Monday, 6 February 2012

We came, we ran, we conquered… Simmies until I die.

Due to the fact that I graduate in the summer, the weekend just gone will most likely be the last time I represent St Mary’s.  My preparation going into the race was far from ideal with a niggling knee preventing me from training following the southern indoor championships. In total I clocked about 20 miles in two weeks.  I know that it would have had no effect on my performance as the work had already been done. I did everything in my power to nurse my knee to make it onto that start line. I placed a bet with my housemates that if I was to finish outside the top 15 I would wear full GB kit in the first open Watford meet this summer.
Upon arrival I found myself lacking the motivation necessary to represent my university with all I had, a lot of the people around me were new, I had little connection with them as most trained with a different group. Living away from campus left me lacking the same bond that I have had in previous years. Once the men’s A race set off, I witnessed the fire in the eyes of the lads. They fought with everything they had, the passion soon came back and once again I felt part of something big. Ash Harrell gave everything he had to break Jonny Hay, unfortunately everything wasn’t enough and Jonny Hay came through to take the win. Still a great performance from Ash to take the bronze and with the rest of the scoring team all finishing within the top ten we destroyed the team standings. Our girls who I had never expected to win followed the boys with outstanding performances taking it to the other teams gaining the silver (Leigh Lattimore) and bronze (Louise Small) medal’s individually.

In the build-up to my race, the team captain Luke Allen fired up the team with an inspirational speech. The atmosphere was amazing, the lads were psyched and we were ready to go! As I turned towards the long finishing straight I found myself in 16th place and feeling absolutely fooked! The guys were screaming at me, they believed that if I could get the brum (Matthew Jackson) before the line that we would claim all three team medals and deny Birmingham of anything! Also concerned about the fact that I did not wish to run in a GB vest that I had not earned, I put my head down and embraced the pain! I not only kicked past Jackson but 2 other athletes holding off Harper as he attempted to run me down. I finished 13th and was part of the biggest domination that the BUCS had ever seen with 1st (Toby Loveridge) to 8th all being St Mary’s athletes. I was the 11th St Mary’s athlete to finish with only 2 Birmingham guys in front of me. Unfortunately Birmingham did enough to seal the bronze medal. Of the 18 prizes St Mary’s claimed 10 of them.
It’s a sad feeling to know that next year I won’t be on the line representing the blue and white, however in my heart when those simmies are standing on the line, I will be right there with them, their victory will be my victory and their defeat will be my defeat, I have great faith in the boys and girls to carry St Mary’s to yet another year of glory… Simmies until I die!

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