BENDIGO man Michael Bieleny has had a successful start to his Masters career.
Bieleny only decided to compete at the Oceania Championships because Bendigo was the host city.
He said he couldn’t be happier of his achievements this week, winning five gold medals.
The Bendigo University Athletics Club athlete said his efforts had inspired him to continue competing.
“Normally we are threatened by all the younger guys who are much quicker than us,” he said.
“To have a chance of winning a medal against people our own age, without being smashed by the kids is great.
“It makes you feel good.”
Bieleny said he didn’t start running until he was in his 40s.
“I have been running for 10 years and it wasn’t until I reached 50 when I started running my fastest times," he said.
“I am now 51-years-old and I ran my second fastest 1500m I have ever run, so it is never too late.”
Bieleny said running a personal best time was better than winning a medal.
"There is only one competitor out on the track and that is yourself," he said.
Bieleny said having the games in Bendigo gave him a slight edge ahead of his competitors.
“To hear people yelling out from different corners it gives you a good feeling,” he said.
“You are running in front of your hometown, I guess a big part of you doesn’t want to let them down.
“It pushes you.”
Bieleny now has his eyes set on the Victorian Country Championships later this month.