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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Its a simple secret; consistency' - 5 PB's in 3 months for Oldknow as she prepares for World Champs

That she is inside the overall top ten and amongst the top five South African athletes taking part in the 2023 SPAR Women's Grand Prix, despite having run just two of the four races thus far is a testament to Cian Oldknow's consistency and incredible improvement as a top runner. The 26-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable two years that has seen her improve on no less than seven personal bests from 800m to the half marathon while earning national colours for the first time.

"I just can't believe it sometimes," she told #TheTopRunner. "It's a simple secret - consistency. It's consistency with everything. So I'm not getting sick, I'm not getting injured so I'm just able to keep a lot of consistency with my training. And I'm just enjoying the process a lot because you are able to show you a lot more for something that you love doing."

Oldknow crosses the finish line in 33:32 for 10th place and the third South African at the 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K. Photo Credit: Stillwater Sports.

Even more remarkable though is that Oldknow does much of her training alone. Even though two-time 4km senior men's cross country champion Marko Bucarizza does do some easy runs with her, the Adidas sponsored athlete is very much a lone warrior. And it is working.

This year alone between April and June, the Hollywood Athletic Club top runner has set new lifetime bests over 1500m (4:30.48), 3000m (9:18.50), 5000m (15:48.97), 10km (32:53) and the half marathon (1:10:48). Her 21km clocking at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon in early June was her most impressive performance of the year as she smashed her previous career best by over six minutes and in ninth place overall and as the third South African she earned selection to the team that will represent the country at the World Half Marathon Championships in October.

Representing Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), Oldknow stops the clock at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon incorporating the ASA Half Marathon Championships in 1:10:48 to smash her 21km lifetime best by over six minutes and qualify for the World Half Marathon Championships. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce Photography.

"It had been two years since I last raced a half marathon so we were expecting that I would run a little bit faster than my last one. I was hoping to break 72 minutes but I ended up breaking 71 minutes. I had a great race! I knew that I had to come in the top three to make the team for World Champs. I'm so chuffed," smiled the woman who is coached by George Bradley.

With the spot in the national team secured, Miss PB will now focus on delivering her best performance in the Latvian city of Riga. "I'm doing a few of the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) cross country league races, but basically back to the road for some 10k and hoping to get a little bit faster there as I prepare for World Champs."

Catch Oldknow and other Hollywood AC top runners in action at the Hollywoodbets Durban 10km on 3 September at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium. Click HERE to enter. Asigijime!

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