Joshua Ralph initially played soccer and AFL, before committing to his running at high school after competing in Little Athletics at North Rocks from the age of nine.
In Year Six, he suddenly made national cross country, having only ever finished top 30 at regional in previous years. He did cross country through until Year Nine when he began to make some improvements on the track. He first made Australian Championships finals as a 15-year-old with his best result a bronze medal in the U15 2000m steeplechase. He raced 800m and 1500m through until Year 12, making it to two age national 800m finals.
Josh made inroads over the 2012/13 season, placing third at the national championships and earning automatic selection for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow on the 4x400m relay team. Although he didn’t get to run, the experience was valuable. This spurred a move up to 800m for the following season. In the years previous, he had run just one club 800m in 2012 for a solid 1:50, but in his first serious outing over the half-mile in December 2013, he clocked 1:47.12 – a three-second PB.
Over the 2013-14 summer he continued to slice chunks from his PB, 1:46.69 (Adelaide, Feb), 1:46.25 (Perth, Feb) and 1:45.80 (Melbourne, March). He capped the season winning the national title and secured selection for the Commonwealth Games. Ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he ran on the national 4x400m and 4x800m relay at the World Relays in the Bahamas, with the latter squad setting an Australian record. In Glasgow, Josh was unfortunately run out in the heats.
His PB in August 2015 was an all-important Olympic qualifier. He fell in the national 800m championships in 2016. Then in late June 2016, Victorian rival, Peter Bol clocked an Olympic qualifier of 1:45.78 and move into third on the list of Aussie qualifiers, pushing Josh to fourth. This would cost Josh his Olympic debut.
In 2017, he placed second in the nationals and in May he competed at his third IAAF World Relays where within 70 minutes he ran two races. He first led off the 4x800m relay in 1:48.31, nearly two seconds quicker than any of the team members, then just over an hour later he anchored the 4x400m mixed relay with a time of 48.08.
On July 16 in Italy, he clocked a seasonal best of 1:46.14, not far from the automatic 2017 IAAF World Championships standard.
In a solid 2018 summer, Ralph went undefeated until the final at the national championships where he placed second to Luke Mathews and achieved automatic selection for his second Commonwealth Games.