TWO of Bendigo's best distance runners, Andy Buchanan and Brady Threlfall will race in the 10,000m at Saturday night's Zatopek Classic on Box Hill's track.
Buchanan and Threlfall will wear the colours of Bendigo University and Bendigo Harriers respectively for the 25-lap duel at the Elgar Road complex.
The 10,000m starts at 8.35pm and will cap a program which begins with the pole vault challenge at 5.45pm.
Other events include 100 yards, 1500m, 3000m, mixed under-18 4 x 400 relay, men's and women's 4 x 400m relay, and long jump.
The Zatopek 10 doubles as the Australian and Victorian 10,000m championship.
A year ago, Buchanan clocked a time of 29:53.44 as he raced to 13th place in a contest where Stewart McSweyn of King Island reigned supreme.
Major goal for Buchanan is to lower his personal best.
He ran 29.06 in this year's Burnie 10km road race and achieved 29.08 in a previous Zatopek 10 hit-out.
"The lead-up for this year is a lot different," Buchanan said.
"A lot of the focus is on a half-marathon in Tokyo on December 29.
"One training session per week is totally aimed at the half-marathon. I have been running longer distances, just not as fast."
He expects a fast start in Saturday night's race.
"One of the biggest challenges is holding a reasonable pace for all 25 laps.
"That's not easy, especially on the track."
He has run 1500m races at Box Hill, but never a 10,000m.
"It will be great to see Brady Threlfall on the start line and racing," said Buchanan.
"We have raced against one another a few times, but also been team-mates," he said of representing Flack Advisory Bendigo Region in Athletics Victoria's XCR series the past two winters.
Resurfacing of the Lakeside Stadium surface in Albert Park has forced a switch in venue for the 59th edition of the Zatopek Classic.
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