The OAC is back at it and breaking records. Again.
After a long few months away from the race circuit, OAC pair Olli Hoare and George “Geordie” Beamish headed to Boston with the goal of running fast. But even they were surprised at just how fast they ran. Mission, more than accomplished.
“A couple of weeks ago, we weren’t sure where we were. We were hoping for 13:20s [for 5000m] on a good day. But we did a few workouts together and we kind of surprised ourselves,” said Olli.
Olli’s last race was at the Olympics back in September while Geordie hadn’t raced in even longer – his summer season wrapped up in August. The BU Season Opener in Boston is known for eye-catching times and, although it’s typically a meet dominated by collegiate athletes, its December date meant it was the perfect target to break up the slog of winter training. The OAC pair went to test their fitness and see how all the base-building mileage was stacking up.
“In college, I got to race every two weeks so it was easy to stay motivated,” explained Geordie. “But when we’re out here in September and we don’t have a race until February, it’s harder to get out there every day. But putting this on the calendar early December kept us honest the last few weeks.”
Pacing the pair through 3000m of the 5000m race was fellow OAC member and 10,000m Olympian Joe Klecker. He did an excellent job, setting up Olli to break the tape in 13:09.96 and take over 26 seconds off the Australian indoor record. The quality of Olli’s performance cannot be underestimated as he became just the fourth Australian man to break 13:10, adding his name to a list of Aussie distance running legends.
Just behind Olli, Geordie also made history as he ripped a 26.25 last lap to finish in second place, making it a 1-2 sweep for the OAC. His time of 13:12.53 was a New Zealand indoor record, and the second-fastest 5000m time ever by a Kiwi – indoors or out.
Olli might have come out on top in the battle for the Oceania record, but he knows Geordie isn’t far behind!
“You [Geordie] were coming, that’s why I was absolutely terrified!”
Banter aside, the rivalry between the pair is one of utmost respect, thanks to months spent grinding through tough workouts together. An approach that has clearly paid off for both.
“We’ve pretty much put in the last eight weeks side by side, every workout, pretty much every easy run. We ran out of things to talk about weeks ago!” joked Geordie.
“We’ve got the best group and chemistry we could possibly have,” adds Olli. “Being able to stay healthy and maintain consistency really gets us where we want to be.”
But this is just the start for the pair: after exceeding expectations in Boston, they’ll carry that momentum and excitement into their next training block as they prepare for the Millrose Games in January. Don’t be surprised if they light up the track again.