Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Adam Hickey (2015)

I talked to Adam Hickey (Born 30/05/1988) and his coach Eamonn Martin, at the CAU Inter-Counties & England Championships on the 2nd of August, 2015.
Adam Hickey had just come 2nd out of 13 in the 10k Championship race. That was on the track at Bedford. His time 14:26.93. The Southend AC runner was 2nd to Richard Weir of Derby, who recorded 14:24.59.
Adam comes in “It was good. A solid race. A standard Championship race really. Rough in places, picked up, slowed down then strength at the end. I think I gave good account of myself but I could not match Richard Weir for speed over the last bit. He has got a few faster times this season.”
           Mohamud Aadan of TVH, was third in the race in 14:30.23 so, his take on it was interesting. “I was quite pleased with the result but I wanted to win. My sprint finish is not that perfect. It was too tactical. No one wanted to take it on. A bit of a slow race you can say. Antonio Silva and I - (Silva like Aadan was running for Middlesex, 5th) - tried to make it much better by pushing the pace and worked to-gather a little bit. I tried my best to run a good time and win the race but it did not work out to-day. I am happy with third.”
Further back in the field in 7th place was Ben Livesey, an M35, from Notts AC. He remarked “I ran 2:17.44 in the London Marathon last year and going to go for the Marathon again in Berlin. To-day was speed work, he joked, and I am going off to do another six of those!”

           Resuming now with my interview with Adam Hickey, followed by a short one with someone I have known for a long time Eamonn Martin.
Looking back you must have had a very interesting season as, you won the Cross-Country Challenge overall?

“That was my aim in the Winter, as well as to go to the Europeans "(On the 14th of December in Samokov, Bulgaria. Adam was 9th & 2nd UK runner home).
He had good early season races but not always in the frame!
“I had some tough times but managed to clinch the overall win in the Challenge races... I would like to have given a better account of myself in the Final race’ (6th)
‘I don’t know if it is because of work. I am a Sports Coach and go to schools as well. I coach privately but I also coach in schools. You obviously get germs around at schools and your immune system is knocked by this so, I do tend to pick up bugs in the winter quite a lot. That kind of hit me when it came to the final Challenge round in Birmingham. I was running on 70 to 80% so, I had to hold on for dear life in that race. When I finished the race, I thought I had lost the series. It was not till my cool down I heard over the tannoy that I had managed to scrape it. Not the way I would like to have won it but a ‘win is a win.”
    Robbie Brightwell indicated to me back in 1962 ‘You must have some potential but it is not the athlete with the greatest potential but the one who can accept the scrubber years and win through at the end. It is the determination to do so.’
          ”I agree with that and the determination pays off and in my case, having a gap between my junior years, when I was running well, then having the transition period in the seniors, when I was actually doing the triathlons (For three years), rather than focusing on the running, that gave me then a bit more hunger when I came back to running. It made it harder. I had to suddenly get used to running every day for two or three yeas, then twice a day as well.”
        To me when I saw you win the Victoria Park 5 miles road race for the second time. It must have given you confidence for the season ahead.
“I broke 14 minutes and then ran 13.41.66 (Belgium in June 2013)”. The two times for the 5 miles at Victoria Park were 23.39 and 23.37. He won the races comfortably at April time both years.”
What is your favourite road, country or track?
“It depends how the race has gone!’
‘I really like training for cross-country. My calves hurt quite a lot on the track. They seem to be alright on the roads. After I ran the Highgate 10k track race at Parliament Hill, my calves took a long time to recover, because of that I would say cross-country. They are getting stronger and today over the 5000 was OK. The more they get used to it the better they get.”
I would like to point out at the English Championships over 10k at Highgate this year, he was sixth place in the ‘A’ race in a personal best track time for the distance of 29:32.92. In May 2015 he ran 29.18 on the road.
           Of course Eamonn Martin his coach was a British record holder, National cross Champion, Commonwealth Champion over 10k in 1990, as well as a London Marathon winner, as many know.”

Adam:- He is a great help, someone who has been there as Mel Batty was before him.’
‘Mel did not realise how little running was doing as a triathlete and, I ended up injured to begin with but they have both really helped me’
'Mel Batty, once a World 10 mile record holder and double National cross champion, was Adam’s first coach. (At Mel Batty’s funeral, he had been so very popular that the church and the pub were flooded with masses of people, including many ‘Great’ athletics personalities.)
Adam Hickey then said
“If I stay healthy all the way through the season things should be alright by the time I come to Birmingham next year.”

EAMONN MARTIN

Adam Hickey was 9th in the European cross country. Does that show his potential?

“It does. Personally, I think he has got a slight preference for cross-country but I also think he needs to continue to improve his personal bests between 1500 up to and including 10k on the track. That will benefit his road and cross country running. He has run PB’s for 1500 and the Mile this year (1500 in 3:45.97 at BMC Gold Standard races at Watford on the 15th of July 2015 and the Mile in 4:06.97 in the BMC Grand Prix at Oxford on the 18th of July).
‘He has done that already this year which is good. I think he needs to return to the speed, in the summer to benefit his winter. I think he has just taken a long time to adapt to endurance running with those few years of the triathlon and, although it is good because you train hard for the triathlon, his running was not up to the standard it needed to be.’
‘I think he is there now. He has now trained well, 9th in the European in December. I think those few years of the triathlon will mean he will extend his running career. It has not done the damage to his legs with mileage and he has not got bored with it. I feel he will run very well into his 30’s”

Alastair Aitken

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