As some of you are aware not so long ago I was actually not a bad athlete. From the age of 13 I have been running and running fast. My first proper race, some 28 years ago, happen by chance really. I had just gone to a new school and I was watching a school match when the school record holder pulled up injured in the 100m. The games master, Mr Lane, was rushing around trying to find someone to fill in over 200m. After a little bit of persuasion (I was very shy back then) I lined up for the 200m not having a clue what I was doing! The next 26.2seconds not only broke the school record by almost two seconds but changed my life in a dramatic fashion. From that moment on running became my life and that continued up to about 3 years ago, when after a long and successful career I decided to hang up my spike.
Over the time on the track I have achieved some great things and have loved every moment, good or bad, on the athletics tracks across Britain and Europe. From the very early days after realising I was quite good all I ever wanted to do was run for Great Britain, and to stand on the start line in a British vest. I was selected for the 1992 World Juniors, but my very last session before leaving ended in disaster, with a pulled hamstring. And so my first opportunities for that British vest disappeared in a single phone call. After that I moved up into the senior rank at the exact same time as Great Britain had its best crop of 400m runners that it has ever had. At the time the top 8 British runners were all ranked in the top 30 in the world and so I was simply not good enough to get the British vest. I did however run for Wales on 52 different occasions, but those injuries reared their ugly heads in the build up to three separate Commonwealth Games.
At this point I was starting to believe that the childhood ambition was never going to happen. I had now moved up to 400m Hurdles and somehow, no idea how, I was creeping toward the grand old age of 35. This is when you become what is known as a Masters Athlete, another chance for that exclusive British Vest had arrived!! So in 2009 some 23 years after that first race I was standing on and track in Lathi, Finland wearing the red, white and blue of Great Britain and competing at the World Masters Championships. On that day I not only achieved my ambition of the pulling on the vest but went one better and actually won the title!! Emotional mess for about four hours. The following year I again travelled with the British team to Hungary for the European Master Championships and very happily won the European Title as well.
In 2011 after only a few races, that just didn’t seem to be going to plan I decided to hang up the spikes and call it a day. I went from training 6 days a week for up to 4 hours a day to nothing. It was as if my body and mind needed a complete break form any form of training. This was until I realised that at Christmas 2013 that I was 1.5 stone heavier than I had ever been and it was not in a good way – was struggling to do things in my day to day life that only a few years before would have been so very easy.
So on January 3rd 2014 I joined the ranks of the “New Year, New You”!!! And I decided that not only did I need to start training again but if I could get back into shape then maybe a few races might be fun and the aim was to maybe run the 100m and 200m at the British Masters Championships in August if all went well.
A few of my clients said they would like to follow me and see how I was getting on so I thought it might be fun to write a weekly blog, I have just not got round to it, SORRY EVERYONE!!! I will post the first one shortly.