Today we have a guest blog from Olympic runner, Charlie Grice, who is updating us on what he got up to in August.
My trip to Belgium was a great experience. I stayed for a total of 9 days. It was an interesting time as I shared accommodation with Kenyans and Eritrean athletes, many of whom did not speak much English. It was good to train with them and I can see why the Africans are so successful because they have nothing to lose and work so hard. I tried some of their local food (ugali) which was very simple food and I can now make this myself! They are very poor and running fast is a way for them to leave their country and travel and provide a better life for their families back home.
My first race was in Ninove, Belgium where I raced in a big International race doing 1500m. Unfortunately the night of the race was very heavy rain and this affected the times of all the races and I did not run a PB. I knew at this point that I was definitely going to stay for the following Saturday to see if I could run quick because I knew if the conditions were right, I would be able to run a really good time. It was worth my perseverance because the conditions on the night were great and I managed to run an 800m PB in 1:49 which put me 3rd in the UK u20 rankings (1st for 17 year olds).
There were no pace makers for this race and we went through the first lap a bit slow and I ran my second lap quicker than my first which is unusual in 800m running. I then spoke to my coach and we decided to do 1 more race before the end of the season in a British Milers Club Grand Prix in Birmingham which is one of a series of races which attract the top athletes from the UK to attend. I was put into the ‘A’ race which was the quickest of the evening and I knew that it would be quick enough for me to run another personal best.
After about 400m I was at the back of the field and the pacing for me was good. I then moved up the field with 200m to go and placed 5th out of 10 athletes, all of these guys were seniors so it was pleasing to have finished so strongly! My time was 1:48.87 and my position in the rankings stays the same. I am now taking 2 weeks off training to rest and let my body recover from the season and then I will start my winter training!