Training was going exceptionally well in December with the aid of all the gear purchased with the grant. The big races were approaching and things could not look better. However, at the beginning of January I was set back by a cold meaning I had to miss the Yorkshire cross country championships and a whole week of training. I started to feel better the week after the Yorkshires and so decided to run in Cardiff in the UK cross challenge. The race was distinctly average. I came 2nd to Ben Dijkstra who was unbeaten for the best part of 3years, I only just held off a competitor that would usually be comfortably behind. Despite the performance this meant I would lead the cross challenge standings going into the UK cross challenge final race in Birmingham as I already had a 2nd place performance in Liverpool to back Cardiff up. Next up was the Northern championship in Pontefract. The cold was still lingering but I managed to come a comfortable 2nd. After the Northern the cold turned into a virus and forced another full week off training. This week off was followed by 2 decent weeks of training. Then came the National, I had hoped for a medal earlier on in the season but with the way training had gone my expectations were considerably lowered. The race was run in awful muddy conditions something which I am not well suited to. However, I exceeded my expectations and came 6th. My results up to this point had been good especially with all the missed training. I knew that with a couple more weeks of good training I could perform really well. The inter counties the finale of the UK cross challenge series was two weeks away. In the first I trained reasonably hard but well, in the second I backed off. My preseason target for the inter counties was 5th.
The race began at a ridiculous pace as it was downhill and I got boxed in and drifted down somewhere near 70th place. I didn’t panic and worked my way through. By the end of the first lap I was in the 5th but the leaders were long gone as they had clear running earlier on in the race. I just had to hold on, I did. This meant I won the UK cross challenge series.
So cross country season is nearly over, despite hampered training I achieved a northern silver medal and became the UK cross challenge champion, a successful season.
Thank you very much for the grant it has helped me in a number of ways and I’m sure my performances wouldn’t have been on the same level without it. It has also helped my mum with the expenses of travelling all over the country – again many many thanks for the very much appreciated support.
Winner U17 UK X Challenge
We were very pleased to give a grant to Will Rigg towards the costs involved in the British Orienteering Talent Development Squad. This is what he has to say:
The John Taylor Foundation has helped be by providing me with the funds to Participate in the British Talent Development squad. This will give me access to Top class training camps which provide excellent coaching and training opportunities for me to develop me as an Athlete. I will have contact with the National Technical Talent Coach and the National Physical Conditioning Coach throughout the year to help monitor and aid my progress. Additionally I will receive Sport Science support including physiology testing at Manchester Metropolitan University. The training camps will prepare me for the forthcoming season so I’m in best possible shape to be up for selection for the Junior World Championships in 2015/2016 in which I aspire to be competing in and representing my country.
Will in full flow
I would like to thank the John Taylor Foundation and all of the trustees for the grant I received. This support is so important and will help me to achieve my goals in 2015. I will of course provide a report and photo to let the trust know how their funding has helped me.
Thank you so much for the cheque to help towards to costs of my new javelin. This will be a really great help.
I will ask my parents to look into the cardiac screening and thank you for your suggestion. I will also consider raising funds for JTF if the opportunity arises.
In July I finished my exams and I was quite pleased with the results I achieved. I am now studying A levels in chemistry, physics and maths at Exeter College. I am also doing ACES sports academy at college, which is really helping towards my athletics and fitness in general. After college I am hoping to go to Loughborough University to study Accountancy and Financial Management as well as continuing with my athletics. This is where David Parker (National Javelin coach) is based and I am currently going to Loughborough for coaching with him once or twice a month.
I have been lucky enough to have been selected by British Athletics to attend an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence Programme. This will involve attending 9 sessions at either Bath or Loughborough College.
I am still currently going training at my local club twice a week, and also receive strength and conditioning training once a week from James Marshall (Excelsior). My aim is to becoming an international athlete for team GB and to compete at an Olympic Games.
As you can see from the amount of travelling and training necessary to be the best that I can, your financial support has been invaluable, as I would not have been able to make the most of these opportunities.
I have two part time jobs which I manage to squeeze in between training & my studies, my wages from these help a little with the costs of my athletics and also my parents do all that they can afford to support me too.
To all at the John Taylor Foundation,
I just wanted to say a big thank you to the foundation and Running Bear, my kit has arrived and everything fits perfectly. It is just what I needed as I have been having quite a stressful time at university with so many deadlines and incorporating training in and amongst it all. I cannot wait to wear the new clothing at training tomorrow. I will take some photographs and write up a report in about a weeks time and then, probably another one after my first few competitions as promised.
Just want to say thank you so much for my grant money. It will really help my mum paying for things and I know she is pleased too. I am training well and racing in Liverpool on the 29th – I will get mum to take photos – she usually gets my legs or the grass though but I’ll get her to try harder
This year I represented GB at the junior European cup in Lommel, Belgium. This involved three races over three days. The first race was the sprint discipline. I had a late start so after a long wait in quarantine the start process began. This being only my second time representing Great Britain I was more than a little nervous but managed to contain these nerves and begin reasonably smoothly. Following a pretty average first two thirds, with some small time losses I came through the spectator control in a respectable position, on the fringes of a top ten despite my mistakes. However, in my excitement I allowed my technique to go to pot in the latter stages and made a large error, which in such a short race is critical and I plummeted on the results list. Following the race I was a little gutted not to perform especially well could take many positives from the first half!
Following a reasonably early night and a rather huge buffet dinner I felt fit and ready for the long distance the following day. The long distance, however, did not go to plan. I think the pressure of the race (my main target over the course of the weekend) and my lack of any sort of speed control (running faster than I was able to efficiently navigate) caused my race to be a poor one and again the result taken from it not something I was proud of. Both the long and the sprint I feel I can take invaluable experience from, despite the frustrating results. I will approach big races very differently in the future, taking a far more controlled and steady approach.
Finally, there was the relay. I was running first leg and from the start the pace was extremely high. I managed to stay with the front for the first third, pushing with two extremely strong athletes from the upper age class, a brief experience but one I found incredibly exciting and motivational. A mistake of around thirty seconds on the eighth control let me down though, and around 15 people swarmed passed me, crammed into this half minute. Following this two more mistakes left me to come in in the top twenty, not what I could have achieved had I avoided the first error but one I was reasonably pleased with. Looking over the race at the end I was amazed at the number of people racing, who got past me after I made such a small mistake. This showed the quality of the field and is something which is driving me to get a good base in over this winter, hopefully getting some good results in the looming cross country season as well. It has left me keen for the new season.
Thank you very much for the John Taylor Foundation for helping to fund such a rewarding trip!
Junior European Cup 2014
My last race for GB as a junior in the Lommel region of Belgium started with traveling very early on Thursday the 1st with a 3.45am alarm for a 6am flight. The morning was spent relaxing and sleeping and eating in Brussels airport before meeting the rest of the team coming in on different flights. After a long day traveling only a few people went and ran the model but after an early night me and some other W20s headed down to look at the terrain. We jogged around some controls for 25/30minutes and then discussed what we thought of the area etc. Sandy forest with some areas of contour detail and other areas very flat and featureless.
Friday evening was the first race – Sprint. Due to start blocks being decided the day before I had been given the first start (of every competitor!) at 5.30. Straight into the area and the course demanded some quick thinking but was very running dominant. I was trying my hardest but one change of plan and lapse in concentration 3 controls from the end and 1min30 lost! Disappointing to be so close to a decent run. Final result was 40th.
After an early night to try catch up on more sleep it was time for the Long distance. Now this is more my cup of tea and I was really excited! Somehow an early start block had again giving me a very early start – 10.32! So there was in fact 1 W20 ahead of me but considering a start block is 30minutes I was pretty unlucky! I didn’t let it get to me and ran my own race, overtaking the Russian girl who started at 10.30 by number 2 and hitting control after control bang on. Through the spectator I was tiring mentally and physically but pushed on and tried to stay in control. Unfortunately at control 30 (out of 33!!!) I was distracted from my bearing and lost 3 minutes. I was pleased to finish after 75 minutes and then cheered everyone else in, especially Alexander Chepelin who came a fantastic 2nd in M18! My final result was 21st and best W20 British result!
Relay was the final day and I was in a team with Lucy Butt and Tamsin Moran, 2 other final year W20s who I have grown up with so that was good. I was second leg and went out a couple of minutes down but still in contention with a big pack just ahead. It went well until the final loop after spectator and I lost 5 minutes on 2 different controls which I was disappointed about. Team final position was 9th nation.
After a relaxed afternoon we traveled back and reflected on our races and the weekend as a whole. I had such a fun weekend and after having surgery in February involving a lot of time resting and doing rehab I was just pleased to be back racing! In January I move up to senior racing so I’m not sure what’s coming next but I’m excited for a winter training in Edinburgh!
Many thanks have to go to the John Taylor Foundation for helping fund this trip.
Firstly, I would like to thank the John Taylor foundation for their support; it has been a great help in funding what was ultimately an amazing experience.
This August I was competing at the 2014 Triathlon Age group world championships in Edmonton. I had never done an event on such a large scale before or competed so far away from home, so there was a lot of a new factors to consider. I began my race well and by the end of the swim, I was 2nd out of the water swimming on the toes of the athlete in front. I came out of the first transition maintaining my position, unfortunately my bike leg did not go as I had hoped and I began to lose places on the bike, so I was a bit disappointed with my performance. Overall I finished 17th and although it was frustrating not to be at my best, I am still confident that this experience has taught me a lot that will hopefully allow me to be a medal contender in future.
I was 3rd GBR athlete, which qualifies me to do the 2015 World Championships in Chicago next year and with two more years in this age category I am excited for the future. The event itself was great fun and I am more motivated than ever to keep going with my triathlon career.
Thank you once again for giving me this opportunity.
There are some earlier reports available here from the original website.