Anglian Home Improvements are sponsoring Olympic hopefuls. Here is the latest post from guest blogger and Olympic runner Charlie Grice who tells us about the last months races and times achieved.
May has been a very busy month for me with exams and racing!
In my last blog I said I would fill you in with my experience at the Olympic park. I was invited by UK:Athletics to take part in the official test event which was for Olympic hopefuls.
My first impression was “wow – what a great stadium” and it was really inspiring. It is a really good facility and the atmosphere will be amazing when it is full. Unfortunately it was less than half full when I was racing, but it was still really cool to race there. I was pleased to finish second in my second 800m of the season behind a guy who has now run the Olympic ‘A’ standard for the event.
My main target this year is the World Juniors which are held in Barcelona, Spain from 10th-15th July. There, I will be racing twice in 3 days and to get used to racing consecutively.
I also had a busy weekend of racing in the Manchester Grand Prix 1500m, where I just missed my PB (personal best) by an agonising one hundredth of a second and from there went on to the Loughborough International race, where I was racing for GB Juniors against athletes selected from Loughborough University, England, Wales and Scotland.
The latter of these races didn’t go great, I think because I ran really hard the day before. However, I still ran a consistent 800m in Loughborough just my position wasn’t as high as I had hoped, although I was only 0.8 seconds off the time that I ran at the Olympic park, so all in all it wasn’t too bad.
At my level there aren’t fast races week in week out, so travelling far is the norm. We decided I should compete in a race in Belgium, Oordegem which had promised to be a fast race by the organisers and it turned out to be great. I travelled up the day before straight after my Economics exam on the Friday! It was hassle-free as I got picked up and taken to my accommodation which was in Holland. We then travelled with the other athletes to the track on the day.
The weather was really hot with no wind which makes perfect racing conditions. I managed to run a new personal best of 3:41.16 which is over one and a half seconds quicker than my previous time. The only problem was that the pace maker who had a job of taking us through the half way point in 1:57 ended up being 1:59 which was a bit too slow. This is promising as my last lap was very fast which means that I am sure I can go quicker in a faster race.
The only problem was that my accommodation was in Holland which was 2.5 hours away from the race. We didn’t leave until very late because we had to wait until everyone had finished racing and didn’t get home until 3am, I was being picked up at 6am to be taken to the airport! I was pretty tired by the time I got home and went straight to bed!
My last race in May was midweek at my local track organised by my club, Phoenix Athletics Club. Although it was not ideal timing as I had a busy weekend and also had an exam the next day, but it was great to have a race for once that was just around the corner from me. I was to run an 800m again with a view of breaking my PB. It was great as I had all the crowd behind me as the commentator told everyone that I was aiming to achieve the World Junior 800m qualifying time (I already have the 1500m Q time).
I got my friend Joel to pace me for the first lap. It all started well and we went through on scheduled pace and after 400m he dropped out. It was tough as I ran most of it by myself and unfortunately it wasn’t to be, I was just outside the time again, but it was a strong performance and I knew there was more to come in the perfect race.
I am working hard on the track and with my studies, although it is tough doing both, but my last exam is the week during the 2012 Olympic Trials. I can’t wait to get out there amongst Britain’s’ Great athletes.
I will be racing in the 1500m which will be a great experience for me and this should be on the TV (BBC2) hopefully if I make the final on Saturday 23rd June at 6pm.
Bye for now!