Irishman Colum Rothery has never run an age-graded 300 metres so he's excited by the what the challenge will bring on Saturday at the Warrnambool Gift.
"It'll be interesting, there'll be quite a split between the people at the front and back," he said.
He's just one of three world champions who will take on the weight-for-age handicap race at Friendly Societies' Park.
It's different to most Victorian Athletic League handicap events which are based on past performance.
Rothery, part of the Hippo Athletic Club stable, will join fellow world-beaters Andrew Wilcox and Nathan Crowley in the straight final.
The Altona-based athlete won the 800m/1500m double in the men's over 40 at the World Association of Veteran Athletes Championships (now World Masters Athletics) in Brisbane in 2001.
Rothery, who was 41 at the time, set a championship record in the 800m.
However, his personal best of one minute and 50.69 seconds came a year earlier at a British Milers Club meet a stone's throw from Manchester United's home pitch, Old Trafford.
His other outstanding achievement came in 2004 at the first World Masters Indoor Championships in Germany.
As a 44-year-old, right at the top end of the over 40 category, he took out the 800m/1500m double.
Rothery feels his best chance will be in the 300m masters on Saturday. He finished second last year.
"If I can get in the final I'll be very close," he said.
While historically he has entered middle-distance runs, he enjoys the hustle and bustle of the 300m dash.
"I find it so much more enjoyable, you're always there in a group of people near the line," he said.
"I was doing the master's mile and a lot of the mile you're just running on your own."
Rothery said he came to running late and didn't concentrate on athletics until his mid 30s.
The middle-distance champion, originally from Dublin, met his wife (from Geelong) in Ireland and they moved to Australia 11 years ago.
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