Thursday, 30 July 2009

I'm off to Berlin after all !

Ok it's not the World Championships but I've earned a late call up to an England Team going out to Berlin this weekend for the Berlin Road 10k race on saturday evening.

I had put my name in the hat for selection a few weeks back but initially missed out on selection, however one of the original selections has pulled out only this week and I was next on the list. This has certainly come at a good time, as you'll see from my last blog post I'm a little short on good quality competitive races so this has proved ideal.

I don't know much about the race itself other than its apparently a night race and if the Berlin marathon course is anything to go by it should be fairly flat and fast - many of the fastest ever marathons times have been on the Berlin course. The race is also an England v Germany v Denmark match and is the second race of a triangular series of road races this summer.

After having very windy conditions to contend with as well as running below par generally in the Manchester 10k back in May this is a great chance to rectify my seasons best and personal best.

I will try post up the result on twitter on the saturday evening.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Anyone fancy a race?

I seem to have recovered from my suspected swine flu - apparently some people haven't been affected as badly as others but I was never tested to confirm the diagnosis so who knows! Whatever it was it didn't seem to bother me on Wednesday when I got on the track for the first time since the Nationals. Session Wednesday was only 400m reps though and this morning is a longer reps session and so will be a better indicator of things.

Wednesdays session went well though and all being well today it looks like I'm coming into some good form. My problem however is the lack of quality races! I misses out on the LOndon Grand Prix last night - at the time of trying to get the race I was ill with flu though so I can't blame them for not wanting me in the race! The race turned out not to be as good as it looked on paper though as the weather wasn't kind, I would still have jumped at the chance to run though. I'm looking for a good 5000m to run a fast time in, which is proving quite difficult being that the World Champs are faster approaching and there's limited meetings left before it kicks off in a couple of weeks.

Anyhow time to go training.- I have tough track workout this morning!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Bronze at Nationals

A good result on at the weekend, racing in the 5000m I picked up my first outdoor medal at the National Champs and I also ran a seasons best in the process. My performance also suggests that there's a lot more come now in terms of faster times.

The race started at a reasonable pace over the first 2km and I was happy to sit in the pack and let things unfold. Things slowed over the following 2km, with still most of the field together until about 4 laps to go where it started to split up a little. By the time it was 2 laps to go I had worked my way up through the field into a leading group of about 5. With 600m remaining Scott Overall started to wind the pace up and the final lap turned into a race for the medals between 3 of us. Down the back the back straight I felt good and moved rounded Ryan McCleod into second and for a moment I felt I might be able to take victory, but coming off the final bend I started to tie up a little and Ryan reclaimed 2nd and I so I had to settle for 2nd. I really can't complain though after a difficult couple of months I've found my form at the right time of the season.

1st Scott Overall 13.57.75
2nd Ryan McLeod 13.58.52
3rd Lee Merrien 13.59.35

Below is a link to the full results over the weekend on UKA website .... you just need to scole down to Sunday, my race was at 6.55pm.

Unfortunately since the race I have come with suspected swine flu. It seems no worse that the normal dose of flu and apparantely in some cases is no worse than common cold. However yesterday certainly felt like a case of typical man flu for me and rendered me useless at home. It did at least give me time to catch up with the Tour and see what Lance has been up to! I've been advised by the doctor that as in most cases of flu I will be find within 4-5 days so all being well I will be healthy by the weekend and can get back running. After Sundays performance I'm keen to race in a fast paced race and run a fast time!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Next Stop Birmingham

This weekend is the UK National Champs which also doubles as the GB Trials for the World Championship, these take place in Berlin next month. I'm entered for the 5000m this weekend in what looks like a more open race that expected as a few guys have decided to race the 1500m instead and Mo Farah (GB no. 1) has decided not to run so he can focus on breaking the British record at Crystal Palace in 2 weeks.

The race on paper still certainly looks like a very competitive race but with the withdrawals I definately think the medals are up for grabs. After last week in Aland and a few better training sessions under my belt I feel I'm starting to find some form at the right time and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.

The Championships kick off on Friday evening but my race is not until the Sunday (late afternoon). I haven't seen anything confirming what will be shown on TV but it is televised on the BBC both Saturday and Sunday. I'm not sure however whether my race will be shown live or not at this stage, but the program looks promising in that respect.

Also look out for a number other Guernsey athletes also competing at the weekend.

Below is a link which has the start lists so far and timetable etc, it should also have the results up as the happen too...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Link to video clip

Below is brief video clip of the closing stages of Wednesdays 5000m race with Janne Holmen...

Last day of the athletics program

Yesterday saw us pick up another good medal haul on the final day of the athletics program; as always checkout the Guernsey Athletics blog for the full run down of results and race video’s. From a personal perspective I retained the 1500m in a time 3minutes 49 seconds, a time I was reasonably happy with being that I ran from the front and it was also a bit on the windy side. My performance didn’t quite match Ingy’s commentary however! As coming down the home straight he announced ‘ and this is what sub 4minute miling speed looks like’. Ingy is Paul Ingrouille a local stalwart of Guernsey Athletics who was invited to come out to help the Aland organising by providing some English speaking commentary alongside his Swedish counterparts. Whilst I wasn’t necessarily looking to run sub 4min mile pace (which would have been 3.43/3.44 pace for 1500m I was at the very least hoping to run inside the games record of 3.51, which I set at the last games in Rhodes. This was my first 1500 race of the season (excluding Thursday’s heats) but I was still aiming to run a time somewhere between 3.45 – 3.50 so it was a case of job done I guess.

After the race I got pounced upon for a few interviews, which admittedly I enjoy doing. However, when one of the interviews from one of our local radio stations described my race back to me before then asking if I was pleased to win I couldn’t resist in saying, deadpan… ‘No it was awful’ and then leaving an uncomfortable silence for effect J it got a laugh off the camera man at least!

Feeling a little tired this morning I must admit, as a team the athletics crowd all had a meal together at the hotel last night before heading out for a few social drinks. At the meal we had presented our usual games ritual of ‘special’ awards… basically everyone in the team gets an ironic award for an incident or comment that they did or said during the week. Dale Garland got the ‘I’m still Jenny from the block award!’ whilst Martine Scholes got most likely to be sponsored by a foot care company award – after being called Martine Scholls all week by the stadium announcers, Steve Dawes also picked up a similar style award after being referred to as Stephan Daves all week only for the announcer last night when presenting his half marathon medal to refer to him as Stephen Davis. Subsequently he also got the award for the best snooker player in the team!

Also just before I sign off, Tom Druce just told us about his night last night… I will spare you any long stories but the culmination of his night, whilst walking a young lady back to her hotel, involved him stumbling and falling in the harbour, losing his mobile in the process!

That’s likely to be it from me in terms of Island Games posts, next weekend I have the National Champs & World Trials in Birmingham. In the meantime I’m looking forward to see my wife and son after a week apart.

That’s all from Aland.

Tack tack.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

5000m success all-round...

Last night proved a successful night all-round for Guernsey distance runners, I came out on top in my head to head battle with local athlete Janne Holmen in the men’s 5000m and Louise Perrio & Martine Scholes dominated the women’s 5000m, taking gold and silver respectively.

As I previously posted my decision to race the 5k was a late one but I’m glad I did as the atmosphere was electric; I’m not exactly sure how people were in the stadium but the stand was full and hundreds more scattered around the rest of Wiklof Holding Arena. From the moment they announced the athletes on the start line to the time we crossed the finish line the support was fantastic, and was is definitely one of the best atmospheres I've experienced in an Island Games.

In terms of how the race unfolded the first 100m of the race starting at a pedestrian pace, but Janne Holmen was clearly eager to set a strong pace and dashed to the front when he realised no one was prepared to take things, I quickly slotted in behind him. This was my race plan from the outside and I was expecting Janne to take the lead fairly early on if the pace was slow. I knew he would prefer a fast race rather than a slow and tactic affair so I was more than happy to sit in for the ride initially. After 4 or 5 laps of this he moved out a few times to encourage me through, initially I did nothing and continued to sit in. I did take the take for a lap but Janne soon realised I was happy not to force the pace so continued working off the front. Things stayed like this until 500m which was when I decided to use a couple of back markers as the moment to kick for home. Approaching two Jersey athletes I went round Janne and surged for home which gained me a few yards, a lead which I stretched out over the next 200. At that I point I glanced over my shoulder to see that I had good lead but I decided to keep not to take my foot off the gas until about a 100m to go, despite easing back slightly I understand my last lap was around 58/59secs.

As I say the crowd support during the race was superb and it was awesome to get a standing ovation from from the full stand down as I came down the home straight for the final time. I even had the Guernsey football team singing at me after I had crossed the finish line. The guys are currently playing Jersey in the semi finals so all being well we will be able to watch the guys in the final tomorrow night.

Thanks to Steve Dawes, below are some pics of the race, will try and attach the video tomorrow but running out battery right now!...