Clark and Yoa claim Sydney:10 titles
Unseasonably warm conditions greeted runners as they arrived at the Sydney Athletics Centre to compete in the 2016 Greater Sydney 10 which incorporates the 86th NSW Road Running Championships. Over a thousand athletes lined up across the program of events over distances of 10km, 5km and 2.5km.
Recently announced Olympian, Milly Clark (SYU) celebrated her inclusion in the Rio Olympic team with a comfortable win in the women’s 10km in 33:33. Her performance progression over the last 12 months means a quality time like that does not over extended Clark who will become just the second NSW athlete to compete in the Olympic marathon, following on from the late Kerryn McCann.
â€œI felt pretty good today, although it was a shock to the system as I’m coming back from a little break,â€ Clark said.
â€œIt was good to get the legs turning over.â€
A popular figure Clark was well recognised out on the course today.
â€œSo many people were cheering, which gave me a boost along.â€
Clark is a regular competitor in the Sydney 10/NSW Road Championships, supporting her club Sydney University.
â€œSeeing all these people here is huge. I remember running four years ago when the numbers were small and now we have a stand of people. It is really awesome what Scott (Westcott, race director) has done. Our club always gets a good turnout and we are a tight knit club.â€
Due to her recent naming in the Olympic team, Clark looked a more relaxed person today.
â€œIt was a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It was the most painful weight ever because I had run the qualifier eight months ago and I have been waiting for the announcement. It was a relief, but really exciting.â€
Second to Clark was her training partner, Annabel McDermott (UTN), from the James ’Jimbo’ Fitzgerald squad. McDermott, who is preparing for the world junior championships in July, clocked 34:29. Third was Jessica Pascoe (SYU) 34:29, ahead of Sydney Striders athlete and former NSW Novice Championships winner, Anna White (35:50). With two on the dais and three in the top-five, Sydney University will dominate the teams event. They seemed to be everywhere and provided 27 starters in the 10k event and another six in the 5k race.
The men’s race was a closer event with just 12 second separating the medallists. After a conservative start it was a kick down over the last two kilometres with the strongest athletes on the day taking the honours. Victorian pair Duer Yoa and Andy Buchannan went one-two, with Randwick Botany’s Matt Hudson third and claiming the 86th NSW Roach Championship title.
â€œThe main goal was to win which I achieved,â€ commented Yoa after the race. â€œMy coach (Rod Griffin) suggested I go out easy and come home strong, which is what I did. I felt good as it was comfortable early on. I negative split going through the 5km in 15 minutes.â€
Yoa clocked 29:54, his second consecutive sub-30 on the course. Based in Ballarat, Yoa, mainly trains by himself but has an occasional training partner.
â€œOn my Sunday mornings I often run with Steve Monehgetti which is special.â€
Just five second behind and breaking the 30 minute barrier was Buchannan with 29:59.
â€œI’ve been a bit sick during the week so I was not too sure how I would go, but I felt good out there and really happy.â€ he said.
â€œI did a bit of leading early, for about the first three or four k. None of the boys were looking to push an early pace, so it was a bit slow to start with. I went through the 5k in about 15:04. I had that sub-30 in mind and I was feeling alright so I went with the kick at 8km. In that last two or three ks you can either feel really good or drop off quickly. If you drop back the mind starts to win the battle.â€
Third place and the NSW champion was Matt Hudson in 30:07.
â€œI ended up third and just missed sub-30,â€ Hudson said. â€œWe had a group together still at 5k, but by about 6k we started to push the pace a little bit and I think I died a bit at the end. But I gave it a go. I was feeling good until the 6k, then after the surge at about 7.5 or 8k, I was just trying to hang on.â€
It was the third NSW title for Hudson following his mile and 5000m track championships.
Race director, Scott Westcott (Hun), has had a busy week, but still squeezed in a hand run with the boys.
â€œPretty happy to punch under 30:30. I felt pretty strong and the distance is coming in the legs and I am looking forward to the next challenge which is the Gold Coast Half Marathon. â€œ
Westcott had an early start today, erecting the race barriers for the event.
â€œIt was a big team effort from the Athletics NSW staff and officials.â€
They tried a few different things for the 2016 Sydney 10.
â€œWe put more importance on the start area this year getting Andrew Reid there and a proper PA and dressing that area up. We used our new registration platform and our aim was not too have queues this year.â€
Westcott was also happy with the performances of the athletes, which in recent years has been boosted by some very quick triathletes.
â€œThe results were solid, it was nice to get a couple of guys under 30 minutes. It was not the same depth in quality but we still attracted some of the top guys this year.â€
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Lead men 2016 Sydney 10 (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)