Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Gemma Kersey (August 2015)

GEMMA KERSEY (Born 6/2/92)

First 3 at the CAU Inter-Counties & England Championships in the Women’s 1500  at Bedford, on 2nd of August:- 1 Gemma Kersey (Basildon AC) 4:23.73; 2 Kate Holt (City of Stoke) 4:24.19; 3 Montana Jones (AFD) 4:24.50.
GEMMA KERSEY:- “In the UK Championships it was slow and then Laura (Muir) went and booted it. I am not as quick as some of those girls over the 800 so, to-day, being heats and a final, I knew I had the kind of strength which gave me a bit of an advantage. I am strong so, I did not want to leave it to sit & kick. Even though I was knackered I was pushing it & pushing it. Montana had an awesome finish and I tucked in at 150, and believed in myself’
I have been struggling in the home straight with my 1500’s. In Dublin last week and, although I got to the 1500 strong, I tied up in the home straight. It is not my ability that I needed to get my head around. It is the home straight.’
‘I believed in myself to-day and finished the race right till after the 1500 finishing line.”

Would she consider the race one of her best results?

“Yes’ then added ‘2012 was my best year. I was winning races and in the mix. I had just finished my degree. I was studying fashion. I kind of plateauxed for about 2 years. I feel I am finally on the way up and enjoying my running
It is important that!
       “Yes, when I was studying at Uni I was going for a run for a break. Now, I have the pleasure of driving to the country park and actually just enjoy the run. Before it was a kind of a chore. I have found my love again for the sport and the 1500’.
She is still competitive in the winter. I remember the first time I talked to her at Stevenage, when she gave the overall ATW Metropolitan league winner Rachel Felton, of Shaftesbury Barnet, a very good race. That was in November of 2014 at Stevenage .
Looking back to when she was an under 20 Gemma won the Essex Championships at Basildon and, as an under 17 in 2007 she won all her four Essex League cross-country races as an under 17.
Now for the last winter season:-
“I had a fairly solid winter, a bit up and down, Come out the other side and, even though I did not do what I wanted to at the UK Championships, I finally believed in myself.”
Had the British Milers Club been a help with her racing?
          “I don’t know what it would be like without the BMC. All of the athletes rely on those meets. Not just a paced race, they are actually a race now with all the top athletes turning up.”
Had the BMC helped in her development as an athlete?
“Especially the 800’s. Obviously in the 800 you have to run even laps and, because I am not as quick as some of the girls. When I go to the BMC I focus, in my first race on the girl ahead of me and so I just start working through.
And  I have run some really good  times (Her PB of 2:06.79. That was run in a BMC Gold Standard race at Watford on 7/8/13). I ran 4:13.54 for 1500 in 2012- (PB in the BMC Gold standard races at Solihull 21/7/12).
‘The aim is to get back to that and beyond it. Everyone has bad years and I don’t think my time is up. I think it has just started. I am 23 so, I need to start something now — At 24 & 25, not just to be the same athlete as I was as a junior but move on now. I have a degree in fashion design. I have designed sports wear and, it is a lovely alternative to running. I will treat fashion as a hobby and, go back to full-time in a couple of years. If I don’t do my athletics now I am never going to do it.’
She pointed out ‘Eamonn is such a brilliant coach. He does not just train me hard. He makes me a better and more professional. He taught me things my parents never did. He was not just a brilliant marathon runner and Olympian but like a Dad to me. He has been doing a really good job.”

EAMONN MARTIN First of all talking about Gemma & Adam’s races in the CAU Inter Counties & England Championships.

I said to Eamonn that he must be pleased with Gemma’s progress:- “The two runners I had here to-day. Adam Hickey did not win but was 2nd and Gemma won. Really the plan here was for both to have a go at winning.
Adam did have a real go. Gemma, I was very encouraged by her front running. She dictated the race all the way. When someone went she let them go and got in behind them. I was really pleased because she has not had such a good summer. Ability never deserts you but many other things come into play. The confidence and the nice pressure she does need. I said, this weekend is trying to win. People may think Bedford is not a great thing but it has been a pretty good weekend. It was a good stepping stone for her to win that race and be so dominant in that Final. You learn a lot. To-day was not about times. It was racing. She looked good and tactically very astute which is good.”

Alastair Aitken

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