Bendigo Harriers athlete Brady Threlfall has used the inspiration of running alongside his idol Craig Mottram to smash a 30-year-old Bendigo residential record in the 10km.
Threlfall blitzed the previous record held by Leigh Purtill by 15 seconds as he clocked 30:27 for the 25-lap race at The Geelong Steigen Spectacular.
“I didn’t even have it on my radar because I ran a 22-second personal best, I was hoping for a five or 10 second PB,” Threlfall said.
“The guys from Athletics Bendigo contacted me the day after and said ‘did you know it was a 30-year-old record?’, so I was pretty stoked with it.
“I’ve only run a couple of 10k track races – it’s a bit of a mental battle. If you hit a bit of a wall it can be a long six or seven laps to finish off, rather than if you’re on the road it’s three km to finish off, so you don’t think about it the same way.”
Threlfall’s form had been excellent in the lead-up to the event, having broken his 5km PB just a few weeks earlier.
With Australia’s Olympic star Mottram volunteering to be the pacesetter for the race, Echuca-based Threlfall knew he was a good chance of setting a new personal mark.
“He said he was going to run 74 second laps and he went a bit quicker than that. He was planning for us to run 30min and 50 seconds and we just went quicker and quicker,” Threlfall said.
“I directly sat behind him for the first 22 laps, there was four of us in Indian file, I was just staring at his back for about nine kilometres.
“He’s one of those guys I’ve really idolised and he was yelling ‘keep going, stay on me’ so for him to help us out like that it’s a pretty good thing for an athlete of his quality to come back and help out guys who are probably the next calibre down.
“He just volunteered to pace it, so he got to nine kilometres and just walked off the track.
“There was four of us left in the lead pack and we sorted things out from there, I finished third and two guys from Geelong finished first and second.”
Threlfall had qualified for the Australian 10km championships the week before, but decided the Steigen was his best chance of running at his peak.
“I qualified for that one, but didn’t really want to get lapped by a Kenyan three or four times, so I thought I’d run this one and they organised a pacemaker more our pace so you can get a PB out instead of running at the back,” he said.
Threlfall travels to Bendigo each Tuesday to train at Lake Weeroona and is coached by Harriers’ John Burke.
He said the hard work he’s put in on the training track is beginning to pay off and he’s now eyeing a sub-30 minute time for the 10km.
“It’s funny, you cross the line and think it’s a pretty good achievement getting under 30:30, all of a sudden you think ‘can I get under 30 minutes?’,” he said.
“29.59 sounds a lot better than 30:27 so once one race finishes you start thinking about the next race.
“I’m 25 next week, so I’m starting to hit my peak. I’ve always said about 28 to 32 is when your body is really ready to train hard and you can benefit from all that training in previous years.”
Threlfall’s next race will be the Hobart half-marathon on January 13, where he is aiming to beat his best time of 67 minutes set at the Gold Coast Marathon this year.