Friday, 30 July 2010


 I can't let the evening pass without giving credit to the gold medal performance of  fellow Sale Harrier ANDY TURNER in the 110 mts hurdles at the European Champs in Barcelona.   Another athlete who has succeeded despite withdrawal of funding.  Well done, Andy!
 Great performance also by local Lancashire lass, JENNY MEADOWS.  A bronze medal despite only being , in her words, only 95% in the 800.
  The running of the 1500 left me totally frustrated and bewildered.  I said to Pat that the 3 Brits should have discussed the Spanish threat and worked together to make it as the commentators say...."an honest, true run race".
But of course they will each have a different coach and it seems this was not likely to have happened. It certainly didn't appear so.  So the slow run cagey race played into the hands of the Spaniards. As it is they all came away with nothing in terms of medals and poor times to boot! 
 It always seems to be the case that once medals are up for grabs at a championship,  where,  of course, the very best are assembled, that so many think that the only way to win is to outsprint the rest. The first 800 of the 1500 was covered in a dismal 2:08 making it into a 700 race.
 A very similar experience for me in the AAA junior national track champs in 1967.   We turned up on the Friday night expecting to run a heat in the 2000 metres steeplechase but they announced it would be a straight final.   I had no "titles" to my name and if there had been  a betting list I'd have been down as a rank outsider.   As we toed the line I looked across at the Northern champion, Midlands champion, Southern champion,  English Schools champion and two other internationals.  Just like tonight in the 1500 we paraded around for 3 of the 5 laps  at what felt like a jog.   With a lap and a half to go I couldn't take any more. I hadn't travelled all the way to Liverpool to record a season's  personal worse.   In absolute frustration I took off, took the field by total surprise opening up a gap of probably 10 metres and  was there to be hunted down!   Case of catch me if you can! I managed to hold out until 200 to go when the winner came by.  I gave up second place just after the water jump and was now holding on grimly  to 3rd place with the hunters coming into sight over my right shoulder.  But hold on I did.   A bronze in a national championship; beating the prerace odds.  
  In contrast, there were other races  in my teens like school sports when I was generally expected to win.   I took the front running approach.  Case of hang on if you can.   It worked.
 I'm not saying Baddeley should have tried to run the legs off everyone tonight but I think between the 3 of them the Brits could have made it a 1500 metre race not a 700; in which case perhaps one or more would be proudly holding a medal . I certainly regard that 5.59.2 minutes of  running in that 1967 steeplechase
as a career highlight of course; whilst clearly no where near rivalling the top 4  best performances of Ron Hill,  referred to last night.
 Anyway, back to the present!  A week of great variety continued today with my weekly journey over to Fewston to  do the "2 RES RUN"   over the dirt trail.   So looking back,  Monday 7 on undulating rocky trail. Tueday, a flat 7 on the road,  Wednesday  the 5 x1k track session,  Thursday  6 mainly grass and today 7 back on the trails.   Variety is the spice of life and all that!
  Hopefully your week is going equally well and you have a good weekend wherever you are!

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