Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Nick Goolab and Jon Davies (August 2015)

NICK GOOLALB of Belgrave Harriers (Born 30/1/1990) won the Mile race in the English Championships, which could be considered the ‘AAA’ Mile, at Bedford on the 2nd of August.
The distance run these days is usually 1500. In the mile race the first six home out of the 15 finishers, all in personal best times. Nick Goolab (Belgrave) 4:08.09; 2 Jon Davies (Reading) 4:08.53; 3 Jack Hallas (Birchfield Harriers) 4:08.87 4 Phillip Sesemann (Blackheath & Bromley AC ) 4:09.56; 5 Sam Mitchell (Notts AC) 4:09.97 and 6th  Under 20 runner, Scott Greaves (City of Norwich) 4:10.85.

Looking back now about the AAA’s mile history, there are some impressive winners over the years. In Centenary Year of the AAA’s, Steve Ovett won a tactical race from John Walker (The latter, the first person ever to break 3:50 for the mile), who was well clear of the rest of the field, at Crystal Palace; John Whetton won in 1968; Alan Simpson 1963-64-65; Hungarian, Lazlo Tabori in 1960: Brian Hewson in 1957; Roger Bannister in 1951, 53 & 54; Bill Nankeville, (Comedian Bobby Davro’s Father), in 1948, 49,50 and 52; Sydney Wooderson 1935;36,37,38, and 1939; Albert Hill, the two times Olympic 800m Champion, won twice in the 1920’s; Alf Shrubb in 1902 & 1903 and Walter George won the first one in 1880 in 4:28.6. The fastest time recorded for the AAA’s was by Southend’s, Andy Green, with 4:00.6 in 1967.

NICK GOOLAB last really made a name for himself as a cross country runner, with his first big win in the National Junior cross country Championships, which he won comfortably at Leeds in 2009 but since then, although he had a few very good runs, like in the National road relays for Belgrave Harriers, he has not really shone through but then, quite suddenly, came to the fore as a good 1500/Miler in July 2015 running 3:49.68 at  Watford on July the 1st followed by 3:46.87 in the BMC Gold standard race, also at Watford on the 15th of July Followed, of course, with the win at Bedford over the mile.
‘What had happened to him in the long interim period?

“I had been doing nothing really. I have been training all the time. ’However he pointed out “I get a problem being injured or illnesses’.’
That mile win at Bedford must reinforce his feelings about himself as a good athlete?
“Yes; I have been going well in training my coach is happy with that. CRAIG WINROW has been coaching me for a couple of months and is happy the way I have been going.” (Steve Sharp used to coach him when he was running well at cross-country. (Winrow ran 1:45.69 for 800m in Zagreb in 1996 and 3:43.34 for 1500 and ran for GB in the Atlanta Olympics).

Regarding Nick’s mile at Bedford “I showed up at 12 to-day for my run at 20 to 2 and they said ‘Now we are going to do it at the Final time of 5:10pm so, I went to the cinema over the road. I ate some popcorn while I was there. That was not the best idea I ever had. I m not feeling too good now but, I did not want to hang about. I thought I would go and watch a movie.“
In the race you appeared to dictate the pace?
“I went through in 65; I brought it to a 64. I did not realise, at the time, we were not going fast. When we came to 600 to go usually my head goes down and I don’t believe in myself. I tried to go with 120 left.”

Nick Commented “Craig gives me stuff in training which is a bit different for me and it has gone really well. Training is better than my racing’.
He also added ‘I came down with tonsillitis the weekend before Bedford and, not been able to train all week. I was not really sure I was going to run.’
Encouraging for the future for Nick Goolab was his comment about his coaching by Craig Winrow “My 1500m training is on another level to what I was doing as a cross-country runner, in my opinion”

JOHNNY DAVIES (Born 28/10/94) was second in the Mile behind Nick in the above mile race
(In 2015 He won the ECCA Saucony English National Junior cross country race and later the BUCS 5000m Championships. He recorded a personal best time for 1500 of 13:43.53 in the IFAM outdoors in Belgium on the on the 23rd of May 014 and in 2015 at Watford Open he ran a personal best 3000m in 8:05.17 on the 29th of July 2015. Back in 2014 at the BMC Gold Standard race at Watford on the 16th of July he ran his best 1500 to date of 3:44.53).

John Davies coach Rob Mckim talked to me about Jon
“This was a bit of fun for him. He is more a 5k runner with his 13.43 in Belgium‘
Regarding his mile run to-day McKim said “A little bit of fun and a little speed work, mixing it. He came down and mixed it with guys over the 1500.’ He also said “A shame the pace was not a bit faster which would have suited him’. He added “Doing these events does help him build up that sense of positioning and at a good a pace. Fighting for the line.”
“Because of his injuries in the Winter we had to use an anti-gravity treadmill. That was when he was out from October to Mid November. He did hardly anything. He can come back quite quick.’
‘He is in good shape and won the BUCS 5000 here at Bedford. He is pretty consistent. In the European Under 23 Champiohips (In Tallinn, Estonia ) he was 2nd with a lap to go - Then there was a counter surge and it was quite close for the first six. (First 6 on July the 11 were Ali Kaya of Turkey 13:20.16 and second Issac Kimeli of Belgium, in 13:54 33 and 3rd Carlos Mayo (Spain) 3:55.19; 4th Samuele Dini (Italy) 13:56.65; 5th Mykola Nyzhnyk (UKR) 13:57.47; and in 6th place Jon Davies (GB) 13:58.44).

Alastair Aitken

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