BENDIGO athlete Andy Buchanan lit up Burnie in Tasmania when he charged to second place in the 10km road classic on Sunday 20 October 2019.
The 10 kilometre showdown was decided by less than half a metre as Jordan Williamsz took out the Tasmanian road race in 29.06 minutes from Buchanan, 29.07.
Two-hundredths of a second separated Williamsz, who ran the 1500m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and at the 2017 world titles in London, and Buchanan in the Burnie duel. He capped one of the best sprint finishes and a best time for 10km in his road-racing career.
“At 500 metres to go I was in fifth place and really working hard to stay in contact with the rest of the field,” Buchanan said. “It had been a really tough race. A tailwind heading out, but headwind on the run home and then a slight climb to the finish line.” Buchanan upped the tempo at 400m to go and moved to fourth place. “I then dropped back to fifth and thought that would be my best result.” Another surge and he was soon in third place at 150m to go and closing in on the leaders. “Somehow I was able to find that bit extra in the last 100 metres and went from thinking I could settle with third place to being a chance to win.”
Buchanan fell agonisingly short of passing Elwood-based Williamsz and the $4000 first prize, but was rapt with his performance and prizemoney of $1500.
“For me it was all about never really giving up. At one stage I was thinking I would be happy with fourth, to all of a sudden being third and then second.” ~ Andy Buchanan
Such an evenly-fought contest was shown by the margin between first and seventh being 10 seconds. Fastest female was Genevieve Gregson, 32.22, to be 15th overall. Third and second in the Burnie 10 the past two years, Buchanan said there only a few slight undulations on the coastal course, but said the wind was a test for all athletes in a field of 1389 in The Heritage-backed race.