Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Scott Overall (October 2011)

( Born 9/2/83)
         As I write this on October the 18th, 2011, I realise that Blackheath & Bromley club runner, Scott Overall, who ran 2:10:55 for the marathon in Berlin, on the 25th of September this year, had run the fastest marathon time by any UK runner since John Brown did 2:9:31 in the London in 2005. Yet it was Overall's first attempt at racing the distance. He ran 47:37 for 10 miles at the BUPA Great South Run on the 24th of October last year, which must say something about his distance running ability but his titles were- UK 5000 track Champion in 2009 and 'Under 23' AAA's Champion over that distance in 2005.
   How did it all begin for Scott
" When I was about 14/15 at Orleans Park School  in Richmond I did cross-country and joined an athletics club from there.
   'As a junior we used to go to the National junior road relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham. I ran for Hounslow at the time. We used to be quite successful at the road relays as juniors'    'I was always about average. One of the top 10 to 15 fastest times of the day but we would be leading after two legs and Mo Farah handing over last.'    'We had good runners as Hounslow the Sam Haughian, Ben Whitby and Mike Simpson. Probably the best  team in he country for a six stage. A lot of strong guys.
  That must have been an inspiration for Scott
" I think so. Half the battle was trying to get in the team'
 ' I was quite successful as a junior (Here are some 1500 times he was doing as an 'Under 20' in BMC races at Watford-31/7/02-3:49.69; 14/8/72 -3:48:72; 28/8/02-3:49.04--Later on his PB was 3:41.90-2008 and 3:58.61 indoors for the mile in 2010 in the USA).
   " I remained quite successful as a junior at Under 23 level as well. I went to the European Championships (6th in Under 23 Final or 5000, on 15th of April in Erfurt Germany, in a time of 14:17.6).
   " I got a scholarship to America so I went out there to Butler University, Indianapolis, for three or four years.
' I think going to America was what helped me massively.
   ' I went out there in 2004. In the UK if  you got under 14 minutes, that was seen as amazing but when I went to the USA there were guys over there at University under 14 minute all the time. Over there it is not seen as anything!
   'I ran 13:38 when I was out there ( At Stanford,California 30/4/06. - His PB was 13:28.33 in 2008)
   ' It opened my eyes to what is good rather than what you thought was good. So much depth..
The competition is great. You can only be brought along.
`    ' I was there 2004-07. I stayed out in the States another year with my coach ROBERT CHAPMAN and came back 2008/9.
' I still go over for a couple of months at a time to Flagstaff, Arizona. For the last four years I have gone to Flagstaff and then come down and raced at Stanord and Mount Sac races then come over here'
   ' Up to 4 or 5 weeks at altitude then come down and you can either race straight away, which we normally do at Mount SAC and then you have two weeks to Stanford..
   'Injuries have prevented me from running on the track for the last couple of years!
   ' At the same time out of something bad came something good on the road!
   ' At the beginning of this year I did not race very well at Stanfard and Mount Sac and then I did a half marathon a week later, becasuse I knew there was a lot of prize money'
  ' I was in shape but not running very well so, I did that and ran 63:21 not really training for the half marathon (Half marathon at Indianaplolis on 7th of May) and so that was when I decided to start looking towards doing a marathon because, I have always run quite well on the roads and stuff. BERLIN WAS MY FIRST ONE in 2:10:55.'
   I thought he was good at cross-country and track as well but his reply did not indicate that, as far as he was concerned
   " Cross-country is not that great but track is O.K but the road I seemed to like'
     (However, he did do a couple of cross-countries early in 2011 coming 5th in the Cross International San Sebastian and 11th in he Cross International Juan Muguerza both in Spain in January.)
  Now for Berlin and his good time:- " I felt quite comfortable the whole way really. The first half I felt fine, felt great. I was running with a French guy. We worked together to half way. He kind of dropped off at half way.
'The last half of the race I was completely on my own. I seemed to cope O.K with that. Really the last 5k was probably the hardest. I was having to work quite hard for the last 5k to remain on pace.'
   Were there or are there people that have inspired Scott?
" Not really. Obviously having Mo. I have known him since I was 14 or 15 and seeing what he has achieved and that can only be an inspiration.I have known him since he was quite young so, to know he is World Champion is quite special really"

Alastair Aitken

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