9 January, 2015. 12:40
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
AUSTRALIAN SPEED SKATER Steven Bradbury has revealed that he’s been in training to qualify for the Olympic marathon in Rio De Janeiro next year.
The 41-year-old says it’s been an uphill battle trying to get under the qualifying time of 2h 15m but he’s confident of making the cut.
“I need to shave about 45 minutes off my PB,” confides Bradbury.
“It’s pretty do-able. People said I didn’t have a hope in hell of qualifying for the speed skating semi-final!”
“Anything is possible,” he said.
The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the 42km distance did not become standardised until 1921.
Australian former world champion marathon runner, Robert De Castella, says that Bradbury will need even more luck than he’s had already in life.
“I wish him the best,” says De Castella.
“For a bloke who only started training in August, he’s certainly got his work cut out for him,”
“But he’s a lucky bloke. Maybe a sinkhole might open on the track and swallow every other runner except him.” he said.
The Daily Mail reported in September that Bradbury reached out to British arctic adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes for advice on making the transition from ice to road running.
In 2003, Fiennes completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
“The conversation lasted less than a minute,” said Fiennes, from his home in rural England.
“I don’t know how he got my private number,”
“That ghoulish man woke my wife and I up in the middle of the night – only to drunkenly lambast myself with idiotic questions about ice and running shoes.”
It’s a telephone encounter that the Australian denies taking place.
“I don’t remember calling Sir Ralph Fines [sic],” wrote Bradbury in a email to The Advocate
“He might be trying to steal some of my publicity,”
“He wouldn’t be the first one to try.”