• Distance Culture

Queensland 5000m Championships Recap

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

On Saturday, December 5, 2020, the squad lined up for one of the key races of the year – the Queensland 5000m Championships. For many, it was a peak race, the culmination of many months of specific training geared for this one event. For others, it was an important stepping stone back to greater fitness and a chance to assess how they were going. Below, each runner that competed has left their own thoughts on their performance, followed by the coach's assessment. Enjoy.

Riley Borthwick

C Race. 19th. 16.29.79

Riley's thoughts: Going into this race I really had no idea what to expect after a recent knee setback and some rough workouts. I wanted to go out conservative, so threw myself right to the back of the field. I knew this race was just to get a feel for running at a higher speed than I had done in the last few weeks and was my first hard effort since coming back. I felt pretty comfortable until about 3-4 laps to go, but I managed to grind it out and just miss my PB. Considering where I've been in the last six weeks I was extremely happy with my performance.

Coach's comment: I was pretty uneasy about Riles racing after a recent knee injury and a couple of very tough weeks of training where he bombed a few sessions. This was well out of his comfort zone and in a race where he was never going to be strong enough to go with the pace. I was very proud of the mental application and ability to push through physical distress and I'm sure it will help him down the track.

Chris Bracken

B Race. 6th. 15.17.78 Chris' thoughts: I only made the decision to race at 11am on race-day after struggling with illness in the days leading up. However, knowing it was possibly my only chance at a 5000m this season, I decided to make the trip from Toowoomba. From the gun I tucked in at the back of the big field and by 3000m I had moved up to be just off the lead group in around 8th place. I was moving comfortably, but when the move was made with 1000m to go I was too far back to cover it. I had a good tussle with my teammate, Drew Williams, over the final 1000m and just pipped him to run 15.17. In hindsight, I would have raced a little differently and not sat at the back of the pack. It was my first 5000m track race since 2016 and I'm sure the race rustiness will dissipate soon.

Coach's comment: As usual, got everything out of himself. A patchy few months for Chris and only a few weeks of specific sessions meant I wasn't really sure what type of shape he was in. Although he didn't quite have the strength to cover the gaps after 3k, ground it out well. I'd expect he'll be back to sub-15 soon enough with some consistency.

Charles Chambers

C Race. 16th. 16.12.51

Charles' thoughts: At a performance level, was a fair result. I hesitated to follow a quicker lap at the 1k and ran much of the race adrift of the main pack. Bigger for me was the confidence to put myself out there and race. Historically I've been a guy that only raced when I thought I could PB and with less running in the last few years have dodged a lot of race opportunities. But I loved the event, loved the hurt, loved sharing in the success of my teammates, and look forward to more in 2021.

Coach's comment: I've never been so excited to get the message from Charles five days before the race, "I'm in". Study and work has reduced his training to virtually part-time – if that – for many years, making him reluctant to race. Got caught in no-man's land pretty early on, which is not ideal in windy conditions. I hope he uses this as a springboard to more racing and more consistency.

Rob Collins

C Race. 5th. 15.45.07

Rob's thoughts: I was more happy for the other boys' performances than my own. Had a few people gone out at the same pace as me, we could have pushed along and ran a faster time. An OK season opener on the track and looking forward to the next races.

Coach's comment: Along with Tim Vincent in the A Race, Rob gets the 'Big Kahuna's Award' for the night. Led the first 4k (bar one lap). I know Rob's an aggressive racer, which I love, and to have the commitment to go ahead on a windy night is bold. Ran his race, didn't care about anyone else, and came out with a good result. Coming off injury and with significantly reduced volume, this was a terrific run and he'll only improve from here.

Daryl Crook

B Race. 2nd. 15.08.26

Daryl's thoughts: In the lead up to the race I was feeling a bit uneasy as my training had been inconsistent, but once I found out I was in the second heat that helped me relax and focus on racing. The pack was tight, so it was hard to settle in and relax. I was struggling with the 3min/ks but we slowed a bit between the 3rd and 4th kilometre, which helped me to regather myself. With about 1km to go Tommy Campbell put in a strong surge and pulled away, and although I wasn't able to close the gap, I stayed relaxed and ran strongly over the last 300m to finish second. I was pretty pumped with the result – to finish strong and in a good position with the inconsistent training has given me plenty of confidence.

Coach's comment: Much like Bracko, really short of work coming into this. I was (not so) secretly pleased he got in the B Race as he's just not in good enough shape to compete in the A. I thought he looked stressed halfway through (as in, tight in his upper body), but he squeezed every drop out to lead the chase back and then hold on for second. A good building block.

Nathan McLachlan

C Race. 3rd. 15.39.93 (PB)

Nathan's thoughts: State 5km for me was a great night. Personally, I ran the best race of my life, which I put down to going in really relaxed, and then sitting on the Roberto (Rob Collins) train early, conserving energy, before 'kicking' home to a PB. Above this though, the team atmosphere and support from partners, guys not racing etc gave me a real buzz. This culture, where we're able to share and celebrate each other's successes regardless of who ran what time, is what I love about the squad.

Coach's comment: Undoubtedly the run of the night from our squad. Nath's not a natural track runner and has muddled his race strategies sometimes, but he executed to perfection here. The 3.10 clip was right up his alley, and there was no panicking or sudden changes of pace that have previously held him back. He looked composed and moved decisively to chase Grant with 700m to go. A big breakthrough. I'm so happy for him.

Artem Pilipchuk

D Race. 10th. 16.55.98 (PB)

Artem's thoughts: Not only was this my first track race ever, but also, I had a mental marathon (big exam, for which I was preparing for the past 5 months) the next morning, so I could not really focus on my race preparation entirely. On race morning I woke up with a lot of excitement and kept repeating to myself: “Artem, you have to start slow and have a negative split”. I was not nervous, but just wanted to run a very good race. We took off! After the first quick lap I understood my race strategy had crumbled down, but I continued at that pace and at 1km had to decide "should I try to stay with this pace or should I settle to my own pace?”. I chose to settle to my target pace, but this decision left me by myself in 'no-man’s land', battling wind until the end. I still managed to get sub-17 and set a new PB at 16.55. The race was a great experience and something I'll learn from in future events.

Coach's comment: A great experience for Arty. We hoped he'd head out in about 3.20s and find a pack to run with. He got a little excited early, going 3.12 through 1km, which is just too hot for where he's at. However, he ground it out well and broke 17 for the first time. I have to remind myself, this guy has been running less than two years and every session and race is a learning opportunity!

Chris Waters

C Race. 6th. 15.45.98 (PB)

Chris' thoughts: As a return to running track, this was my first race on the tartan since 1997! And if you ask me, there is more hurt in the 5k than a half marathon (sort of). I was definitely apprehensive about being old and grey and running 12.5 laps with a bunch of much younger fellas on a warm windy Saturday night. However, I’ve been quietly pleased with 2 years of consistent training and hopeful that would return a positive result. On the night I had a ball! The pace was just right at 3.10/km and I could just grind around until getting outgunned by some younger better movers. I even had a sprint finish (that I lost) but I was laughing so hard after. Just good times and proud of guys in the squad for running well. Ultimately, I’m proud to be 40 and still improving. Thanks coach!!

Coach's comment: I pretty much knew what I'd get from Chris, and he delivered. An absolute metronome, and when the early pace was about 3.10s, that suited him perfectly. Stayed in the first 6-8 most of the way, pushing up towards the front around 3k. He ran 8secs faster than I did at the age of 40 – prick!

Drew Williams

B Race. 7th. 15.19.58

Drew's thoughts: Going into the race I had an idea to go through 3km in just under 9 minutes and see what I had left for the final 2km. However, in the final days leading into the race my perspective changed. I realised the people in my race were all around the same level of fitness and I would be pulled through. The idea of going through 3km in under 9 minutes just put too much pressure on the race itself. Wasted energy. On the night of the race I had no expectations in terms of an outcome, I just focussed on the process of being relaxed, positive self-talk and at the front. In the past for track races I had been nervous and quite negative when I was struggling. During this race I just ‘zoned’ out and let it unfold. I definitely felt the last 4 laps but just remained positive.

Coach's comment: A typical performance from Drew – just runs himself into the ground. Was with the lead pack until Tommy Campbell's big move at 3k, and even after the race split, he did not slow down. Incredible to think this is just 2secs off his PB following two Achilles surgeries and severely modified training. Inspirational to us all – truly.

Grant Williams

C Race. 1st. 15.29.69 (PB)

Grant's thoughts: I couldn’t be happier with the race and the result at the State 5km, taking the win in the “C” race. Mike and I had a very clear plan before the race, which was to tuck into the pack and expend as little energy as possible through the first 3km and see how I felt after that. This is exactly how the race panned out. We went through 3km in 9:30 and I was confident I could do a lot of damage late in the race if I felt good. I knew I needed to be patient through this middle period and at times I felt like I was completely invisible out there. With a kilometre to go, I finally came towards the front of the field and hit the lead midway down the home straight. From there, I quickly wound it up to put some space between myself and the field, closing with a 2:45 final kilometre. I’m really happy with the PB, and can’t wait for the next opportunity to bring that PB down a little lower!

Coach's comment: Perfect execution. Grant played to his strength, which meant sitting in for most of the race and then deciding to move when he felt comfortable. He was decisive with 800m to go and ran about 2.45-2.50 for his final km. The most impressive thing was his mindset to win. He won't be in the C Race next time.

Liam Woollett

A Race. 10th. 14.46.27 (PB)

Liam's thoughts: The state 5000m champs were my goal race for the year and I'd spent the whole year thinking about the race and preparing for it. When the time came I was as fit as I possibly could have been. Unfortunately, the hot and windy weather on the day meant the time I was hoping for was going to be out of the questions. Regardless of this I still aimed to hit my goal time. I went through 2km in 5.45, which was exactly the pace I wanted, but after that things got a lot more difficult. The pack I was in started to break and I could feel my legs didn't have enough to push on at the pace. I went through the next 2km in about 6 minutes and had to give everything else I had in the last km in order to come across the line in 14.46, a 9 second PB. I'm happy with my time and gave it everything I had on the day. Time to look for a race in a state where the weather conditions actually favour runners!

Coach's comment: A solid race from Liam. The hot early pace had him at the back, although 2.53 through 1km shouldn't have been a stretch. Hung in really well, even though he was clearly doing it tough, and managed to pick off a few guys in the second half without being able to kick on. Might have put too much pressure on himself, but that's understandable given a good build-up after so many injuries. He'll improve from this.

74 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All