Introducing Ned Buckell - one half of the Buckell Boyz. Ned and his twin brother, Matt, are the youth of the Bendigo Bats making huge inroads in the running community. 

Although his career is just starting, Ned faced a major setback in his junior years with a rare and long term injury. Thankfully, he's back at full health and making the most of his fitness. After a solid training camp at Falls Creek, Ned left the mountain, went to the track, and ran PB’s in the 1500m (3:58) and 5000m (15:05) in the space of a week. Would be rude not to mention that since chatting with Ned, he smashed his 5000m PB once again, running 14:42 at the Bendigo 5k Frenzy.  

Get this man a beer.

Tell us about yourself: 
I'm 19 years old and love spending time outdoors - I enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, surfing, skiing and so on. I’m keen to travel as I get a little older and explore more of Australia and the world. I’d like to visit Greece, Italy, Hawaii just to name a few. 

Talk to us a little about your running journey:
I have basically been running my whole life. Dad ran for harriers so my brothers and I would always come and do the 500m. We have always been into sport, giving heaps as a try when I was growing up. Matt and I did little aths together and it was good to always have that competition to push each other that extra bit. We never really trained up until we got to maybe grade 6, just racing once every week was enough. Matt and I would join our older brothers for early morning ADP sessions before school where we met Andy, our coach. Coaching us through high school and secondary college, I think he will be our coach for a long time. He knows Matt and I pretty well so it works perfectly. Towards the end of year 8 (2017) I had a pretty unfortunate injury which set me back a few years. A staph infection in the femur, pneumonia, and endocarditis meant I wasn’t able to start running again up until mid 2019 after crutches for about 80 weeks. This took a huge toll mentally as sport was my everyday life, especially at such a young age where I wasn’t able to compete with my schoolmates in a range of different sports. This set back motivates me a lot, to see where I have come from makes me so proud of myself and grateful for the people I have around me. To where I am now, I run for so many different reasons and am always setting new goals to achieve.

How was your first time up at Falls Creek?
Staying up Falls Creek is easily one of the best experiences I have to date. This was my first time staying on the mountain and I’m already keen to go back with the boys. The running is really enjoyable up there especially with so many talented runners from Australia. It was an unreal break from ‘reality’ where the only thing I had to worry about was running,  resting or what my next meal is going to be and not work etc. It was great to be in an environment where everyone you met really wants to better themselves just as much as yourself so I definitely left the mountain pretty inspired from most of the athletes. Will definitely be there for many years to come.
1500m in 3:58 and 5000m in 15:06 (are these correct?) last month - stoked with both results?
Yep, 15:05 I think. Very happy with these races, especially the 5000m at countries. Felt really relaxed the whole race all the way until about 250m to go where I started to feel all the lactic from the kickdown. The 1500m was run off rarely any speed sessions so it will be good to see what I can do at the last milers meet this season. Looking forward to many more races to sharpen these PBs up.

What’s your 2021 looking like? 
So this year I am starting Sport and Exercise Science at La Trobe Bendigo. I look forward to this and am excited to see what kind of pathways open up to me in the next few years. I ‘m currently a cook at GYG, which is good for the time being as I get flexible and long hours that I am able to move around my running plans. Running wise I hope to stay injury free and stay consistent for the cross country season. Going to be a massive year for the Bats so it’s something that I’d love to have an impact on. Think the main reason I love XCR is the team aspect, it's really motivating and something that brings enormous amounts of joy to me. Also will be going to Gold Coast for the 10km which I am pretty excited for.

Long term plan/goals with running (marathon one day?)
Marathon has always been my favourite event. I’ll certainly run marathons as my main event one day but for the time being I’ll focus on shorter distances up to 10km. 

Is there an individual/group you’d like to pay homage to?
100% my coach Andy. Don’t think I could thank him enough for the work he has put in over the years helping Matt and I with our training. He is easy to work with and just someone I feel lucky to have as such a great role model.

Favourite beer?
If I have to, Great Northern or Byron Bay brewery. I don't drink very often so I'd probably much rather a Ginger Beer or Canadian Club.