Graham Croker


Sydney University Athletics Club distance runner Lara Tamsett’s stellar season continued on Sunday when she successfully defended her Asics 5km Bolt title at Noosa Heads.


Tamsett, a media-communications student and Sports Scholarship holder, claimed her third Asics Bolt tile in a time of 16min 29sec, ahead of Georgina Clark (16.57) and Belinda Martin (17.19).


The Asics Bolt is one of the highlights of the Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival. A long-time Noosa tradition, it brings together the best male and female Australian middle and long distance athletes who do battle in front of the thousands of sports fans and curious onlookers who line Noosa Parade.


Tamsett, the reigning Australian 10,000m champion, was in red hot form for the Noosa event, having won the women’s section of the 2010 Sun-Herald City2Surf last month when she covered the 14km course in 46min 54sec, almost one minute ahead of second-placed Cassie Fien (47.51) of Queensland and third-placed Jessica Trengrove (48.26) of South Australia.


Tamsett, 21, has been serving notice of her abilities since making her international debut in 2006 when she lined up for Australia in the 3000m at the World Junior Championships in Beijing and finished 11th in a personal best time of 9:25.13.


In 2007 she won the junior race at the World Mountain Running championships and placed 36th in the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country championships, crossing the line in 23:15 in Mombasa.


The following year she won the 10,000m national title at the Zatopek Classic in Melbourne in 32:56.19 and upped the ante in 2009. Tamsett began the year with a fourth place over 5000m at the Sydney Track Classic in February, stopping the clock at 16:03.13. She then recorded two personal bests within the same week in April, the first over 5000m (15:51.43) and the second over 10,000m (32:27.23). Earlier in the month she took out third place in the Carlsbad 5000, just four seconds behind the winner in 15:42.

She then went on to place 26th at the IAAF World Cross Country championships in Amman, Jordan, her first appearance in the women’s open category at the international meet.


Tamsett was selected to represent Australia in the 10,000m at the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, but injury forced her to withdraw.


On the comeback trail, she finished ninth in the Women’s 5km Challenge in London’s Hyde Park in September and fifth in the Great Capital Run, both against quality fields, before topping the year by winning the national 10,000m title.


She can now add a third Asics Bolt title and a City2Surf crown to that list.