Leanne Pompeani has pulled off an upset to win the Australian Zatopek 10,000m track title,  in Melbourne.  While in the men’s race, Jack Rayner, successfully defended his title, topping off what has been one hell of a year.


Pompeanis’ Long Run for Home

Rose Davies was hunting for a third consecutive title, but it wasn’t to be. Pompeani threw in some fast final few laps in cold conditions, to take the crown.

Ad: Brought to you by Runner’s Tribe – one of the most powerful massage guns on the market.


The 26-year-old took the lead with 10 laps remaining, winding it up the last few laps, taking it a long way from home – her winning time, 32 minutes and 20.35 seconds.

“That’s my first national title, my first open national title and it feels good to be at Zatopek, such a big event,” said Pompeani.

“That’s one I’ll remember.”

Izzi Batt-Doyle jostled with Davies but kicked away late to finish second in 32:26.02, with Davies third in 32:35.53.

“I wasn’t planning on taking the lead that early but things just happen and it’s got to be someone so I thought I would do it,” Pompeani said.

“There’s always a point in the race that you want to pull out and I was waiting for that and that did come around six laps to go.

“Rose was still there putting the pressure on and then when it did start opening up, (I got) a second wind.”

The Canberra based runner’s next goal is the world cross country championships in Bathurst on February 18, after finishing 45th in Aarhus in 2019.

Rayner Wins Again

Rayner won another Zatopek title with relative ease,  crossing the line in 28:46.30, ahead of Andre Waring (28:49.32) and Jack Bruce (28:54.57).

Jordan Gusman broke away early and took a strong lead but was reeled in by Rayner and the chasing pack and ultimately finished fifth.

“I actually didn’t even realise he made a move until I looked up and he was 50m in front,” Rayner told reporters.

“I was ‘oh I’ll let him go for a bit, make sure he doesn’t get too far.’ But it kept it a little bit interesting.”

It capped off a fine year for the 26-year-old Australian 10,000m champ, who lowered his 5000m PB this year to 13:06 in Oslo, to move to number 3 on the Australian all-time list.