© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics Illustrated
Australian Pat Tiernan of Toowoomba, QLD won the Zatopek Classic 10,000-metre race that took place in Melbourne, Thursday night. He won in the time of 27:59.74 two weeks after winning the NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Tiernan told Athletics Illustrated, “It’s a great honour to win this race. There have been so many other big names in Australian distance running who have won this race previously, so it means a lot to have my name put up there alongside them.”
Tiernan stuck with the pacers for the first half of the race and then took matters into his own hands despite less than ideal conditions. Apparently, he appeared very relaxed throughout.
“The race panned out pretty well. We had pacers in Sam McEntee, Jordy Williamsz, and Jack Davies, up until 5km which was nice. I tried to keep the tempo up through the 6th and 7th kilometers, before trying a slightly quicker 8th kilometre,” Shared Tiernan.
The race was Tiernan’s debut at the distance on the track and was the fastest time since 2012 when Kenyan, Emmanuel Bett Kipkemboi won in the time of 27:59.23. Tiernan’s performance was the 19th time that 28-minutes as been broken at the event since it started in 1961, 55 years ago.
Kenyan Luke Kipkosgei holds the record of 27:22.54 from 1998.
“Brett (Robinson) was on my tail right up until that point, and I knew I had to do something to shake him, just because he is so strong in a close race. The last five laps were tough given the conditions, but I was able to hold my form through them and come away with the win,” added Tiernan.
Robinson won the race in 2014 in the time of 28:45.36.
Past winners include Collis Birmingham, Craig Mottram, Samuel Chelanga, Rob de Castella and Derek Clayton. Ron Clarke won it five times during the 1960s. Galen Rupp, who is the 2012 London Olympic silver medallist in the event won in 2006. Marathon legend Steve Moneghetti won four consecutive times during the early 1990s.
In the women’s race Camille Buscomb crossed the Tasman Sea to become the first Kiwi in a decade to win at Zatopek. She usurped favourite Eloise Wellings by crossing the line in the time of 32:34.41. They finished in the opposite order during 2015. Although Buscomb’s performance was solid, she still has not qualified for the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that are taking place in London next summer.