Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Southern Interviews (June 2015) Part Two

3000m Women Seniors and Under 20

Under 20 First 3 1 Sophia Parvisi-Wayne (Shaftesbury Barnet) 9:59.98, PB; 2 Georgia Fear (Highgate Harriers) 10:10.75; 3 Rachel Seki (London Heathside) 11:00.2
Georgia Fear led the first four laps of the combined race.
PARVISI-WAYNE (Just 18) “It was my first proper track race back. I ran one 5000 in 17:20. I wanted a 16:30 that was the target, and 9:25 for 3k. I am just trying to get to the Europeans. I have got a month and a half to that. It is learning how to run it fast again really. I did the BUPA 10k which was fun. I had been off for nine months since September with glandular fever, so I only started again a month and half ago. I have got my exam tomorrow. Three ‘A’ levels this week.’
It was the second year running she won the Under 20 Southern “I have got another year. I am thinking of a gap year and focus on my running more than anything else.
Hannah Viner of Highgate Harriers went to New Zealand in a gap year, this year and had some good results “She is one of my best friends’ she added.
“When you are relaxed with no stress, it is so much easier to compete then. I have three exams in the next three days which is a bit of stress. I am okay. The Europeans are in Sweden.
I have got a new coach and he is Mick Woods he is my coach for six months. I work a lot from being tired and having a lot of mileage in my legs.
He is a real encourager
“He is more like my psychologist. He is there to encourage you.”

The winner of the 3000 overall was senior SARAH MERCIER from Guernsey, in a personal best of 9:35.64, 2nd was Sarah Keane (Luton) PB of 9:38.98; and 3rd Stacey Ward (Herne Hill Harriers) in 9:39.56.
SARAH MERCIER (24) “The race went really well to-day. I was not expecting it to be so quick at the start. Georgia Fear running off at the start was really good for me because I wanted to run a fast time.
   “I joined Guernsey athletic cub when I was six or seven. LEE MERRIEN is my coach.
   Lee’s qualities as a coach?
   “He is a very good coach. He just wants people to do as best that they can do. He is really encouraging and supportive. He just wants to see his athletes improve and achieve and what they want to achieve. He is really nice.”
   Choosing the race that stands out which she was pleased about.
“Coming from Guernsey and actually have the opportunity to run in the Commonwealth Games last year. Even though, obviously I was nowhere near the front, it was really an enjoyable experience. The whole atmosphere and occasion as well.” (16:30.8 in 15th in the 5k and her time was a personal best. In the heat of the 1500 her time of 4:24.05 was an all time Guernsey record)
That must have given her that little bit of confidence by running in the Commonwealth Games for Guernsey. A bit of a marker for her
“Yes definitely. It gave me some extra motivation to try to keep going and run a bit quicker, every year.
Would she like to continue with the event or just run as well as she could over the distances she wants to do?
“Try and keep going and get that little bit better each year.”
Job and her training “I am an accountant in Guernsey.”
Doing something like accountancy it must be good for her to get out and run!
“It is nice to get out, especially in Guernsey. Really nice scenery and places to go out running in. I get out in the evenings.
Usually I train early evening, about 6 O’clock. Sometimes twice a day that would include a short run in the morning at the start of the day.”

Pole Vault Under 20 1 Sophie Dowson (Harrow) PB 3.60; 2 Livy Connor (Lewes) 3.60; 3 Natalie Hooper (Sutton & District) 3.50.
I talked to Natalie Hooper who was third this time.
Her Best in her life was 3.75 “I did that last year at the Under 20’s Nationals’ but I have been injured and have not competed. It is my third competition this season.
When did she start pole vaulting first of all “I was about 11. My Dad used to do it, BRIAN HOOPER (AAA’s Champion at Crystal Palace with 5.59 on 6th of September 1980 and then No 1 Vet over 40 with 5.01 in 1994) ‘He does not compete but does a bit of training. I asked him to coach me because I used to go to the track when I was younger and thought it was really fun’
‘I competed for England last Summer I won the English Schools and so qualified for the schools international at Cardiff. I won that (3.60) her best mark to date was vaulting 3.75, as an under 17, in the under 23/20 National Championships that year in June.
The event obviously fascinates her?
“I love it. I really want to go to the World Youth Games. I have to jump 3.90 to qualify for. I know to-day I have only done 3.50. My technique I think was better than the height showed. I used to do hurdles but I injured my foot and so, I can’t do that much running anymore. I focus mainly on the pole vault now.”

100m Under 20 Men 1 Kesi Oludoyi (Harrow) 10.86; 2 Mackanaki Williams (Herne Hill Harriers) 11.03; 3 Michael Watson (Medway & Maidstone) 11.09.
KESI OLUDOYI (16) had lane 6 and said it was a good race for him. “My fastest was in the English Schools last year, when I did 10.77. I was second in that.
It was my first year Under 17 last year (Born 2/9/98).’
Is sprinting his favourite event to do “Yes. I first started sprinting in year seven, 4 years ago. Coached by ROHAN SAMUEL. I also take place in another area as I live in boarding school and it is close to the track and they have taken me on so, I can do my training and my exams as well.
What races stand out for him “When I was fifteen I broke the English School record with 10.84. I had no idea I could do anything like that. A big surprise.”
Stars he looks up to “Adam Gemili and he is one of the young one’s. It proves he can make it. Very high at such a young age. A great character. I like him.
I really look up to him and I would really like to do that well. I only got into running because I did the School Champs at Harrow  Some  guy said ‘Come and run’ as I was doing football. At that point I wanted to do football and, I went and tried out at athletics and, enjoyed it more. I did not think I would make it that far with football as I could with athletics. I think it was a very good decision”

400m Senior Women 1 Holly Turner (Crawley) 55.47; 2 Joanne Ryan (Loughton) 56.69; 3 Nina Anderson V40 (Highgate Harriers) 59.20.
HOLLY TURNER “I had lane 2 in the Final. I was happy with lane 2. My best time I did was 55.29 which, I did at the English Schools two years ago. I won that. That was in the Under 20 senior women at Birmingham. I am at Brighton University. Just finished my first year at Brighton. I only started running 400’s two years ago. English schools were the first year I did 400’s.’
She had taken to it!
“I used to do the pole vault but I ran the 400 at English Schools. I did the pole vault at the English schools for a few years. It was when I won that 400 at the English schools two years ago and won it. I do mainly 400’s but do 200’s as well. I have done 24.77 for 200. I prefer doing the 400 I think’.
STEPHEN KING is her coach and coaches several events track & Field. He used to run the marathons.
She wants to continue doing the 400

“I quite like doing the 400 ‘Especially after today’. I pulled my hamstring last season so, was pretty much out for last season but it is the first time (The Southern) I have run 55 since the year before last. Getting there, slowly.”
NINA ANDERSON (Coach Greg Richards) who has been a M35 and M40 World and European Championship racer about her race. Her first comment was
“It’s OK but nothing special. I am not too displeased, For the 200 and 400, both seasons bests so I can’t argue with that. Ryan Mckinley has been helping me in my training. Helping me with the sessions. He has been amazing”

400m Senior MenNick Atwell (Herne Hill Harriers) 48.00; 2 Farren Morgan (Enfield & Harringey) 48.16; 3 Alex Bell (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) 48.91.
NICHLAS ATWELL  “I was lane 5 in the final. I was happy. I had it pretty easy with the Semi final because, two of the lead runners dropped out so I was relaxed and could reserve a little more energy for today. I just managed to keep my head straight and focus through the wind on the back straight and, it just gave me that much energy.’
‘My best time is 48.75. I had done that in Eaton in 2013. I won the Southern title that year too.
His coach IVOR NORTHEY.’
Has he had any ‘Stars’ he admired over the years?
“To be honest, one of the main people that inspired me was my training partner Peter Phillips. I work with him as well. He got me into athletics at a later age, just because I was working with him. He does it so, I joined. I think training with him and working with him. We push each other and better ourselves. He won this last year so; it has gone back and forth between the two of us. Even in the relay teams as well. We both are part of the club record for the 4x400 and 4x100 relays. We definitely do help each other.’
           ‘I was 24 when I started and been doing it for five years now. I have managed to win the South of England twice and won the County Championship three times.
As well. I was a finalist in the 100 in the County Championships. I got a bronze in the CAU 400 last year. Things are ticking over; even though I am older than some of the fields I am still kicking with them. I am 29 and, a lot of them are 22/23.
    ‘I have a strong finish. Just through people watching me. I am always coming out of the last bend and I am able to catch up with 50 metres to go. That is coming out of the last bend when I am second or third and I am able to go faster with 50 to go and, jump with a surprise with my strength.”
‘Once I get the stride pattern and add the race to it, my times tick away. I have run a 21.49 200m this year. In all fields there is an improvement.
Everything compliments the other in some way. 100 compliments your raw speed; 200 compliments running the bends, the 400 is endurance and the strength.

1500 Senior Men 1 Tom Phillips (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) 3:54.78; 2 Gilbert Grundy (Guilford & Godalming) 3:55.00; 3 Michael Wilsmore (Bristol & West) 3:55.03

TOM PHILLIPS “It was tactical and I knew it would be. The heats yesterday were quite tactical. I did about 4 minutes dead in the heats yesterday. I was in the second heat and so lucky to watch the first ones go round. Normally I take it on and make it quick. I was confident in my last half. To get in the right position then just go and work to the end really. Mike Wilmsmore moved out a little bit in the straight, which made a bit of a gap. He won the ‘A’ heat yesterday and I knew it was him and me really. 1 & 2 probably.‘
           ‘At the moment I am self-coached. I was coached by RICHARD THRUSTON. He has got quite a few good young athletes but then, I went away to Uni and was coached by ARWYN DAVIES at Cardiff. Then I did stuff of my own with a few more boys in the club. I have run 3:46.82, as my best time, two years ago out in Belgium. I was still at Uni then. I have been working full time since then. I work for Lucozade. Educational field based role. I am in my car all day so, it is quite difficult to get the training done also. Sitting in the car all day. It makes you have tightness, being in the car all day.’
‘Training is okay but it is just that at Uni you have got 8 hours in the day when you can do what you want and it is quite nice to break up your day with a run.
Now when you work 8 hours you can only get 4 hours free in the evening. Two or three hours training in the evening is quite tough really. Perhaps doing two or three hard days a week, not like before with 4 or 5 six days’
‘It is going well. I am in good shape. Just to try and get the right race in really.”
Alastair Aitken

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