Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and


21st of February, Parliament Hill Fields.  
Undulating, muddy in many places and fairly cold weather.
(Part One of three National reports)

Under 20 Men

First Six of 190 finishers.
1 Jonathan Davies (Reading AC) 33:26;
2 Abel Tsegay (Invicta East Kent AC) 33:55;
3 Joe Steward ( East Cheshire Harriers & Thameside AC) 34:01
4 Maximillian Nicholls (Tonbridge AC) 34:11;
5 William Christofi ( Bristol & West AC) 34:24;
6 Jacob Allen (Rugby & Northampton) 34:29;

First three teams:-
1 Tonbridge AC (4,9,17, 23) 53;
2 Liverpool Harriers & AC) 93;
3 Aldershot Farnham & District 109.

Jonathan Davies

The race:- 'He looked confident with a lap to go and in the lead, after being challenged by Tsegay earlier.
'I have had a bit of consistency behind me now'
In the British Universities, at Brighton on January the 31st, he was second. Johnny Hay (Birmingham University) was 1st in 38:57 and second Jon Davies also of Birmingham 39:00. Callum Hawkins (West Scotland University) 3rd in 39.03. Although Hay was catching Davies, it was when Davies was leading down the hill into the mud, not long before the finish he fell.

Jon said:- "It was on that last hill to drive in and when I got up, Hay past me. There were 4 to 500 metres to the finish when that happened."
In the European Cross Country, Under 23, Championships, at Samokov , Bulgaria , Jon was 30th
“I was pretty much the youngest person on the team.’
I raced in Edinburgh but did not do too well there” He was in the senior International race and came 29th. However, he must be pleased with the fact that he is running better now. It is better to improve as the season progressed?
“Definitely. And it has worked out that way”
Considering he won the ‘National’ last year at Nottingham . Which did he consider the hardest race?
“I was not very well last year and I changed home. I had changed courses at University so, it was tougher last year. This year everything is going well. My coach Bill McKim has been really good and we have found everything out. He made sure I got here in one piece and healthy. It has all worked out very well.’
What are his memories of his win at Parliament Hill? “I think the first hill they went off pretty hard. There was a big group. I was pretty relaxed, as I thought that was what would be happening. Tsgey and me were together for a bit. After two thirds of the first lap I thought I would see what I could do. Try and pull away. It stayed that way with 5 or 10 metres for half a lap or so.”
Did Jon prefer track to cross country and road?
“I like both cross-country and track. It depends what I do well at. I am really looking forward to this track season, definitely. Last year I ran 3:44.3 for 1500 (At the BMC Standards race at Watford on the 16th of July) This year I am more focused on the 5000 and I want to make the ‘Under 23’ Euro team and run sub 14’. I think it should be possible for me. 14 is a big psychological barrier to do. (His best was 14:09.6 in 2013)
At Birmingham University did he like to train with people and run along the canal paths?
“There is a good group there . . . I do run by the canals. Rob and I try more specific stuff and plan it out. It s good company at Birmingham. I am studying biology there. There is a lot going on at Birmingham and we won BUCS so we have got a good group. There are people like Johnny Hay at the University.”

Under 13 Boys

First Six of 395 Finishers:
1 Tommy Dawson (Leeds City AC) 11.49;
2 Luke Van Oudtshoor (Aldershot Farnham & District) 12:01;
3 Adam Caufield (Rugby & Northampton AC) 12:03;
4 Samuel Evans ( Warrington AC) 12.04;
5 George Pool ( Hastings AC) 12:11;
6 David Down (Cambridge & Coleridge AC) 12:12.

First three teams:-
1 Aldershot & Farnham & District 129 (2,30,38,59);
2 Charnwood AC 172;
3 Blackheath & Bromley AC 195

      Tommy Dawson a rising cross-country ‘Star’

In 2014 Tommy Dawson was 85th in the National at Nottingham but this year over the Hampstead Heath course he was 1st!!

Races this season “The race that stands out for me was the Cross Challenge in Liverpool.’ (He won the under 13’s race in Sefton Park, Liverpool on the 29th of November in the British Cross Challenge.)
Started running “When I was six. I joined a club when I was 10. I am 12 now and in Year 7.”
He Enjoys cross country most “Yes”
His Father Peter Dawson coaches him so what did he think makes Tommy such a good runner?
“His Mother’s DNA. she was County Champion. I just like running but she is the talent (Joanna Graham). He has just got the right attitude. He loves training and he will train 4 or 5 times a week.
He will adjust his training schedule. I don’t have to nag him.  If he has a bad race, he will concentrate on hills. He loves cross-country. I try not to give him too much training because he is quite young. He trains with Leeds and he will come out with me two or three times a week.’ He added ‘Leeds are a brilliant club and really supportive. Tommy started running at a local club called Rothwell (till this year when he runs for Leeds City).
Rothwell got him going, then he joined Leeds when he was old enough. He likes playing cricket in the summer.
Tommy you enjoy cricket as much as running then?
“Running is first but I prefer cricket over track.
Peter Dawson comes in “He is a year young. He will be in the same group next year as well.”

Alastair Aitken

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