Birmingham/Tamsett under fire to defend Bolt titles
Olympic 5km representative Collis Birmingham and 21 year old university student Lara Tamsett are both determined to defend their titles in this years' Asics Bolt, but will come up against a quality field equally as determined to take the crown.
In one of the most impressive years of his career to date, Birmingham has posted new personal best times over three distances. The new mark continues an impressive run for the 24-year-old world championship representative, who recorded new personal best times over 1500m (3:35.76 in Rieti, ITA) and 5000m (13:14.53 in Oslo, NOR) and in April set a new national 10,000m record of 27:29.73 in Berkeley (USA).
Martin Dent has dominated this race in recent times claiming three consecutive titles from 2005 but Birmingham put an end to that in 2008 finally clenching his first crown after numerous minor placings.
The field is strengthened even further with the inclusion of in-form American Bobby Curtis who finished third last year and Ben St Lawrence keen to improve on his fifth placing in 2008.
Despite her petite frame, Tamsett is also making a big name for herself as a middle distance runner.
She is the current national 10,000m champion (32:56:19) and her 2009 campaign so far includes a fourth place over 5000m at the Sydney Track Classic (16:03:13) back in February. Tamsett then went on to record two personal best within the same week in April, the first over 5000m (15:51.43) on April 17 and the second over 10,000m on April 24, stopping the clock at 32:27.23.
In claiming her second Bolt title last year she also claimed one of the biggest scalps in distance running when she beat Australia's most decorated and versatile runners, Benita Johnson.
This year she will face former Bolt winner and three-time Olympian Sarah Jamieson. At the Beijing Games, Sarah ran the third fastest time ever by an Australian at Olympic level over 1500m (4:06.64) finishing 5th. Also expected to lead out will be Nikki Chapple and Lisa Weightman.
One of the highlights of the Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival is always the men's and women's ASICS 5km Bolt held on Super Saturday, 31 October.
A long time Noosa tradition, the ASICS Bolt brings together the best male and female Australian middle and long distance athletes who do battle in front of the thousands of sports fans and curious onlookers who line the hot and noisy Noosa Parade.
Men Joseph Waweru 13:41 (1999)
Women Benita Johnson 15:22 (2002)
The 2009 Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival will be held from 28 October to 1 November.
For further event information check out the website at www.usmevents.com.au.
Noosa Parade, Noosa Heads
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