Canberra masters sprinter Adam Farlow will hide his grey hairs from the young guns of Australian sprinting.
Farlow was excited about the prospect of taking on 19-year-old Jack Hale, who is searching for a Commonwealth Games 100-metre qualifying time at the ACT championships at the AIS track on Friday.
But the 100m isn’t Farlow’s pet event, with the 200m on Saturday his main focus as he looks to better the Australian record he set for 35-39-year-olds last Sunday.
He’ll also run in the 4x100m relay this Sunday.
Not bad for a bloke who just six years ago was smoking and drinking heavily before a mate talked him into getting back into athletics.
Now Farlow’s continuing his tradition of having a trim before every meet to ensure he looked his best.
He thought he was a bit weird, but has since found a paper on NBA teams taking hairdressers on the road with them so they could have haircuts before every game and get the resulting performance boost.
“Part of my strategy is to keep the beard short and the hair on top of my head short so the grey hairs don’t show and the boys don’t realise I’m quite a lot older than them,” Farlow said.
“Always got to race with a fresh haircut. It’s just something I’ve always done.
“I’ve read some psychological reports on professional athletes … [they do it] because if you’re feeling great you’ll perform.”
He’s running against Hale and Australia’s other leading male sprinters – Josh Clarke and Rohan Browning – as they look to book tickets to the Gold Coast.
It’s all part of a star-studded line-up for the ACT championships as athletes look to post qualifying times for the Comm Games.
World champion hurdler Sally Pearson’s the headline act, Michelle Jenneke, along with teen-sensation Hale, Australian 100m record holder Mel Breen, Canberra Olympian Lauren Wells and Comm Games bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Roberts will also compete.
Farlow felt he ran his best when he had quick blokes in his race to help pull him along – especially on his home track, which also happens to be the quickest in Australia.
Hale’s personal best was 10.21 seconds – just 0.73s quicker than Farlow’s.
”Those guys are the top dogs in Australian sprinting so it’s exciting to be able to race them on our home turf,” Farlow said.
“Me personally, I run faster in my events when I’ve got a really fast, competitive field, just to push or drag me along to record those quicker times.
“It’s exciting to have those big guns in town to race at our home state champs. I can’t wait actually.”
But the 100m wasn’t Farlow’s main focus. Instead that lies with the 200m on Saturday.
That’s where he wants to break his Aussie record and get himself a berth at the nationals on the Gold Coast.
There he’ll be racing at Metricon Stadium from February 15-18 – where the Comm Games athletics will be held a couple of months later.
It’ll give him a nice memory when he’s sitting in the stands potentially watching some of the athletes who he was running against at the ACT championships.
“I’d like to defend [my 200m title] or come in the top three and that’s my criteria met to then go to nationals,” Farlow said.
“It’s going to be really exciting [to run at Metricon] because I bought tickets to watch the Commonwealth Games for the 200m sessions – three sessions over three days – so when I’m there I can say I’ve competed on this track in the trials.”