Down The Track
Summary: Talking all things Track and Field, Road Racing, Recreational and Trail Running.
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In Episode 43 Sean and Tim have an in-depth conversation with Stu Macaulay. For over 20 years Stu has been a fixture within the Athletics Victoria community as an Athlete, Coach, Administrator, Team Manager, and State Selector – roles which he has brought passion and commitment to. In a broad-ranging conversation, Stu details his background both in a sporting and professional context, plus his motivation for doing what he does. As a man who has impacted the lives of many others, we also hear from Western Athletics members Claire Hodgart, Nardine Bainbridge, Phil Dunstone, and Adrian Jeffkins on their experiences with Stu and the influence he's had on each of them personally and the club that they all call home. So to fill in the blanks about a person who has contributed so much to our sport, have a listen to the first episode in our "People in Athletics" series and get to know Stu Macaulay.
Episode 42 kicks off with Olympian Peter Bol chatting to Sean and Tim about his life in and out of sport. From his move to Australia in the early 2000s through to his rise in the domestic and international athletics scene, Peter gets to tell his story. And as a skilled storyteller, we hear him weaving the characters he’s met and experiences he’s had into a wonderful tale about a young man finding his place in the world. In a new segment, Stu Macaulay from Western Athletics discusses all about his club and what has made the mob from the west one of the most successful and highly functioning athletic clubs in the country. With 20 years of experience at the club, Stu talks about the characters who have shaped Western Athletics on and off the track and where he sees the club headed into the future. Sean then provides an update on some international news including another athlete suspension and perhaps the most famous 185m run ever. So tune in to Down the Track for more up to date news in the world of athletics. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:02:12 Intro and welcome Sean & Peter Bol to Episode 42 0:02:13 to 0:35:12 Get to know Peter Bol 0:35:13 to 0:58:14 Focus on Western Athletics with Stu Macaulay 0:58:15 to 1:09:22 Some international news and the episode wrap
Sean and Tim are joined by Luke Mathews for Episode 41 of Down the Track. Having just turned 25, Luke has already endured the highs and lows of athletics with his performances speaking for themselves, but on the flip side the 'down' times influencing the athlete we see today. In a candid interview, Luke discusses his current training environment, the key influences in his career, and the impact the delay to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has had on his competitive plans. Luke also goes into detail about a number of his key performances to date, including his classic showdown with David Rudisha over 800m at Lakeside Stadium in 2015, his 2017 World Championship campaign, the 2018 Commonwealth Games 800m and finally the 2019 Australian 1500m final - one of the most anticipated races in recent athletics history. Sean and Tim also discuss the most recent drugs in sport-related controversies surrounding Doha World Champions Christian Coleman and Salwa Eid Naser, and chat about the recent Athletics Australia awards.
In a special episode of DTT we welcome Athletics Victoria CEO Glenn Turnor to give an update on where we are with the planning for a return to competition. With a lot of speculation circulating, particularly given the return of NRL and AFL, Glenn details the discussions and negotiations the sport of athletics has been involved in at both the state and national level. So if you want the real story behind the return to play planning for athletics listen in to Episode 40 of Down the Track.
In the second of our two-part podcast with Bridie O’Donnell, we discuss a number of key themes centred around women in sport. The first of these is the current imbalance in sport in terms of governance roles and the opportunities provided for women in elite sport. Bridie talks about how the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation is working with the sporting community to effect structural change across associations and clubs. With a broad background in elite sport, Bridie’s views and experiences as a female within professional sport provides an understanding of the specific issues elite women face. The portrayal of women in sport is also discussed and touches on how the press and major broadcasters approach coverage and promotion of both teams and individuals. How this impacts what we see or read, and also the financial opportunities that may or may not stem from the decisions made by broadcasters or sports associations provides some thought-provoking discussion. Finally, Bridie delves into some of the negative impacts of elite level sport on the health and well being of participants, both female and male. Our thanks to Bridie O’Donnell for her frank discussion on a number of topics that can at times be pushed to one side or simply ignored across Australia’s sporting landscape.
Trying to encapsulate Bridie O’Donnell’s life and achievements in one paragraph is no simple task. A stand out scholar, medical practitioner, elite sportswoman across multiple disciplines, and leading sports administrator are the headline phrases, but the stories behind each provide a rich tale of intertwined themes and experiences. In part one of this two part podcast, Sean and Tim talk to Bridie about her formative years and the motivations that drove her into the world of elite sports… and ultimately a leading role in sports administration in Victoria as the Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. A self-confessed ‘try-hard’, Bridie’s sporting achievements underly a driven character not afraid to break through barriers, challenge the norms, and carve a path that has led to a fundamental change in the management of sporting associations and clubs in this state. We hope you enjoy part one, which provides the perfect platform for part two where some major themes in sport, particularly women’s sport, are examined.
As an athlete who at one time held every major championship title, Olympic and World Champion Pole Vaulter Steve Hooker joins 3to1 to delve into what he believes to be his three greatest performances. Providing a wonderful insight into what’s required to produce a clearance, or series of clearances that matter, Steve takes us behind the scenes for each performance. And with these performances all unique in their own way, the mental and physical aspects before, during and after each competition help tell the story of why Steve Hooker is considered one of the greatest individual athletes Australia has ever produced. Joining Steve is Mark Stewart, Steve’s first Pole Vault coach. The bond between these two, built on mutual trust and respect, helps guide the conversation with Mark’s commentary and insight into each performance presenting a different angle to that of the athlete.
Sean and Tim are joined by two separate guests for Episode 38 of Down the Track, former Australian 800m champion Kelly Hetherington and Oceania Athletics’ Competition Manager Tom O’Shaughnessy During a career that culminated in selection for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Kelly has certainly experienced more than her fair share of disappointment and heartache. But always shining through with an optimistic and can do attitude, Kelly’s athletics career should, and will, be defined more by her successes than the hurdles that have been a constant part of her story. From her beginnings in Queensland through to her current career and competition situation, Kelly opens up about the highs and lows of sport and life and the ever present characters in her life that have helped shape the person we see. With recent structural changes to qualification systems, Oceania Athletics now find themselves in a position where southern Australia is acutely interested in their competition offerings. Tom O’Shaughnessy has been with Oceania Athletics through this transition period and provides a great insiders view of how the region is structured and the challenges/opportunities that lie ahead for what is a hugely diverse region. Sean also enlightens us about a recently released report into the structure and operations at UK Athletics and the impact this may have, while Tim tackles the number 38. With some very entertaining interviews, DTT Ep 38 continues to bring you great insight into the world of athletics and the people who make our sport what it is. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:02:20 Intro and welcome Sean & Kelly Hetherington to Episode 38 0:02:21 to 1:05:00 Get to know Kelly Hetherington 1:05:01 to 1:40:58 Tom O’Shaughnessy discussing all things Oceania Athletics 1:40:59 to 1:52:58 The goings on at UK Athletics, Tim talks no.39 and the episode wrap
For Episode 37 Sean and Tim are joined by the President of Athletics Australia, Mark Arbib. After a political career as a NSW Senator, that included time as the Federal Minister for Sport, Mark has had extensive experience with a number of major sports. These include Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Football, and he also sits on the Australian Olympic Committee. In some broad-ranging discussions we delve into the world of Mark Arbib including his vast experience in Australia’s sporting landscape and the motivations behind his move into the senior leadership position for Athletics in this country. Mark also details what’s been happening at Athletics Australia during the pandemic and how their operational model has adapted to the new working conditions we all face. With Bathurst 2021 now a major focus for AA, we discuss how preparations are tracking and if the current situation may impact the planning and delivery of the World Cross Country Championship. So if you want to get to know the man who’s leading our sport in Australia, tune in to Down the Track Ep. 37 Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:01:12 Intro and welcome Sean & Mark Arbib to Episode 37 0:01:13 to 0:29:57 Get to know Mark Arbib 0:29:58 to 0:43:57 What’s happening at Athletics Australia including competition options and the One Sport model 0:43:58 to 1:01:54 Some updates on Bathurst 2021 in light of the current situation 1:01:55 to 1:06:10 Episode wrap and Sean enlightens us with some knowledge on the number 37
AFL legend and media personality Kane Cornes joins Sean and Tim for the latest episode of Down the Track. After an illustrious 300 game AFL career with Port Adelaide that included the 2004 Premiership, two All Australian selections, and four club best and fairest awards, Kane has now transitioned into the media with numerous roles in television, radio and print media. His post-football career, however, has seen him develop a passion for running and athletics which has seen him run a 2:35 marathon in Melbourne and become an advocate for our sport in the media. Kane provides great insight on how the Covid19 has impacted major sport across Australia and what it may mean heading into the future for these sports. On a personal front, the isolation measures have led to Kane having to adjust his work environment and adapt to life at home, which included him running a marathon around his tennis court to raise money for charity! In international news, the British athletic community is in mourning following the death of former UKA Performance Director Neil Black. And the Berlin Marathon is the latest major event to either postpone or cancel… although it’s actual status is still uncertain. In this episode we also try to give some clarity around what you can or cannot do in terms of exercise, traveling to exercise, and exercising with your coach or a friend. The episode wraps with a tribute to Elaine McLeod who passed away this week after battling Parkinson's Disease. The Athletics Essendon life member lived a very productive life as an elite athlete, athletics administrator, official and coach and her smiling face at tracks around Victoria and Tasmania will be sorely missed. Another big episode of Down the Track providing some much-needed distraction from our isolated world. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:01:40 Intro and welcome Sean & Kane Cornes to Episode 36 0:01:41 to 0:40:34 A high profile media figure, we delve into how the current situation is impacting Kane Cornes and how he’s dealing with it on a personal and professional front 0:40:35 to 1:05:55 Kane discusses the broader ramifications 1:05:56 to 1:14:57 1:14:58 to 1:22:21 What’s happening in the world of AV 1:22:22 to 1:31:24 Tim discusses the sad passing of Athletics Essendon life member Elaine McLeod and details her impressive background as an athlete and huge contribution as an administrator, official and coach.
Since the last episode in early March, the world as we know it has certainly changed a little. So after a short hiatus, Down the Track is back and what an episode it is. Sean and Tim are joined by Australian running legend Steve Moneghetti to discuss the impact and ramifications of Covid19 – particularly in terms of the sport of athletics. By mid-March, it was obvious that the situation was getting serious and the cascading number of event cancellations started to hit home to the athletics and running fraternity. Sean talks about the cancellation of the Australian Championships while Steve talks about his experience with one of Victoria’s largest running events, the Run for the Kids. And it's not just events in the firing line, training for everyone has now been upended as squads are no longer allowed, social distancing is the thing and the ability to travel to training venues curtailed. So adapting to a new routine is important and Steve talks of his personal experience of adjustment and workarounds. The IOC finally made the call on the Olympics with the decision being made to shift it by almost exactly 12 months to 2021. Sean examines some of the changed qualification processes for Tokyo 2021 and raises the question of who may be benefitting or disadvantaged by the changes. Steve looks at it from the athlete’s perspective and delves into what decisions or thought processes athletes will be making right now. The knock-on effect of the changed Olympic date means that the 2021 World Athletics Championships scheduled for Oregon moves to 2022 and into a similar time slot as the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. What does this mean for the athletes and the selection of the Australian teams? And with the World Indoors in 2021 moving to the same weekend as the World Cross Country Championships to be conducted in Bathurst, will this impact the first major athletics competition in Australia for 20 years? It’s a case of no rest for the wicked as the AV staff transition to working from home and continue to keep the wheels turning in the world of athletics. With no scheduled competition it is a changed dynamic but this hasn’t stopped a flurry of activity. One such activity is the transition of Coach Education to online learning while our Competitions and Community Engagement teams are hard at it preparing for the world post-pandemic. Episode 35 wraps with a shout out to Tori West and her new podcast Athletics Up North. With two episodes already released featuring Jake Doran and Benita Willis, this is certainly another podcast you should add to the playlist. It’s great to be back and we’re sure you’ll find plenty of interesting conversation in the latest episode of Down the Track. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:02:20 – Intro and welcome Sean & Steve Moneghetti to Episode 35 0:02:21 to 0:34:49 – Sean, Tim and Steve discuss the broader ramifications on training and competition of the current crisis 0:34:50 to 0:54:04 – What’s happening with the Olympics? 0:54:05 to 1:10:46 – The impact on the 2021 World Championships and 2022 Commonwealth Games, plus with the World Cross Country in Bathurst now clashing with the World Indoors in China what does this mean? 1:10:47 to 1:23:46 – What’s happening in the world of AV 1:23:47 to 1:35:10 – Episode wrap and a shout out to the Athletics Up North podcast hosted by Tori West
With weekend one of the Victorian Track & Field Championships completed, there’s plenty to talk about in Episode 34 of Down the Track. Fresh off her Under 20 400m win in the Vic Champs, and a recent 100m PB of 11.70, Mia Gross joins Sean and Tim to discuss her performance and review other standout performances from the first weekend. We get to hear from Dalton Di Medio, Emma Werner and Jake Penny who all took home Victorian State titles, a first for Dalton and Emma. The breaking news last Friday was Eleanor Patterson breaking the Australian High Jump record at the Capital Classic in Wellington, with a clearance of 1.99m. After reaching 1.96m as a 17 year old, Eleanor’s foray back into top level jumping that has involved a number of critical changes behind the scenes, sees the 23 year old now in a position to challenge the best in the world. Already dubbed ‘Geelong’s finest’ by Sean, Mia then tells us her story that includes some amusing tales from the self confessed accident prone athlete who has faced numerous challenges in competition both home and abroad. Mia describes her support network, the special bond in her family and the support she has received from Joe Gulli and Jess Gulli-Nance that has enabled her continued involvement in the sport. Sean enlightens us on a low key meet in Canberra that saw both Peter Bol and Joseph Deng record 1:45’s, with Mason Cohen and Dylan Stenson not far behind with sub 1:47’s. For Stenson this was a new South Australian state record and first time under 1:47, after recording 18 sub 1:48’s in his career! Tasmanian junior sensation Sam Clifford also produced a top performance in his home state’s championships with a solo 14:05 in the 5000m. Continuing on the record breaking theme, Swede Armand Duplantis continues to extend his Pole Vault World Record run with am indoor clearance of 6.18m in Glasgow, another 1cm advancement on his own performance in Poland the week before. Meanwhile all distance running eyes were on the US Olympic Marathon trials in Atlanta where some expected and totally unexpected results occurred to shape the US team for Sapporo. Victoria’s own Amy Cashin recorded her first sub 9min 3000m track performance in the US, finishing just 1sec behind event winner Jess Hull in an Indoor meet in Boston. Sean then explains the science behind the varied dynamics of indoor tracks in the US, a must listen for anyone of the nerdier types fascinated by centrifugal force! And to round out the international news we talk Coronavirus and it’s potential impact on world sport. With weekend two of the Victorian Track & Field Championships upon us and all of our Specialist Groups in action the week after, there’s plenty to look forward to domestically as we head towards the Australian Championships later in the month. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:01:14 Intro and welcome Sean & Mia Gross to Episode 34 0:01:15 to 0:46:04 Victorian T&F Championship Weekend 1 recap 0:46:05to 0:50:34 Eleanor Patterson claims the Australian High Jump record 0:50:35 to 1:23:55 In depth with Mia Gross 1:23:56 to 1:28:49 Interstate news 1:28:50 to 1:55:01 International update 1:55:02 to 2:00:27 What’s coming up – Vic Champs Weekend 2, RAC, VMC, AVT & HVC
The summer of athletics keeps rolling on with local, interstate and a number of events across the ditch in New Zealand providing plenty of options for competitors at all levels. Joining Sean and Tim in the studio is one of Australia’s leading sprinters, and a man who really doesn’t need an introduction – Jack Hale. Jack adds his insights into the Track Classics and his recent experience at the Sir Graham Douglas International Meet in Auckland. Once again we go through some of the highlight performances from Canberra and Sydney including our High Jump girls and the Deng V Bol show continuing on its merry way. We also get to know a little bit more about Jack Hale, going behind the media spin and trying to find out the drivers that keep him going in what can be a very tough sporting environment. Jack’s desire for an individual team spot at the highest level, and the pursuit of faster times shine through as key motivators, so too the strong support base and camaraderie among many of our nation’s top sprinters. The AVSL playoffs saw a culmination of our domestic competition for season 2019-20. With five divisions being decided on the day, and four promotion/relegation battles contested, it certainly was a busy but very entertaining day at Lakeside Stadium. The Specialist Groups continue their great work in delivering strong levels of competition for athletes of all ability levels. High Velocity Meet 1 was staged at the Duncan MacKinnon Track in Murrumbeena with some good performances over the 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump and 400m hurdles. The following week Melbourne University played host to the 104th Men’s and 17th Women’s Victorian Mile Championships at Victorian Milers Club Meet 4. Championship wins went to Lachie Barber (WES) and Madeleine Murray (DKN), with Western Athletics scoring a rare 1-2-3 in the Men’s race. A much anticipated battle took place in the Men’s 800m with Peter Bol holding out Joseph Deng, the pair now holding positions one and three on the VMC 800m All Time list courtesy of these runs. Rare Air Club changed dates and venues due to Melbourne’s unusual run of summer weather, with Box Hill hosting another good competition. Cassidy Bradshaw and Elyssia Kenshole went head to head once again while the Di Medio brothers, Dalton and Andre, vaulted well and were split by Tasmanian visitor Matt Hosie. Brisbane hosted our multi talented multi eventers for a weekend of running, jumping and throwing. We review the results with a particular eye on the Victorian performers and our Gold medallists Noah Oliver, Mia Scerri and Sebastian Reyneke. Another road racing world record fell over the weekend with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia slicing 20 seconds from the Women’s Half Marathon mark. And it appears the Salazar name is back in the news again, this time following a Panorama (UK TV program) investigative piece around Mo Farah, UK Athletics and the use of L-carnitine as a supplement. The Victorian Championships are now upon us for the next two weekends, so there continues to be plenty to talk about as we head towards Episode 34 next week. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:00:57 Intro and welcome Sean & Jack Hale to Episode 33 0:01:34 to 0:32:09 Canberra & Sydney Track Classic review 0:32:10 to 0:48:44 Sir Graham Douglas International Meet - Auckland 0:48:45 to 1:18:58 In depth with Jack Hale 1:18:59 to 1:26:00 AVSL playoffs wrap 1:26:01 to 1:49:49 High Velocity Club, Victorian Milers Club & Rare Air Club review 1:49:50 to 2:01:14 Combined Event Championship results from Brisbane 2:01:15 to 2:09:19 International news – another World Record on the road falls and there seems to be more coming out on Alberto Salazar 2:09:20 to 2:13:25 Episode wrap
War Memorial Drive in Adelaide played host the Australian 20km Walks Championship, doubling as the Olympic Selection trial. Our special guest for Episode 32 is Jemima Montag, who secured her ticket to the Olympics with a great performance on Sunday. This episode kicks off with a review of the Melbourne Track Classic with Sean listing his top three performances on the track (and a couple of honourable mentions) while Tim looks at what was happening in the field. Our special guest relives the action from Adelaide and what it felt like to not only win her first Open Australian Championship but to also get the auto qualifier for the Olympics. We also cover off Dane Bird-Smith’s win and the options open to Rhydian Cowley. In what should be a ‘must listen’ segment for all aspiring athletes, Jemima then tells her story of life, sport and the issues faced by athletes of this generation. With body image and eating disorders quite prevalent in endurance sports, Jemima reveals her own account of dealing with such issues and the support networks necessary to navigate the journey. The AVSL season comes to a conclusion with the premiership showdowns and promotion/relegation battles so we look through the ladders to see who’s shaping up for what. In international news, Brett Robinson claims a fairly old Australian record in the Half Marathon, the Milrose Games witnessed a new star on the rise, all is not well in the world of Canadian athletics and Sean sums up the World Athletics ruling on running shoe design. With the Canberra Track Classic coming up and the Australian Multi Events Championships in Brisbane, another busy weekend awaits and then there’s HVC, VMC, RAC and AVT all doing their stuff in Victoria. The world of athletics never sleeps and you’ll continue to find the most comprehensive coverage of our sport in Australia on Down the Track. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:01:33 Intro and welcome Sean & Jemima Montag to Episode 32 0:01:34 to 0:22:01 Melbourne Track Classic review 0:22:02 to 0:42:30 Australian 20km Walk Championship and Oceania U20 10km Walk 0:42:31 to 1:28:35 In depth with Jemima Montag 1:28:36 to 1:32:31 AVSL ladder update leading to the playoffs 1:32:32 to 1:52:17 The International update 1:52:18 to 2:04:30 Canberra Track Classic and Australian Multi event championship preview 2:04:31 to 2:09:16 What’s coming up 2:09:17 to 2:12:15 Episode wrap
Sean and Tim are joined by Para athlete extraordinaire Marty Jackson for Episode 31. Marty has made a big impact in athletics over his five year involvement in the sport and with a Commonwealth Games silver and World Para Championship bronze medal already in his collection, Marty talks about his life and plans leading through to the next World Championships in 2021. . The Geelong Region once again hosted the very successful Steigen Victorian Country Championships over the Australia Day long weekend. Some of the highlight performances are discussed including Kath Mitchell’s return to competition and the very strong performances in the throws events in particular. Box Hill hosted another record breaking Victorian Milers Club while the Rare Air Club had a split competition between Melbourne University and Casey Fields. A lively conversation about pacers at Milers Club ensues… definitely some frustration expressed by our track side experts. Eleanor Patterson signalled her return to top flight competition by posting an equal PB and Olympic Qualifier with a 1.96m High Jump performance at the ACT Championships. Jack Hale also impressed in the 100m, while Mia Gross produced a 100m World Junior Championship Qualifier with a legal run of 11.74secs. Darcey Roper had a great series in the Long Jump and looks to be building well towards the Nationals Internationally we had Jess Hull and Lisa Weightman posting big performances. Hull broke Melissa Duncan’s 1500m Australian Indoor record with a 4:04.14 in Boston, a nice confidence booster before returning to Australia for the 5000m Championship. Meanwhile in Osaka Lisa Weightman staked her claim to become only the second Australian woman to run the marathon at four Olympic Games with a 2:26.02 performance. With AVSL rolling on to its exciting climax at Lakeside on February 22nd, the Box Hill Classic on January 30th and the Melbourne Track Classic set for February 6th there is certainly plenty happening in the world of Victorian athletics. Stay tuned for episode 32 of Down the Track and another very special guest. Timeline 0:00:00 to 0:01:06 Intro and welcome Sean & Marty Jackson to Episode 31 0:01:00 to 0:44:07 Get to know Marty Jackson 0:44:08 to 0:56:42 Country Championships wrap 0:56:43 to 1:16:22 Rare Air Club and Milers Club 1:16:23 to 1:31:51 ACT Champs and the international news 1:31:52 to 1:46:00 What’s coming up AVSL, the Box Hill Classic and Melbourne Track Classic