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Lamb happy with his debut against big guns

Liam Lamb winning the national under 20 3000m championship in January 2020. PHOTO/FILE

ATHLETICS

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Taking on some of New Zealand’s leading middle-distance runners for the first time over 5000m was more demanding than Wairarapa athlete Liam Lamb expected.

Lamb set a new personal best of 14 minutes 29.62 seconds at the Daikin Night of 5s at Auckland’s AUT Millennium Stadium on Friday night, in only his third race over 5000m.

The 19-year-old had targeted bettering the World University Games standard of 14.15, and although he was outside that time, he still smashed his previous best by more than a minute.

Lamb finished 13th in the strong field, 58 seconds behind the winner Eric Spearman from Napier, and he was reasonably satisfied with his first competitive outing against the country’s senior runners.

“There were five runners there who were pretty much pros, but I felt that I pretty much held my own, especially being one of the three juniors in the field, and I finished quite close to a big bunch of guys.”

Lamb went through the 3000m about five seconds slower than he planned, but after that, he began to feel the extra distance.

“I went through 3km in about 8.35. It would have been better if it was 8.30, but 8.35 was still fine.”

“But after that, my legs started to get heavy from a lack of mileage. 5ks is a lot more demanding than 3ks so I found out.”

Lamb felt like he had more to give and planned to build up his mileage to have another crack at 5000m in a few months.

In the meantime, Lamb will step out in the New Zealand 3000m championships in Hastings in January.

Lamb won the national under-20 title in January this year but will take on the senior runners next month.

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