Oceania Athletics Championships 5000m- Congratulations to Uni’s Andy Buchanan

Mel Douglass

Congratulations to UNI’s Andy Buchanan who represented Australia at the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships in Townsville on Tuesday 25th June. Andy came home with a bronze medal in the 5000m event and was the first Aussie home in a time of 14:19.53, behind New Zealand winner Oli Chignell 14:07.17, and New Zealand 2nd place getter Matthew Baxter 14:19.53. Great run Andy, and go the green and gold! I am sure the weather was much nicer up North.

Andy now has to back up with a run in the Gold Coast Half Marathon on Sunday morning (7th July), starting bright and early at 6am. Best of luck Andy. Results are streamed live for anyone wanting to track Andy’s progress on the day. For more details see https://goldcoastmarathon.com.au/

Andy has been kind enough to provide a race report for your enjoyment:

“I found out a few months ago I was going to have the opportunity to represent Australia at the Oceania Championships. I’d never heard of these Championships before and wasn’t sure what it’d be like running a 5000m track race in the middle of Winter (cross country season) and the added factor of it being in Townsville. Due to a change in qualification processes, winning or placing in an Area Championships such as Oceania Champs now included big points. This has caused a big change in the Championship, with many of Australia’s 2020 Tokyo hopefuls competing in Townsville, hoping to secure big points early on.

The 5000m was always going to be two races in one. Up front I knew there would be the Australian’s and New Zealand runners and further back would be the Island athletes. The race started at a solid pace but nothing too serious. I had come down with a cold the week before so was happy it wasn’t flat out from the gun. After 2k I was feeling good and wanted to test out how the other main contenders were feeling. I went to the front and increased the pace, with four other runners following through. Coming through with 1 mile to go, Matt Baxter (13:30 5k guy) took the lead and a young NZ guy followed him through. I tried to hold on to their pace but they were gradually getting away. I settled into 3rd and ran hard to gap 4th as I never like it to come down to a finally 200m sprint. I managed to hold 3rd and finish in 14:17. While it was a long way off a PB, I was happy with my race. The winner finished in 14:07. To give you an understand of the extra points on offer for Oceania Champs, this equals the amount of points you’d receive for running 13:23!

I’d like to quickly thank everyone for their continued support. I’m always overwhelmed by the amount of interest people from the club show and the support they give me. Big shoutout to my parents for all their support and for forcing me to come to club runs nearly 20 years ago! Also a big thank you to Ben Stolz Myotherapy for everything he does to keep me injury free!”

Results online at http://liveresults.qldathletics.org.au/oceania/2019/2019_OAA-Championships/index.htm