Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Eva Holland with James McDonald (June 2017)

Eva Holland, won the Under 15-under 17 race for the South of England 3000m Championship at Crystal Palace, on he 11th of June, 2017 with an impressive, new personal best time of 10:15.69; 2nd was Alexandra Millard (U17), also doing a personal best time of 10:28.88 and in 3rd place was  Pippa Rossier (Under 15)  in 10:35.61.

When did Eva Holland decide that running was her sport?
“I guess it was like in year 3 or year 4. I had these school races when I usually race well in, then a friend from Newton Prep introduced me to Herne Hill Harriers then, I started with them.’
‘I was part of the beginner’s group sessions then, I did competition and James McDonald spotted me at it.’
James McDonald is a prolific and established coach “She is also multi-talented. She is adaptable, good at the javelin as other things so, she is a multi eventer but the good thing is, she does not live and breathe running, It is about her third sport, as she does hockey and netball and all that so she does not think’ Oh My God it I don’t do well’ She is a Surrey hockey player.”
In my experience of interviewing athletes over the years I remember Lynn Davies the Olympic, European and Commonwealth long jump Champion saying to me that it is so important when you are young to do many sports and not specialise. You don’t get burnt out then
Eva “You have a wider range to try out. ‘
You have had some good races including winning today (11/6/17) Did you plan to go off in he middle of that race to pull right away from the rest. You were well clear at the finish, even though he second two was battling it out but unlikely to catch you. Did that give you a lot of satisfaction?
“In training I train with the boys and get really fast times. They said you can get under 10 minutes but I guess the wind did not help me. I had  raced the previous day and I won the 1500 in the London schools.”
James McDonald “She beat three of the top kids in the country to win that race and, after converting to the 1500 two months ago. She said at the time ‘It is too far!’ The first race she ran 5.00.20 (1st of April at Tooting Bec Open). She knew the English schools qualifier was 4:50. but the next day she ran 4:57.56 (At Carshalton Trophy Meeting). She ran 4:40.25 at Brighton (in the BMC regional meet on 31/5/17).
I suppose you will stay with all the different sports and then make a decision. You might have to decide to do athletics eventually. James McDonald comes in “She is very academic as well. She has an exceptional brain.”
Eva “ I got offered an academic award who I was trying out for Mill field School, the boarding school and I got a Sports Scholarship there as well for athletics and hockey (An Old friend of mine the outstanding Olympic hurdler David Hemery, was a teacher at Mill field school in the 1970’s)
As you blend your studies with your running you will not burn out
Eva “People sometimes concentrate so much on running, they kind of forget about their studies. People think most sporty people are dumb. I have proved people wrong sometimes, when they put me down and put me into a class. I want to be like myself.”

Alastair Aitken

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