OLYMPIAN Collis Birmingham will shift away from his usual training pattern and use Ballarat as his training base for the rest of the year.
The international distance runner usually attends a training camp at high altitude at Falls Creek late in the year after retuning from his northern summer base in England, but
will delay this until after Christmas.
He wants to spend more time promoting Ballarat as a distance running training destination, just as the likes of Steve Moneghetti has done for more than a decade.
Birmingham hosted a group of overseas runners from England, Ireland and the United States at the start of this year and wants to do more of this type of thing.
He is having another group of visiting athletes join him in Ballarat before the end of the year.
Birmingham told The Courier from Sydney yesterday that Ballarat had a great distance running culture with a variety of great training courses, and he was keen to see these utilised as much as possible.
Birmingham launched his Australian season with his second win in the Burnie 10 in Tasmania on Sunday.
He became ninth dual winner in the 28-year history of the event, having also won in his only other appearance in the event in 2006.
He led from the start, finishing clear of past winners Ryan Gregson and Liam Adams in 29 minutes, four seconds.
His next assignment is the Noosa Bolt (five kilometre) on Saturday, November 3 – which he is aiming to take out for a fifth year in a row.
While Birmingham has only had a couple of weeks “off’” since the London Olympics, he said he rarely took what would be considered a real break from the sport.
“I’m the kind of guy who runs even when I’m having a week off (training),” he said.
Birmingham’s next major assignment on the international stage will be next year’s world track and field championships in Moscow.