A start in the Gold Coast Marathon is on the mind of Bendigo distance running star Andy Buchanan.
Less than a fortnight after a stellar fifth placing in the Zatopek 10,000m at Box Hill, Buchanan said a marathon debut is being considered by him and coach Scott Westcott.
“There’s a few factors to consider, but a marathon is a challenge I would like to do,” said the Bendigo University Athletics Club champion.
His parents, Alan and Jenny have raced in the “Big Seven” on the marathon circuit – Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Paris and Tokyo.
“I need a lot to go right in preparation, but the Gold Coast Marathon is a big goal,” he said of the lead-up to the July classic.
Buchanan clocked a time of 28:35.11 to be fifth in the latest Zatopek 10 showdown.
“I was nine seconds off the time (28:26) that I ran in Zatopek in 2019, so I was disappointed for a while after Tuesday’s race.
“On reflection, I was reasonably pleased with the run.
“Both races were really different. In 2019, conditions were ideal and the second group kept up an even pace chasing Stewart McSweyn. You go into a race thinking everything will go right and it did.”
The 2021 edition of Zatopek 10 was in stark contrast as a faster pace was set in the opening five laps.
“My thinking was try and keep that pace up, or drop off and run by myself for 20 laps.
“It is so hard to run by yourself on the track. It’s a double whammy – try and stay with the leading pack or slow my pace and be able to finish stronger than the rest.”
Buchanan who finished 35 seconds adrift of race victor Brett Robinson.
The Zatopek 10 was always a major goal of the 2020-21 track season.
“It’s such a prestigious event and the past two years it has drawn really strong fields and quick times.”
A highlight of Zatopek 10 was the victory by New South Wales athlete Rose Davies, a member of the Westcott-coached squad, who stayed with Buchanan in the lead-up to Zatopek.
“Rose and Sarah Schiffman, second in the Ondieki 3000m, moved to Bendigo when the border closure began and had done some sessions here.”
One of those sessions was with the Bendigo South East Secondary College Athlete Development Program athletics squad, of which Buchanan is coach, at the Flora Hill track.