Throughout his teams, Craig Mottram participated as an Australian junior triathlete. However, due to his school studies in 1998, he found he didn’t have time to train for the three disciplines and decided to link up with local running coach Bruce Scriven.
Runner: Within months Craig had become the fastest Australian junior 3000m runner when in February 1999, he broke the National Under 20 record with a time of 8:02.77.
Junior: The next month he placed 18th in the World Junior Cross Country Championships and closed the season with a second placing in the National U20 1500m. He performed well in a top class 5000m State League race in late 1999.
Olympics: Craig celebrated his 20th birthday by setting an Olympic A Qualifier and PB (13:26.20) for the 5000m in Manchester in June 2000 and backed this up with a 1500m PB in Zagreb in early July.
World Championships: On August 14, 2005, Mottram reached a career highlight, coming third in the 5000 metres event at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, running the event in 13 minutes, 32.96 seconds. He was the first non-African to receive a medal in that event since 1987.
Commonwealth Games: On March 9, 2006 in Melbourne, in his final warmup event before the Commonwealth Games, Mottram took ten seconds off the 12-year-old Australian record for the 2000 metres. This distance, not often run at IAAF events, was scheduled specifically to suit Mottram’s Games preparation.
On March 20, 2006 at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Mottram came second in the 5000 metres event with a time of 12 minutes, 58.19 seconds, beaten narrowly by Kenyan runner Augustine Choge. This race was only the second time that this event was won in under 13 minutes at a championship competition (first one being 2003 World Athletics Championships. Mottram also ran in the 1500 metre event in Melbourne on 25 March 2006, entering the competition as favourite to win. Having worked his way into third position during the race, Mottram was accidentally tripped at the 800 metre mark when English athlete Andrew Baddeley fell behind him, clipping Mottram’s heel. Mottram lost 20 metres on the field due to the incident and finished in ninth position, to his and his supporters’ obvious disappointment.
Telstra A Series: In 2007, Craig started the year on a high, dominating “the Kenyan Hope” of Boniface Songkok at the Telstra A series in Melbourne. The race was a conservative one before Craig tore the field open with a quick 7th lap before a devastating final 400 m run in 53 seconds.
Records: At the Prefontaine Classic In Eugene (Oregon), Craig ran the 5th fastest 2-mile of all time in 8:03.50 leaving in his wake the likes Alan Webb, Tariku Bekele, Matt Tegenkemp, Dathan Ritzenhein and other American hopefuls. After a good start to the season Craig suffered a Hamstring Strain which was to play havoc on his preparation of the World Championships. Craig gallantly ran on confidence to get through to the final where his interrupted preparation became apparent finishing in a disappointing 11th.