BEMBOKA runner Keith Law is reaching his prime at the ripe age of 58.
Law has impressed in his first outing as an Australian Masters team representative.
Law recently secured a silver medal at the Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in Bendigo.
He completed the 5000-metre race in an impressive time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds to finish second in the 55-year men’s age group.
The race winner was Ian Coulder, who Law said is rated as “one of New Zealand’s top runners”.
“I’d rather compete against the best and give myself a chance against the best,” he said.
“I’m proud to come away with silver against some of the best in Oceania.”
It’s an impressive start for Law, who has gained selection in national colours.
There was no qualification – the athletes have to decide themselves if they are worthy.
“I nominated myself, but I put on my own limitations,” Law said.
“I don’t want to represent Australia if I’m running slower times.
“I feel good enough within myself an athlete.
“I’m not an also-ran – I can represent Australia proudly.”
Law now believes he can improve his personal best times.
His first opportunity will come on January 24 when he competes at the 3000m ACT Veterans Championships.
Law will then compete in the 10,000m ACT Veteran’s Championships on January 30.
Following those competitions, Law will compete in some 3000m and 10,000m races at his ACT club.
All events will be used as practice for the big one, the Australian Masters Athletics Championships on March 9.
The competition will be held at the Queen’s Domain in Hobart, Tasmania, and Law will take part in the 5000m race.
At last year’s championship, Law secured fourth place in a time of 18m3s.
His personal best in the 5000m race is 17m39s, which he recorded at the Australian Masters Games last October (BDN, 11/10/13).
According to Law, that time makes him the 44th fastest in the world for his age group.
It also made him feel “worthy of Australian selection”.
Law said 17m39s was faster than the 2013 Australian Masters Athletics Championships winner in his age group.
Law has good reason to feel confident about his chances.
“I’m in a good position, but I’m not getting ahead of myself – there’s a bit of work to do,” Law said.
“I’m in there with a chance of doing well.”
Law has been training hard under the guidance of Bruce Graham, who took on the coaching role around 18 months ago.
“Bruce has got me running really well at the moment – he’s a good coach,” Law said.
“Bruce has a simple, but very effective training program.”
As result, Law has slashed his personal best times in both the 3000m and 5000m disciplines.
Law has cut his 3000m PB time by 20 seconds and is now just eight seconds behind the ACT record.
Meanwhile, his 5000m PB has been cut by 24 seconds and he remains nine seconds away from the ACT record.
“I did some sums and figured out that’s a quarter of a second per 100m [off record] in each race,” Law said.
“Otherwise, it’s 1.5 extra metres per 100m roughly – it’s so frustrating.
“I want to be number one in Australia.”