Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Phoebe Law ‘Triple Winner’ & Gemma Steel (March 2018)

Phoebe Law, with her light frame, moved over the ground with consummate ease, to win the Southern Cross Country Championship, at Brighton in blustery wind & rain in January; The National cross country Championships, in relatively good conditions, in February and, Inter-Counties & Final Cross Challenge, in thick mud at Loughborough in March.

Which of those were the hardest for her to win?
“The Final cross challenge & Inter-Counties, at the Prestwold Hall course, because of the mud.
Gemma Steel was chasing me down which was terrifying. It was hard to come back from the ‘National’ to win the Inter-Counties but, I had to do it for the Surrey team” (On March the 10th) - 30 Counties (1st Surrey 194; 2 Lancashire 221; 3 Yorkshire 235; Finishers: - 279. First Six-
1 Phoebe Law (Surrey) 33:21: 2 Gemma Steel (Leicestershire & Rutland) 33:33; 3 Abbie Donnelly (Lincs) 33:42; 4 Beth Hawling (Gloucestershire) 33:58; 5 Clare Duck (Yorks) 34:02, 6 Amy Griffiths (Leicester & Rutland) 34:23).

Your feelings of being a National Champion at Parliament Hill?
“It was a real big dream for me.”
First 3. 1 Phoebe Law (Kingston Poly) 28:33; 2 Louise Small (Aldershot Farnham & District) 28:54; 3 Iona Lake (Norwich) 29:05).

When did she feel she could get to a very good level?
(At Liverpool on the 25th of November 2017) “It was at the European Trials when I was sixth.
It was my coach Mick Woods who made me believe in myself. He is so supportive every day and he gives me texts when I need them. He is always at the courses, come rain shine or snow.
He is brilliant with training with a brilliant training group.”

When it all did begin for Phoebe?
“I first got interested n running when I was 15 and I ran the London Mini Marathon for Kingston (58th in April 2012. My parents who are supportive, did not know anything about it till I got interested. I had a really good teacher at school but I did not train properly till I was 15.
Phoebe said she would like to run in the World cross country also, one day sometime in the future try a marathon. She like her club Kingston Poly and enjoys being with them.

Gemma Steel

In the Final Cross-Challenge , Gemma Steel of Charnwood was the runner up (Back in 2013 she obtained a silver medal in the European cross country championships and was 31st in the IAAF World cross country Championships, which are two of her notable results)

In 2017 she was 3rd in the Cross challenge but has not such good memories of it?
“I had a bit of a panic attack this year, on the start line at Loughborough (This year) because my shoes came off in the race last year but then I just had to focus.”

How about her races over the last yea,r since I talked to her at the corresponding Final Cross Challenge last year in 2017 when she was third “I had some good races and some OK races. My race in the San Vittore Olona, Cinque Mulini in Italy on the 11th of February, when I came sixth, was. one I was pleased with. And winning the 10 mile Great South Run (On the 22nd of October at Portsmouth in 55:25).

Gemma agreed it is better to race than just train for a big event. Even though there were risks with the mud at Loughborough and, she thought it was a good build up strength-wise for the World Half marathon, which she was doing two weeks after the Inter-Counties/Cross Challenge at Loughborough.  

Alastair Aitken

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