YOU can hardly help but be fired up when you hear about a sporting record attempt.
Shaved or obliterated, even just a good crack at it, whenever you hear about a record it is an inspired reminder to personally keep striving to be your best.
King Island’s Stewart McSweyn, a Ballarat Clarendon College alumnus, stripped 14 seconds off his personal best to capture Australian running’s illustrious Zatopek 10 in 27 minutes, 50.89 seconds.
McSweyn becomes the first Australian man to go back-to-back in the national 10,000-metre title since Ballarat’s Steve Moneghetti, who went four straight from 1989.
There was talk all week McSweyn was a hot favourite to not just win but to push Ben St Lawrence’s 10,000m track record of 27:24.95 at Lakeside Stadium on Thursday night.
He came close.
McSweyn had the form going into the event. The versatile 23-year-old set personal bests all the way from 1500m to 10,000m this season.
The popular Tasmanian clocked 28 minutes, 3.02 seconds in iconic Burnie Ten in late October, cracking a 21-year-old race record and the fourth fastest 10-kilometre road run by an Australian.
So much has to be right to tackle a sporting record.
Nike’s highly-publicised #Breaking2 marathon science experiment in May 2017 tested the perfect recipe for a technical sub two-hour finish. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge fell less than 26 seconds short of the barrier.
This was the modern version of trying to tackle the sub four-minute mile question.
#Breaking2 was bold, ambitious and argued by purists as a blatant marketing ploy, but in a triumphant failure, this attempt was a clear reminder for what could be possible.
Kipchoge has since rewritten the official marathon record of 2:01.39 in Berlin in September, slicing 1:20 off the previous best.
Records are not about luck. This is when preparation meets opportunity.
Sound preparation is vital but other elements like conditions, rivals and ultimately how an athlete is feeling on the day come into play.
And this is a message for any one of any ability in their chosen domain - it is just the elites are the best of their game.
Ballarat’s Kathryn Mitchell’s Australian and Commonwealth record throw to secure a Commonwealth Games gold medal was about trusting herself and letting fly.
The 68.92-metre throw, on her first attempt in the final, was the furthest distance ever chalked up on Australian soil and followed Mitchell’s two national records on her road to the Games last summer.
Every centimetre counts.
We are incredibly fortunate in Ballarat. Of the five Australian athletics records broken this year in Olympic events, two were from Ballarat-linked athletes. One was Mitchell.
The other was Jared Tallent’s wife Claire. She clocked four hours, nine minutes and 33 seconds for the women’s 50-kilometre in the World Race Walking Cup in Taicing, China. This was Tallent’s international debut for the distance.
As New Year fast approaches, this should definitely offer inspiration to find a personal goal and aim to slice or smash it.
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