Sunday, 23 January 2011

University and Beyond

As well as the letter from Bud the other reason I started running again was due to a next door neighbour of mine at University, a female marathon runner by the name of Alex. The first time I met her I found out she was a runner and told her I used to run and that if it was ok with her, could I run with her? She agreed and we ran together most days of the week building up to 2 hour runs on the weekend. As I had been running (all be it at a slow pace) I decided to enter in to the University of Birmingham Road Relays, as I hadn't been at the club for quite a while they put me in the “D” or “E” team but I ended up running one of the quickest times of the day that would have got me in the “A” team. From that day on running has always been part of my life.

When I started back down the club and started getting coached by Bud we both decided that I would try the 3000m Steeple Chase. I really enjoyed this event and had some decent success getting the silver in BUSA two years in a row, coming 4th in the AAA's and being ranked in the top ten in the country for 4 or 5 years. After another tour of the Ivy league my time at Birmingham was at an end and I moved to Portsmouth to start my career with Pall Corporation.

On first moving to Portsmouth I kept my running ticking along while I got used to a working life and living in a new city. I was still being coached by Bud and managed to obtain my first England vest where I won the Barcelona 10km, I also just missed out on getting selected for the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa Kenya. Things started going a bit stale with my running after this and Bud suggested I speak to Nick Anderson (who was based in Winchester) and see if I could join his group, which I did and have been coached by Nick ever since.

After being coached by Nick for a while, and after a serious illness (leptospirosis) that made me really think about what I wanted from my running Nick persuaded me that my future would lie in longer distances and eventually the marathon. I think I surprised Nick a little when I told him I wanted to move to marathons immediately but he was definitely pleased! After making this decision my athletics definitely moved up a gear when I won the Bristol Half Marathon in 2008. Since then I have competed for England on another two occasions, had success in the Florence Marathon and also had the opportunity to fly out to Japan and compete in the Fukuoka marathon where I ran my pb of 2.17.29.

Start of 2009 Fukuoka Marathon (I'm number 56)

2010 promised to be a really good year for me but it ended being one of the most disappointing years of my athletics career. Because of this and with not long left until the 2012 Olympics I decided something needed to change. Through a little bit of luck I was kindly offered the chance to move to Iten, Kenya and train with a group of high class Kenyan runners. I accepted the offer, quit my job and here I am today.......

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