3000m - SPAR British Indoor Championships
This past weekend saw British athletes descending on the Arena, Birmingham to challenge for national titles at the SPAR British Indoor Championships. For myself, it was to be another outing over 15 laps as I lined up in the 3000m.
Despite a couple of late withdrawals the field was still the strongest I can ever remember for a national 3000m final. It is great to see how much endurance in our country has developed over the last few years, and being a part of this new era of British distance running feels very special. My race in Madrid last week had been a success, and I was keen to throw myself into a championship to see how I would cope.
The Arena was like an oven on Saturday, nothing like a little bit of heat acclimatisation for Gold Coast while you’re racing… Safe to say, I was a hot mess (literally) before the gun had even fired! Sweat levels aside, I felt good, and was ready to compete.
The opening kilometre was pretty pedestrian, but I was happy enough hugging the rail and trotting along behind Laura Muir. I felt relaxed, strong, and confident, all the while waiting for the imminent injection of pace from the lady whose heels I was following. Laura stamped her authority on the race with 600m to go, and soared ahead to take a convincing lead. She is a truly class athlete, and I believe her progress over the past few years has greatly influenced the depth of endurance talent in the UK. When one person is running insanely fast it makes you do a quick self-check, and then you set out to raise your game, so thank you Laura!
Anyway, 600m to go we have upped the tempo, and it was definitely time to don the big girl pants; I was feeling brave, and it was time to test the wheels. Sitting in third I set my sights on Eilish McColgan, another incredible talent, and chased hard. I didn’t have quite enough in the tank, and crossed the line third behind two world-class competitors.
12-months ago I would never have sought to challenge the likes of Laura and Eilish, but now I view every race as a clean slate. Everyone you line up against is human, and you have to give it your best shot. I believe this change in mentality to be very significant, and am intrigued to see what I can achieve this summer.
Hard-work, great fun, a personal best, and a British indoor bronze medal, the indoor season has been awesome. I must admit though, I’m looking forward to jumping over some barriers in a couple of months time.