Dual Para world champion Jaryd Clifford has targeted the 2020 Launceston Running Festival for a world record attempt in the C5 Pro-Solutions 10km.
The Rio Paralympian is vision impaired and runs in the T13 class. At the tender age of 21, he already holds the 1500m world record and has a guided 14:05 5000m time in his resume. The Victorian is already the second fastest vision impaired man on the planet with a 10km personal best of 29minutes 44seconds and the existing world record of 29:38 set by El Amin Chentouf of Morocco in 2013 is well within his reach.
“Ever since I entered the high-performance arena at the age of twelve, this year was the year that I would make my Paralympic Games breakthrough. Everything was geared towards winning gold in Tokyo,” Clifford said.
“For now, that dream is on hold. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and the idea of breaking this world record is one of a few things that have kept the legs turning over through the toughest moments this year. - For so many different people and for so many different reasons, 2020 has been as tough as it gets. Initially, I was absolutely gutted about the postponement. Throughout lockdown in Victoria and my subsequent relocation to Canberra I’ve been training as hard as I can. I think I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, so to break the world record would be reward for the last four years of training,” the popular youngster said.
The fresh looking 2020 Launceston Running Festival will return to its original course, starting on Lindsay Street, Invermay, then take runners north on the East Tamar Highway, before returning and finishing at Kings Wharf outside Peppers Silo’s. Respected globally as a flat, fast course, Clifford said the ingredients were perfect for a world record attempt.
“I can’t wait to get down to Launceston. It’s a great city, a fast course, and I think race day will be a special day to be a part of,” he added.
A total of 139 elite athletes have been accepted into the 2020 Launceston Running Festival, making it the deepest field in the events illustrious career. Clifford will be kept company by 28 fellow sub 30minute 10km men and a further 20 who have clocked a lifetime best of 32minutes or better. He will also have the company of Tasmanian PE teacher and avid running fan Sean Tisdale, who will ride a supportive push bike on course to verbally assist the self-proclaimed ‘Blinky’ with navigating the course.
“The guide on the bike will provide me with the information that will get me through the course as safe as possible. I can only see a little in front of me and as I fatigue this gets harder and harder. Without the verbal guidance, races like this wouldn’t be possible,” Clifford explained.
Entries are open until 3pm Saturday 12th December at www.launcestonrunningfestival.com.au in the following events;
The Event Guide is now available with specific 2020 Launceston Running Festival information.