it is to get one that is safe to drive around and you can trust your life and others," she says.
"And as soon as the mechanic told me how much it was going to cost to fix the engine (I said) 'nope'."
There were a few incidents while learning to drive manual but an odd interaction made her realise that auto was the transmission for her.
"I had started learning manual but it didn't go very smoothly. I got the driving part fine but every time I tried to drive a manual I would completely forget all the road rules. I'd just focus on the clutch and changing gears," she says.
"I was finally getting the hang of it and then randomly there was this massive peacock in the middle of the road and I just didn't know what to do. That was when I realised it was best to drive an auto."