Talents get tips from the top at London Marathon Events Young Athletes Camp
Some of the country’s most talented young runners have been following in the footsteps of athletes they’ve been cheering on at the London 2017 World Championships.
About 80 teenagers from across the country have been attending the annual London Marathon Events Young Athletes Camp at St Mary’s University, hoping they will one day emulate the achievements of some of the camp’s former pupils.
Among the British team at this summer’s World Championships were several athletes who have attended the camp including women’s 1,500m finalist Laura Weightman and Steph Twell.
Moreover, a number of the British team have direct links to St Mary’s including Sir Mo Farah, Elliot Giles, Adelle Tracey, Charlotte Purdue and Beth Potter.
The next generation of athletes hoping to one day make a World Championships of their own spent the week learning just what it takes to be an elite athlete.
Among those attending were some of the top finishers at the 2017 Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon – including Josh Dickinson and Charlotte Alexander who both broke course records this year - with the week-long camp part of their prize for performing so well.
Also part of the fantastic experience were top performers from the 2017 English Schools Championships on the track and cross country, along with consistent performers from the cross country and track seasons this year.
The athletes, all in the under-15 and under-17 age groups, were given expert advice in everything from nutrition and psychology workshops to anti-doping talks.
There were some stellar guest speakers including former World Championship bronze medallist for 800m Jenny Meadows who talked to the youngsters about the psychology of racing.
London Marathon Elite Athlete Co-ordinator Dave Bedford welcomed the runners to camp with an introductory speech while 2012 Olympian Nick McCormick also spoke to the group.
The youngsters were also able to watch a number of the sport’s superstars who were using the St Mary’s track as a training base between the World Championships in London and the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham. Farah himself visited the university’s track named in his honour while USA steeplechaser Evan Jager (pictured) also did a session and then spent time chatting to the youngsters.
Of course, there was plenty of running too with the youngsters worked out by St Mary’s top team of coaches headed up by St Mary’s Performance Coach Craig Winrow.
Winrow said: “Once again St Mary’s University was delighted to host the London Marathon Events Young Athletes Camp where the athletes were educated through various workshops providing them with an insight into what it takes to be an elite athlete.
“We were proud to see a number of athletes who have come through this system compete at London 2017 and we hope some of this batch will follow in their footsteps and be competing at senior World Championships in the future.”
This year’s training camp was the 14th to be held at St Mary’s and supported by London Marathon Events.
The Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon is the official British Athletics three-mile road championships for young athletes aged between 11 and 17 and is open to entrants from the nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and will include teams from all 33 London Boroughs.
Previous winners of the Mini London Marathon and Mini Wheelchair Marathon include four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah and six-time London Wheelchair Marathon winner David Weir.
Details of the 2018 Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon will be available at www.minimarathon.co.uk in due course.