Top runners make way to Zatopek 10
SEVERAL of Athletics Bendigo Region’s gun runners will be in action at Saturday night’s Zatopek 10 classic at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium.
The Zatopek 10 was first contested in 1961 and this year marks new ground as On Track Nights marks its Australian debut.
Among those competing in the Zatopek 10,000, which also doubles as the Chemist Warehouse Australian Championship will be South Bendigo’s Archie Reid and Bendigo Harriers’ Nathan Stoate.
Both have put in many hours preparing for a 25-lap showdown against many of the country’s best.
In recent weeks Reid was part of a training camp at Falls Creek.
The Echuca-based athlete has played a key role in Bendigo Bats being division one champions the past two editions of the On-backed cross-country series.
Stoate has starred in cross-country and track racing the past two years.
The men’s Zatopek 10 will start about 7.50pm.
Hot favourite will be Jack Rayner who won both editions of the Zatopek 10 run in January and then in December of 2022.
Highs of Saturday night’s meet include the de Castella under-20 men’s 3000m and Ondieki under-20 women’s 3000 meters being run as the Australian championship for the first time.
Harrison Boyd from Bendigo Harriers, and South Bendigo’s Logan Tickell will compete.
Two of the intake in this year’s Bendigo Sports Star of the Year scholarship, Chelsea Tickell and Avery McDermid will race in the under-16 mile.
Tickell in a 1609-metre race which honours Sarah Jamieson, and McDermid in a duel to honour Mike Hillardt.
Triple national shot put champion, South Bendigo’s Emma Berg will contest the Zatopek challenge with Albury’s Xylavene Beale.
Other events include the Victorian open men’s and women’s 4 x 400-metre relay finals, the Steve Hooker pole vault challenge, and a five-kilometre community run.
ARIA-winning duo Peking Duk will perform.