Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 3 (2011)


To get up at 5.45 am in South East London, to go to the first race of the McCain World Trials & Inter-Counties, with a mile walk from Longbridge Station, Birmingham to the course, was surprisingly, a real pleasure. I knew the first event at 11' am 'The Under 20 Men's race'  would be the duel of the day and so it turned out with Middlesex runner Richard Goodman dictating the pace at the front with Jonny Hay, the National Junior Champion, close at hand. Time and time again Goodman would test his rival and it was not till the last large field that Jonny Hay got the better of Goodman and, Scots Junior Champion, Ross Matheson, who lives in East Lothian and, runs for Lasswade (who won the Under 17 world Trial  last year) third.1 Jonathan Hay (25:17) of the winning Surrey team who got 37 points--1,4,10,22)); 2 Richard Goodman (25:28); 3 Ross Matheson 25.35; 4 Ian Bailey (25:39); 5 Tom Curr (25:50) and 6 Harvey Dixon (25:52) 175 completed.

                                          JONNY  HAY
" I went with a mile to go and made a little effort to get away. He responded pretty quick so I eased back down again. I knew at that point it would be left to the wire, more than anything and that was how it ended up'
   This is Johnny Hay's best season at the time of writing
    " I seem to be running a lot better over the cross-country than I have done for a couple of years now. As an Under 17 I had a pretty good season. The last couple of years I had not quite gone as well as I hoped. Since Christmas I just seem to have got better and better and I am looking forward to the track and the World Cross now. I will do 1500 or 5k in the Summer. I have done 14.02 for 5k. I want to get my time down as much as possible and medal at the European Junior Championships over 1500 or 5k'
   ' Mick has been my coach for a long time now. He knows me too well and, makes sure that I get in the to the place I want to be."

                                          RICHARD GOODMAN
" I gradually came back from injury. I was out for 8 weeks at an important time of the year for basic training. I came back then injured myself again and had two or two and half weeks off. I then went away to Spain and focused on my training which I did on my own and got reasonably fit. They asked me to run in Edinburgh. It was just being able to run again was the main thing because, I had not been able to do any running, just hobbling back to the house. I have just been working at it, getting gradually getting fitter and the strongest I have been in my life but those 8 weeks out did not help but I don't attribute that to not winning to-day. The course suited me."
   I suppose a record last  year of Richard Goodman winning all the domestic cross country competition was not so good for him as losing now and again?
    Last year I did win pretty much everything except the European cross and the World cross country. I think if an athlete keeps winning they lose that desire. I sort of lost it last year, just because I thought I was invincible. Going to the World Cross really made me realise that there was so much work to do. The African boys are so different and brought up so different to Johnny and me. Next year I am going to live like them and go to altitude .This is what I want to do and be a professional athlete and try and break British, European and hopefully World records one day but there is a long way to go for that."

                                          ROSS MATHESON
" I wanted to get in the top six but I did not think I would get third' Bailey and I broke away from a group behind the first two to battle the last bit."  
You won the Scottish Junior Championships at Falkirk on the 19th of February. How did that go?
   " Me and Mathew Gillespie battled all the way round. In the last lap I broke away from him and managed to hold him (1.Matheson 26:11, 2 Gillespie 26:15, 3 Dave Vernon 26:41)
   When did Ross start running?
" 31/2 years ago. I was playing football but then got a back injury-short hamstrings or something. I thought I would do running to keep fit and ended up getting a Scottish  title!. I have  been coached by Dave Campbell and train at Meadowbank. I have run 1:51/3:54 for 800/1500 but I am not happy with the latter and hope to run under 3:50 this year"

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