Anglian Home Improvements are sponsoring Olympic hopefuls. Here is the latest post from guest blogger and Olympic runner Charlie Grice, who has finished his exams and been competing in some top competitions, winning a couple along the way.
January has proved to be a hard month for me because I have had a number of important exams (six in total!) so have had to get my head down, which has not been easy, but I have also had many challenges with racing. There has been a lot to fit into a short time, but I am happy with the results!
So here goes … I had a fun trip to Edinburgh for the International Cross Country, which was my first Great Britain vest for cross country. The race was an international match against USA and Europe, but also some local runners from Scotland. Each team had 6 runners and the first four from each team were the scorers. It was a quick trip; I left the afternoon before the race and flew from Gatwick, which was nice and hassle free. I didn’t get to see much of Edinburgh, which was a shame as it looked like a cool place. My flight was booked for the evening after the race. I came 13th out of 70 athletes. The race started off very quickly and I found myself near the front in the top 6, only to find myself dropping back in the last third of the race. The course was long (6.8k) and very muddy, which doesn’t suit me. All in all it was a good performance for me and I reached my target, which was to score for the GB team by coming in the top 4 and even better that overall the Team GB won the match.
I am quite pleased that during the last couple of weeks I have started indoor racing. The indoor season is mainly for sprinters during the winter, but the events go up to 3000m and in some cases 5000m. The indoor track is 200m long compared to the outdoor tracks of 400m so it is a different type of racing and there are also embankments on the bends. The atmospheres at indoor arenas are great because the crowd are much closer to the track and it’s warm inside! We decided to give it a try partly because I have always wanted to do it and also to see how quick I can run off cross country training.
The first race I did was quite a big one, the South of England Indoor Championships in London. I raced the under 20’s 1500m and I won it in style in a new Championship record! I couldn’t really ask for more than that in my first attempt. The following week I raced at the 800m in the London Indoor Games at the same venue as the previous week, but in a senior competition. Although I went into the race confident, I was a bit apprehensive about this as I had only done 2 speed sessions prior to this. I relaxed through the early stages and was 3rd for the first 400m and then kicked on for home with 400m to go. I felt really strong and came through in first in a time that both my coach and I were pleased with.
This weekend (11th + 12th Feb) I have the main race of the winter season at the National Senior indoor Championships in Sheffield, which are also the GB trials for the World Indoor Championships, which are held every 2 years and this year they are to be held in Istanbul. To qualify for this Championship you must run the qualifying time and also be placed in the top 2 in the race at the weekend. I will be racing the 1500m and will be staying up in Sheffield for two nights, which is quite a way to travel from the south coast! The final is on Sunday at 2:40pm and the race will be shown live on Channel 4, so I hope you will see me there toeing the start line! This will be a tough competition for me as it’s my first Senior Championship, but I am really looking forward to the challenge of running with the big boys – it’s what I need!
I will let you know how things go in my next blog.
Bye for now,
Click here to view the video of Charlie’s winning 800m race.http://www.athleticos.org/coverage/247872-2012-London-Indoor-Games/video/591272-Senior-Men-800m-Race-1