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Threlfall falls short at Stawell Gift

A hectic month of competition meant Echuca's Brady Threlfall struggled during the weekend's Stawell Gift.

LUKE MCMANUS April 24, 2014 3:05am

Echuca runner Brady Threlfall had mixed emotions following the 1600m Herb Hedemann Invitational Handicap at the weekend’s Stawell Gift.

Threlfall, given a 65m handicap, reached as high as third out of 25 competitors but eventually succumbed to the ‘‘intensity’’ of the hotly anticipated race to finish towards the back of the field.

‘‘I was up there with about 500m to go but lactic acid took hold and all I could do was watch them run past me,’’ Threlfall said, who won the same event in 2012.

‘‘It got to the stage where I was looking behind me to make sure I wasn’t the last one.

‘‘Thankfully there were still a few bodies behind me.’’

The ‘‘shock to the system’’ stemmed from Threlfall’s hectic schedule, which included three events in three weeks.

Threlfall ran a fifth best 15km time at Melbourne’s Run for the Kids fundraiser on April 13, a week after competing in the 5000m event at the Australian Athletics Championships.

Two weeks before the championships, Threlfall took part in the World Challenge’s 5000m.

‘‘The legs just weren’t prepared to tackle a shorter, quicker distance,’’ Threlfall said.

‘‘Because it’s more of a sprint, I was on my toes a lot more than what I’ve been used to recently.

‘‘I’ve done a bit of speed work at training but not enough.’’

With his fourth Stawell Gift appearance ticked off, Threlfall can now focus on his 160km per week training schedule in preparation for a half-marathon in Christchurch, New Zealand, on June 1.

The St Mary’s Primary School teacher is aiming to break the 66-minute barrier for the first time.

Luke McManus

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