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Living in the fast lane

04 Oct 2018

Living in the fast lane Image

It seems the older Luke Di Biasi gets, the faster he runs.

The ANZ property team worker has just returned from Malaga, Spain, where he won both a silver and a bronze medal at the World Masters Athletics meet.

While aimed more at participation than onerous pre-qualification, Luke says the biennial event is the “Olympics for mature athletes”. But, for the participants, it’s very serious business indeed. In Malaga, Luke competed against former Olympians.

Mr Di Biasi trains about 15 hours a week on the track and in the gym. He says he is blessed to have a world-class gymnasium in Push Fitness downstairs from where he has worked since the ANZ Centre opened about 10 years ago

And the results speak for themselves. In Spain he managed a silver medal and the seventh best time ever for someone in his 55-60 years age bracket in the 400m hurdles. He won a bronze in the long-jump.

And Luke isn’t finished yet. He thinks he’s got even more improvement in him and aims to join an elite group of just four who have run the 400m hurdles in under 60 seconds.

At Malaga he ran in 61.4 seconds to win the silver and smash the Australian record.

“There’s a lot more work to be done,” he said, saying he would sit down with his speed coach, Chris Brennan, to plan out the next 12 months.

“You need both a goal and a plan,” he said. “Because a goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Luke said power-to-weight ratio was very important in his events, so he does a lot of strength work four or five mornings in the gym before work.

“It’s great to be able to take a lift up to my office,” he said.

He does track work closer to home in the northern suburbs after work on two nights and also on weekends.

He is his coach’s oldest client and trains with the young guys – a great motivator for everyone. He doesn’t want to be bested by the juniors and the young blokes certainly don’t want to be beaten by an old guy!

Since returning about eight years ago to the sport he enjoyed as a junior, his times have been improving every year. And he and his coach think he is still to peak.

The 55-year-old started a family quite late and has two boys still in his care. But he is attracted to Docklands as a place to live in the future.

He said he was initially disappointed that ANZ chose Docklands over two other locations before deciding where to build its corporate headquarters. These days, he’s a fan.

If he ever does “retire to Docklands”, Luke hopes it will be as a world masters gold medallist. The next world masters in Canada in 2020 will determine that.

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