4 May 2014
REVIEW: Sydney 10, Australian and NSW Road Running Championships
Early rain cleared for some great tussles in the 2014 Sydney:10, Australian and NSW 10km Road Running Championships, held in Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday. The race seemed to have it all, talented new comers, athletes on the comeback trail, world class triathletes and state and national road running titles on the line.

The men’s race was desperately close battle with just six seconds separating the medallist where defending Sydney:10 and State road champion, Harry Summers (NSW/RBH) held off Victorian Deur Yoa and local Tom Do Canto (NSW/HIL). While in the women’s world class American triathlete Gwen Jorgensen took the Sydney:10 title from London Olympian Eloise Wellings who claimed the State and National road running championships ahead of Madeline Heiner (NSW/KEJ) and Queensland triathlete Emma Jackson.

From the start in the men’s race the pace was solid in the lead pack.
“I was hoping for a nice pack to develop so it was thinking this is really great and really enjoying the way it panned out,” said Tom Do Canto.
“It was good to have a lot of guys around you,” said Yoa.
“Around five kilometres I tried to burn the boys off and I think that worked quite well.,” said Summers.
Do Canto confirmed: “Around half way Harry got a little gap, then it was Ben, Duer and myself who were chopping and changing and trying not to let Harry get too far ahead. I was zoning in and out and try and stay in rhythm and hold a solid pace.”

But at the top of Olympic Boulevard and with the stadium in view, it was still anyone’s race.
“Duer (Yoa) was closing on my heels in the last kilometre and I was starting to panic,” recalled Summers. “I thought I could lost the race, but when I got onto the track I felt confident I could kick away from him.”

Summers held on for the national title, with a two second win in 29:34, with Yoa clocking 29:36 and Do Canto 29:40.
“I think I did a great job today and beat some quality runners,” was Summers.
For second placed Yoa, it was a personal best time.
“During the race I was thinking just hold on and try and out run him at the end but he was too strong,” he said.

The major breakthrough in the race was the performance of Tom Do Canto, a member of the in-form Phil Moore squad that last summer put Josh Ralph (Commonwealth Games) and Anna Laman (World juniors) on national teams.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better result. I beat guys I’ve never beaten before and it is a great result for me. It is going to motivate me to train even harder and try and get even faster. It showed me I can run well under 30 minutes.”
Sydney-based Brit, Ben Moreau (RBH) was third NSW athletes taking the bronze in the 84th NSW Road Championship.

In contrast the women’s race was quick from the gun.
“I think we went through the five kilometres in roughly 16:15, that is 32:30 pace, so we were definitely on record pace for the first half,” recalled Eloise Wellings.
Madeline Heiner confirmed this early quick pace.
“Originally I planned to go with the leaders but they were flying, I think they split the first kilometre in 3:05 so I was happy to sit back and went through in about 3:09.”
London Olympic triathlete looked strong throughout the race.
“It was nice Eloise helped out quite a lot as I just popped on her should for most of the race and I didn’t have to think just hang with her.”

But the early pace started to take its toll on Wellings.
“It started to hurt about eight or nine kilometres when Gwen (Jorgensen) dropped in a three minute ’k’. I really started to feel it after that.”

Jorgensen ran on for the win in 32:21.
“I didn’t know what to expect I haven’t really run just a straight 10k for a while so it was good to come out here close to where I train. I think they are super fun it is a hard session for us and it gets the speed work in.”

Wellings was second across the line in 32:56 and claimed the National and state 10km Road Championships.
“I’m pretty happy with it. It would have been good to get the win but it was a tough race and I was happy with how I felt un tapered. I think it is a pb on the road. I’m happy with how things are going towards Commonwealth Games and hopefully fingers crossed I get named in the team in a few weeks.”

Heiner was third and second in the championship races with a time of 33:01, after running much of the race solo.
“I am just trying to build a bit of strength as I haven’t been back running long. I’ll throw in another one of these in the next few months.”

There was a close battle for the bronze medal in the Australian Road Championship between Queensland triathlete Emma Jackson, who last week was selected for Glasgow, and defending Sydney:10 champion, South Australia’s Casey Wood. But it would be Jackson who would claim the medal in 33:45, just two seconds ahead of Wood.
“It was a really good first race for the season and about a 20 second pb so I was happy,’ said Wood, whose father, Grenville, won the 1985 Australian Road Championship.
“My dad is always giving me help and advice about how he ran in the past and is a great mentor and coach at the same time.”
For Jackson it is back to the tri event as she builds towards for Glasgow.
“I head to Japan in two week then onto Europe from there.”
Sydney University’s Nat Archer was the third NSW athlete claiming bronze in the NSW Road Running championship.

Jorgensen’s time of 32:21 was the fastest time in the NSW women’s Road Championship first conducted in 1979. It broke the previous best of 32:25, run by Sutherland’s Michelle Dillon in 1994 shortly before she headed off to Canada to compete for Australia in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m. Ironically, Dillon would go on to become a dual Olympic triathlete for her adopted country Great Britain, and now based in the UK, she runs a very successful triathlon coaching business.
“It shows how strong the triathletes are and you have to be a world class biker, swimmer and runner,” said Jorgensen.

NSW Road Championship age groups, teams and wheelchair event are reviewed in another article.

Images are available on Athletics NSW facebook site.

David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW