Bathurst super team excited to take on relay event at World Cross Country Championships on home soil

IT’S a Bathurst super team ready to give it their all on one of the biggest stages in world athletics.

Max Martinez, Brandon Martin, Aaron Houston and Miller Rivett will compete in Saturday morning’s relay event. Picture by Alexander Grant.

Max Martinez, Brandon Martin, Aaron Houston and Miller Rivett have teamed up to take part in Saturday morning’s public teams relay race at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships on their home turf.

The group didn’t want to let an opportunity to compete as a team at Mount Panorama slip by, and they’re keen to make an impression in the eight kilometre race.

Martin said the invitation to race together was an opportunity that was far too good to pass up.

“I got a message from Max, who was thinking about entering a local team,” he said.

“I was thinking at first about running with the Run Crew team, who are based in Sydney, but when he mentioned the idea of having four local boys running in a local race – that just happened to be the World Championships race – I think that was a big incentive for me to run with some of the local talent around here.

“We’ve known each through a lot of the junior stuff around here and a lot of the local runs, like the Orange Running Festival and the local parkrun each week

“I think it’s great for Max, Miller, Aaron and myself to run together in the same team, all trying to work together instead of against one other.”

It’s not just some ‘local talent’ either, it’s four of the fastest runners Bathurst has had in recent times.

The quartet have been frequent Bathurst parkrun competitors, and they are currently the four fastest locals to ever go around the five kilometre course at Peace Park (Martin 15:36, Martinez 16:06, Houston 16:45, Rivett 16:45).

Rivett, Martinez and Houston were also the first three runners across the line in the 2020 Mount Panorama Punish.

Martin will lead off the relay, with Houston going out second, then Rivett to follow and Martinez to round out the race.

“I don’t mind running first because you actually get to race with everyone,” Martin said.

“Second, third and fourth you’re often on your own and that’s sometimes when you can find yourself in the hurt locker.

“Hopefully I can get the boys off to a good start and they can hold onto it.”

The team are also keen to check out what the best of the best have to offer in the major World Championship events later in the day.

Martin is still wrestling with the reality that their race will be one of the lead up events for one of world athletics’ biggest days on the calendar.

“It’s a hard concept to grasp that the World Championships are actually here,” he said.

“There’s very good developed cross country in Canberra, with Stromlo, and Nowra and Wollongong but to have this on our home turf is insane.

“You get a bit star struck when you’re running around town and you see the Ugandan team running around. I’ve also seen the teams from Spain and China around, and it’s amazing to see them in the flesh and not just on the TV screen.”

The corporate and public teams relay race gets underway from 9am Saturday.

The World Cross Country Championships will be part of a busy schedule for all four Bathurst runners.

Houston and Rivett took part in Friday morning’s Golden Ticket race at the World Championships and they will have the Athletics NSW Junior State Championships to contest the following weekend.

The Virtus Global Games also beckon for Houston in Vichy, France, across June 4 to 10.

Martinez is eyeing off the mile and 5km races at the Orange Running Festival over March 4 and 5.

Martin is targeting the UniSport Nationals Athletics meeting on the Gold Coast from April 19 and will follow that up with a tilt at the Launceston 10km on June 11.

The Western Advocate, by Alex Grant

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