Wade is a fast learner
By GREG WHITE
UP and coming Northern Beaches athlete Wade O'Malley has taken the next step up the ladder by engaging Coffs Harbour's best runner, Lenny Duroux, as his coach.
After blitzing all comers in his first handful of cross country races the 14 year old went to Eastern Creek for the regional titles suffering a throat infection and quickly learned the reality of top level competition.
"The other runners were like whippets and I found it hard to go with them," the youngster said.
"The surface was boggy like a cattle yard and I kept sinking in the mud.
"But it was a good learning experience."
Wade finished 15th of 160 competitors over the 3000m course and it was then, uncle and guardian Erin O'Malley put in a call to his old friend Duroux.
"When Lenny saw Wade run his false teeth almost fell out," O'Malley senior laughed.
"Wade needs to learn about technique and style and with Lenny's experience, he has to be the best person for the job."
Duroux didn't own up to the false teeth wind-up but he did say Wade's starts needed immediate attention.
"Without being taught how to do it he was at a disadvantage," he said.
"When Wade started running he just took off and kept going till he ran out of puff.
"I'm going to demonstrate how to get away properly, then pace himself and make decisions according to what's going on around him in an event."
Despite Wade's affinity for long distance racing, Duroux believes the youngsters best will come at a middle distance.
"The 1500 metre events should suit him down to the ground," Duroux said.
"With his natural stamina and the sustained speed he shows in his racing, he'll go pretty well once he gets a handle on what it's all about.
"I want him to get really aggressive in his running."
The word on Wade is spreading quickly with national magazine Take 5 doing a double-page spread on the one-time tearaway in the current issue.
Wade's was at Homebush Olympic Stadium for the recent CHS State titles.
O'Malley faced the starter in the boys 13 years 800m event before taking on the older competitors in the under 14 boys 1500m.
He finished a credible sixth in the two-lap event but amazed himself when he collected a bronze medal against the older boys over the metric mile.