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Gregson wins Queen Street Mile

Ryan Gregson - Australia

Ryan Gregson – Australia

Queen Street Golden Mile – 1 April 2013
Thirty years on and the Queen Street mile still has the magic and excitement as the runners scorch down the City strip in slick times.

Ryan Gregson of Australia had the speed when it counted over the final 100m to race home the winner in 3m 48.58s, beating American Miles Batty 3m 49.20s and training partner Collis Birmingham 3m 50.40s. Brett Robinson of Australia was fourth in 3m 50.81s and national 1500m champion Hamish Carson fifth in 3m 54.42s with Wellington Scottish team mates Matt Harris next in 3m 55.42s and Tim Cornish under the magical barrier in 3m 57.67s for seventh.
Gregson (22) said that he was in good shape. “That’s my strength, the last 100m and it’s good to be able to execute that today. My training partner Collis is better at the longer distances and if he was going to beat me he was going to have to go early and he had a good crack 600m out to try and break me but unfortunately for him that didn’t work and fortunately for me I was able to hang in there and execute,” said Gregson.

Gregson said it was great to come and race in support of Sir John Walker. “My coach (Nic Bideau) has been life time friends with John Walker so it was great to come over and support John’s event and win it. I know they haven’t had it in 30 years but I hope it’s not another 30 years until they do it again – if it was every year I’d come back.”

Gregson, who has a best mile on the track of 3m 52.24s set in London in August 2010, said it was a bit of a weird feeling running 3m 48s. “That’s a four second PB over the mile – but I don’t think it counts,” he said.

Birmingham who had just returned to Australia after finishing eighth at the world cross country championships in Poland said it wasn’t too much of a shock switching to a road mile. “It was a different feeling running a mile downhill to cross country but I do pride myself on being able to compete over a range of distances. My only option was to go early as I knew Ryan had the wood over me in the final stages so I thought I had to try and make him work,” said Birmingham.

Carson said that he had a good start. “Getting off the downhill on to the flat really took the juice out of my legs; so that last 300m was a bit of a struggle. It was my third race in a week so I guess I didn’t have that zing in my legs, but it’s been amongst some pretty class competition and it was a great event and I’m really happy to support John Walker’s find your field of dreams foundation,” said Carson.

Australia’s previous success in the race was Mike Hillardt second in 1982 in 3m 32.75s and Hillardt fourth in 1983 in 3m 32.33s.

Susan Kuijken of The Netherlands who is based in Melbourne won the international women’s mile in 4m 17.18s, in a desperate sprint over the final 50m to beat training companions Zoe Buckman 4m 17.67s and Lucy van Dalen 4m 19.91s.
Kuijken was the 2009 NCAA 1500m champion and she competed at the 2009 Berlin world championships in the 1500m.

The 26 year old said it was pretty tough and an all out effort from the start.
“Lucy took her turn at trying to win and I had to see how long I could hold her. I’m happy with my move that lasted at the finish, it was good,” said Kuijken. “I just loved the whole energy around this race,” she added.

Buckman (24) who holds the Australian 1000m record of 2m 37.84s and was a semi-finalist along with van Dalen in the 1500m at the London Olympics, said it was a good lead up to an 800m in Melbourne on Saturday and the 800m and 1500m double at the Australian Championships a week later.

“I felt myself in the lead and I kept rolling because it was comfortable and Lucy had a long drawn out kick and kept pushing it and then it was hard to judge the finish,” she said.

Van Dalen said it was good to have Susan and Zoe in the race.

“The race was so cool, and I loved hearing people call out my name and I’m sure I didn’t know half of them. It was definitely an exciting race to be in, but my legs had it by the end, it was just one of those days, any day you can have a good or bad day and today was just average,” said van Dalen.

“But it was a great event and Auckland puts it on really well so I definitely want to come back and do it again. Sir John – it was so awesome to have him here and it was a privilege for him to be giving us our medals today,” she added.

Camille Buscomb was up with the early pace, but faded over the second half to finish fourth in 4m 26.41s. “It felt good for the first 800m because it was really downhill but over the last little bit the other girls were just too good and they kind of got away,” said Buscomb.

American Becky Wade was fifth in 4m 31.81s, followed by Katie Wright 4m 33.56s, Ariana Harper 4m 47.42s and Tina Harris 4m 48.68s.

Amongst the other grades 49 year old Sally Gibbs was outstanding winning the master women in 4m 38.96s. 2004 Athens Olympic triathlon gold medallist Hamish Carson ran 4m 52.00s in the clash of the codes race and Scott Winton clocked 4m 18.65s in the corporate teams.

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