When he is not busy training his team of young champions, Armidale Athletics club president and coach Jay Stone is off achieving success of his own – this time it was two world titles.
Stone jetted to South Korea to compete in the 200 and 400 metre races at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships last week.
For the experienced short-distance runner, he entered the event as a rookie, having never raced on an indoor track before.
"It was very different, I hadn't done any indoor racing before so it was something completely new for me,” he said.
"I did have the opportunity to sneak on to the track for a very light training session the day I arrived and that was invaluable because I had my 200 metre heat the next day and otherwise I would have gone in completely blind.”
While outdoor athletics tracks are built on a flat surface, indoor tracks feature steep banks around the bends, similar to a cycling velodrome. Australia lacks indoor tracks but Stone used the hill at Harris Park to simulate the bends in preparation for the competition.
"One of the most different things was starting in the blocks,” he said.
"Crouching down in starting blocks, normally you doing that on very level ground but here we were starting on the side of the bank so you are leaning over and trying to do a block start on a weird angle.”
It didn’t trouble Stone who claimed two gold medals in both events. He didn’t get to celebrate his gold in the 200m straight away after becoming unbalanced and fearing he stepped on the inside line and as soon as the results came through, he was whisked away for a drug test.
“I was through that process for the next two hours so I didn't really get a chance to celebrate the 200 metres,” he said.
Stone claimed bronze in the 400m at the outdoor championships in Perth last year but to win top spot on the podium in the indoor version of the race, Stone also had to outpace the silver medal holder.
He did that by .46 seconds.
"That one meant a lot to be able to beat him and get across the line first so when I crossed the line in the 400, there was a pretty intense moment of celebration, I pretty much broke down in tears on the track because I have poured so much into this over the years to get to that point,” Stone said.