Linda Spencer of WA assumed the lead at the start of the Womens Zatopek 10 as the sun began to dip under the horizon at Lakeside Stadium last night.
She led a pack of 6 runners for the first 9 laps starting at 3:20 min/km pace which then dipped to 3:18 min/km after the 1st kilometre.
At 3600m Jess Trengrove moved into the lead with a strong surge that stripped the leading pack of 6 down to 4 containing Trengrove, Nikki Chapple, Tara Palm and Spencer.
By the halfway mark which was passed in 16:32 it was obvious to everyone in the stadium that it would be either Trengrove or Chapple for the win and one would definitely qualify directly for a spot in 10,000m at Commonwealth Games Glasgow in 2014 as they were well on schedule to run under the 33:24 standard with some margin for error.
By 8km the time was 26:30 so the A-standard of 32:00 was out of reach so it was clear they were now both looking at victory and achieving the 33:24 target in the process. By this time Trengrove had been leading for 4400m with Chapple watching her every move like a hawk and not looking in much discomfort at all.
At this stage we were all wondering when Chapple would make her move on her opponent and it came just before the bell as she surged away from Trengrove to close out the race in 32:56 by 14 seconds.
Some Post Race Thought (PRT’s):
PRT 1: Its tough leading in a race as long as the 10k track for as much as 6k of it if your opponent/s are able to follow your every move and puts you in a disadvantage come the final closing act. Chapple would have sensed her opponent tiring as the pace went out from 3:18 to 3:20 to 3:24 for the ninth kilometre.
PRT 2: Whilst the entire crowd’s attention was focused on the front, steepler Milly Clark quietly picked her away through the rest of the field to finish in 3rd place in a new personal best time of 33:27 just outside the “B” qualifying standard.