Athletics News

Sebastian Frey: “I’ve never experienced anything like it”

Sebastian Frey: "I've never experienced anything like it"

Austrian champion reflects on his Night of the 10,000m PBs experience and life as part of OAC Europe

Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics during the winter, Sebastian Frey is now placing a full focus on his athletics education. The 21-year-old Austrian is a member of On Athletics Club (OAC) Europe and, following an indoor season that saw him clock PBs over 3000m and 5000m (the latter being a national record of 13:23.39), he is itching to get his outdoor schedule off and running.

With a summer ahead that includes the European Championships and Olympics, there are no shortage of incentives for the Balkan 5000m champion who has progressed well under the watchful eye of coach Thomas Dreißigacker.

He puts much of his development down to that relationship with the German, not to mention the support of On, the Swiss brand that has unveiled a 360 Athlete Support initiative that helps their athletes in areas such as physical and mental preparation, health and recovery, finance planning, personal branding and media, plus personal and career development for life beyond the track.

Another of Frey’s breakthrough performances came at last year’s Night of the 10,000m PBs in London, which is now part of the On Track Nights series. His time of 28:27.86 was an Austrian U23 record and, though his schedule won’t include a visit to Highgate this year, the event has made a lasting impact.

We caught up with him at the OAC in St Moritz to learn more about his distance running development.

How did you first become involved in athletics?

Growing up, I loved football. I played a lot and was always the one who ran across the field from start to finish – front, back, across. I was always really, really athletic but I wasn’t really pushed by my parents and I was just doing it for myself.

I always wanted to run. I always wanted to do something. I always had energy.

In primary school we started to do these kids runs and I was all always really good. I could win a few and my primary school teacher told me I should go to a high school for sports, which I did, and then I started training more and more. Now I’m here. Fast forward!

So the football matches got fewer and the running became more regular?

I wanted to join the local football club but my parents always refused because of the parents who want to force their kids into training. They were never like that. They always said we don’t want to be on the sidelines with these parents on the…

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