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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Olympian Ryan Gregson wins 2017 Burnie Mile off scratch mark

Olympian Ryan Gregson wins 2017 Burnie Mile off scratch mark

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http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4381449/epic-victory-to-gregson-off-scratch/?cs=96

Olympian Ryan Gregson wins 2017 Burnie Mile off scratch mark

By Camron Slessor
The Examiner
1 Jan 2017


Olympian Ryan Gregson became the first athlete to win the Burnie Open Mile from scratch since 1967 on Sunday. 

The 1500m national record holder made his move in the final lap to storm home and cross the line in 4:03.97. 

Running from scratch with training partner and Tasmanian Stewart McSweyn, the Victorian pushed himself to the limit in an attempt to break the sub-4 minute mile. 

Although he didn’t reach the feat, he had the crowd on its feet as he finished ahead of McSweyn in second and Forth Paralympian Deon Kenzie in third. 

While it was hard to move around such a big field of runners, the conditions suited him and the backmarkers. 

“Because it was so windy it really affected the runners at the front so I guess it was an advantage to the stronger runners.

“So it was 34 runners and about 350m to go when I started overtaking people.

“I was quite wide and my last lap instead of running 400m I probably ran close to 420 metres.

“If I had of been on the rail the whole way that could’ve been four minutes there.”

With the Burnie Carnival in its 130th year Gregson said he was humbled by the added incentive of $3000 if he could run sub-four minutes but that wasn’t what it was all about. 

“I’d do this for free, I just love running and it’s nice to have that financial recognition but I just want to crack four because it’s such a huge milestone.

“I do understand it (the history) and that’s why I wanted to come back and compete in this mile.

“I’m a big fan of the sport and especially mile running so it just makes a win like this even more special and it’s so humbling to go down in the record books.”


Gregson said running alongside training partner in McSweyn helped him hit the front early and he expected to see big things from the Tasmanian. 

“He’s (McSweyn) a good training partner and he knows that I’m the older guy in the group.

“He’s a local boy and it was great for him to get a win in Devonport and I think you’ll see him make the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

“Unfortunately the wind came up a bit but I’d love to come back next year and hopefully get a still day and crack four (minutes). “

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What a refreshing and great attitude by Australian 1500m record holder & champion Ryan Gregson. There's a guy who has a sense of understanding about the sport, it's history and the importance of a race like the Burnie mile. He loves it, would run for nothing and is willing to take on the huge challenge it offers.

The first man for fifty years to win a Burnie mile from scratch. The last man to win the prestigious race from the mark of honour was Harry Downes who did it in three consecutive years in 1965, 66 and 67.

Makes you wonder.

We've got middle distance runners in Adelaide who in my opinion aren't fit to carry Ryan Gregson's bag, but who sit back, refuse to compete and do nothing but denigrate the sport.  

That's why they're mugs, kidding themselves they're elite;
while Ryan Gregson's a superstar and wonderful ambassador for athletics.

We need to try and get him to the Bay to attempt to break Darren Abbott's record for 1600m on Colley Reserve.


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