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Pat Tiernan Eyes Paris Olympics After Second-Fastest Australian Marathon

Pat Tiernan Eyes Paris Olympics After Second-Fastest Australian Marathon

Pat Tiernan, from Toowoomba, achieved more than just victory at the Houston Marathon last weekend—he etched his name in Australian marathon history. At the start line, he aimed for the Olympic standard time of 2:08:10, equivalent to a relentless pace of 3 minutes and 2 seconds per kilometre for the 42.195-kilometre course.

Pat Tiernan Eyes Paris Olympics After Second-Fastest Australian Marathon

Now, a two-time Olympian, Tiernan eyes a spot at the Paris Olympics in August after retiring from track events post-Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

In Tokyo, he captured hearts by finishing the 10,000m final despite collapsing with exhaustion.

Tiernan’s journey from Toowoomba’s hilly streets to Paris’s challenging marathon course, with four times the elevation of Tokyo’s route, reflects his unwavering determination. Undaunted by the increased difficulty, he states, “It was just a matter of when I felt I was ready to do it, and that time is now.”

Challenges and Records

At the start line at the Houston Marathon, Tiernan aimed for the Olympic standard time of 2:08:10, equivalent to a relentless pace of 3 minutes and 2 seconds per kilometre for the 42.195-kilometre course.

Reflecting on the challenge, Tiernan remarked, “It’s a daunting task, only 19 seconds between that and Deek’s (Robert de Castella) old Australian record.”

However, at the finish line, he not only met his goal but also became the third Australian to complete a marathon in under 2 hours and 8 minutes, clocking an impressive 2:07:45.

Robert de Castella, cheering Tiernan from Canberra, expressed excitement at the resurgence of sub-2:08 marathon runners representing Australia. Only three Australians have achieved this feat: Brett Robinson (2:07:31), Tiernan (2:07:45), and De Castella (2:07:51).

Thrilled by Tiernan and Robinson inspiring others, De Castella emphasised the importance of endurance and strength in marathon running.

He believes that runners with a middle-distance background, like Tiernan and Robinson, can bring new competitiveness to the marathon.

Despite accolades, Tiernan remains humble. As the countdown to the Paris Olympics begins, the achievements of Tiernan and Robinson are not just milestones in Australian marathon history but also signals of an exciting and competitive future for the nation on the international stage.

Vic

Writer, biker and most of all a loving father and husband.