Throughout life there are always going to be people who inspire you, who make you believe that anything is possible. As an athlete, I always get asked who inspired me to get involved with athletics. Personally, there are so many people I look up to and aspire to be. I remember as a kid watching the Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie dominate the world of athletics and to me, he was something special and unique. Obviously growing up I was very fortunate to have both my parents as international athletes but my mother, especially being my coach, has been a huge inspiration to me over the years. To have a coach who has been there and got, not only the t-shirt, but a few hundred medals along the way, from Olympics to Commonwealth Games – is obviously going to be a huge benefit for me.
Inspiration is defined as ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something’. Athletics for me has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing but it’s definitely not the easiest hobby to have! Looking over my mums training diaries from when she was World Champion, it really isn’t difficult to be inspired. She worked hard. So much so that it ultimately made her one of the best in the world. Determination and effort are needed to be successful in lie and growing up around someone who showed both of those qualities is something I am very fortunate for.
Out on my latest training camp in Kenya there definitely wasn’t a lack of motivation to get out the door and get running. I had the company of Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and Steve Cram alongside me (the latter being here on coaching purposes), so it really has been a once in a lifetime experience to hear their insights on training. To have Paula Radcliffe handing out drinks on a long run whilst Steve Cram cycles alongside – it really is a unique experience!
The dusty dirt track is amass with Kenyan athletes in the early hours of the morning, completing large training sessions. It really is an amazing experience to go along and witness. Olympic Champions, World Champions and World Record Holders all share the same dirt track and can be seen most days churning out the miles along the dusty paths. Whilst out running, you can easily count up to 200 athletes at a time – the depth of competition out here truly is fascinating and it’s easy to see why the Kenyan athletes are amongst the best in the world. There really is nowhere else quite like Iten.
The Commonwealth Games is now well within my sights. Every aspect of my training is geared around performing well on that one day and hopefully I will be able to inspire the next generation of athletes!