Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Interviews and

Night of the PBs and Olympic Trials - May 2016 (Part 3)

MENS 10K Race 5 at PHF (May 2016)

Part 3 of Night of 10,000m Personal Bests at Parliament Hill on 21/5/2016 organized by Ben Pochee

Race 5 was exciting to watch as Ross Millington (Stockport), Juan Antonio Perez of Spain & Dewi Griffiths from Wales fought out lap after lap
Andy Vernon moved through the field during the race but by the time he got to fourth place, he was well adrift of the first three and, would have needed a super-human effort to be in contention which, he could usually manage.
Andy Vernon had already got the qualifying time by a decent margin and, he was expected to win. Like so many times for an athlete, it does not always work out as you plan it to happen. He was out of sorts and beaten into fourth place (28:48.8). The winner Ross Millington of Stockport and the second British runner, Dewi Griffiths of Swansea, both did personal best of 28:28.2 and 28:34.4 respectively but both outside of the Olympic qualifying time of 28:00, which appeared quite a tough ask.
Now Andy Vernon, the European Bronze medallist will have to wait to see as to whether, the selectors are magnanimous enough to select him for the Olympics in Rio.

To Andy Vernon. You have got the qualifying time. “I needed top two. I missed my big opportunity here. I had not done enough training that is the bottom line. Too many injuries.”

Dewi Griffiths was 2nd in the same event last time. “I just missed the European standard.
“It was an exciting race?
‘It was but it was a shame to miss out on the time.’
He has had a good season though ‘Second UK runner home in the half marathon. It has been a mixed bag for the last couple of weeks for me.
I had a niggle last Wednesday. I had physio a couple of times last week and, thought; I would give it a go. I am still young and got years ahead of me but there is always the desire of wanting to do it now sort of thing. I ams still progressing.”
I am glad you ran such a good race
“I think I was on the limit for a long time. It was a PB.”

Ross Millington Steve Vernon with all his experience from your club, must be a good coach for you?
‘He is’
When did Ross first start out running ‘12/13. I was playing football and I kind of stopped enjoying it. I was in a good team and we got promoted and we started losing really badly and, I kind of stopped enjoying it.’
His best races “Tonight's up there and the European cross when I was fifth in 2014 was a big breakthrough.
I think probably tonight and that. I did win a silver medal at the European Under 23’s in Ostrava in 2011. That was special too, obviously to get a medal.”
His fastest 5000 was 13:36.39 in Eugene America on 26th of May 2011 and he came 16th in the European Senior CC in 2015.
What did he enjoy most about running?

“I like working hard and then getting something out of it. You see yourself through hard weeks.’
Capturing the moment of your win tonight. The moment was good wasn’t it!  “It was amazing. I was hurting a lot with 10 laps to go and, a mile out it was really hurting. I knew I had one more chance to turn the screw and see if they broke. Fortunately they did and I got away.”
There were special cross country memories “European Cross two years ago.”
What was his favourite surface road, cross country or track?
“I like all runs. I like just racing and so obviously with road and cross country it is not about the time, it is pure competition. That is what I kind of introduce on the track, instead of worrying about times all the time.”
Did his days in America help?
‘Yes, I learnt a lot of things and did a lot of growing up. ‘
Did he over race there?
No! It was at New Mexico College. I loved it and had a great time.”

Alastair Aitken

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