ORANGE distance runner Mitch Williamson admits to having little expectations competing in the 10,000 metres at last weekend’s NSW Open Track and Field Championships at Sydney Olympic Park.
He was just going for the run.
But after coming fourth in a personal best time of 31 minutes 26.23 seconds, Williamson now has his eye on the big prize.
“Next year I’ll try and break 30 minutes,” said Williamson, who finished fourth in the 5000m event at the championships 12 months earlier.
“I’ll go in the five kilometre and then see what happens from there.”
Williamson’s efforts at Homebush and subsequent setting of new goals comes as little surprise given the Orange Runners Club’s preparation for the meet.
Feeling “pretty bad” in running a 16.10 in the 5km run at the Orange Colour City Running Festival on February 24 - still fast enough to earn second - Williamson said a break before the 10,000m event was crucial.
So much so he blew his 5km time out of the water with both splits at the state championship.
At the state champs, Williamson ran his first 5km leg in 15:50 then, remarkably, ran the second half of the race quicker again, stopping the clock after a final 5km split in 15:35.
Williamson believes the secret behind his fast time at the state championship was simple - just relax.
“I’d trained pretty hard in the lead-up to the five kilometre [in Orange] and just felt flat,” he added.
“I just wanted to try the 10[km] to see how I’d go and see what I could do.
“I went out slow, sat back in the pack basically because I didn’t know what 25 laps on the track would do to me mentally, but I was about eighth at the halfway mark and just went for it from there.”
It’s a tactic not normally adopted by Williamson.
“Not really. I usually get caught up with the early pace but I conserved my energy a little early this time and it worked out,” he said.
And he is hoping the same strategy will help break the 30-minute mark.
Randwick’s David Byrne finished first in 30:48.21.