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by Val Baxter

June 16, 2015

Well, in poor light…

On Sunday morning, we rose early and looked out the window and checked the weather. Today we were going to have a toddle down to Manchester so Adrian could take the next step in his athletic career.
Two or three weeks ago, he became the Kelly Holmes of Birtley, winning both the 800 and 1500 golds, and, my how he enjoys being called Kelly. ;). As he sat eating his pancake for breakfast he sort of looked sad, as Linda and I reminded him how we had beaten him and Chloe at bowling the night before. We were concerned as we watched him wipe the tears from his cheeks before the pancake was turned savoury with the tiny salty droplets…

Anyway, he pulled himself together and we set off to pick up Kieran, who was going to travel with us, as 50% of the travelling supporters. The drive was ok, not too bad, it rained a lot of the way, but actually as we got closer the clouds seemed to break and it tried to brighten up. Adrian had 20 minutes kip in the car leading up to the Wetherby services (my favourite services) and when he woke he seemed a lot more positive, as if the night befores thrashing in the bowling alley had just been a bad dream. A quick stop to buy some sports mixtures, and then an hour or so later we were pulling into the Etihad football ground car park.

Tommy arrived soon after us, in his capacity as coach, and the other 50% of the travelling fans. We had hoped that it would be a straight final, but there were too many, so two heats contested to decide on the 8 finalists. I have to say I was nervous as they started, Ade in the 4th lane at the start, ran a very sensible safe race. He was given first place initially, but they changed their minds and decided on second. It didn’t matter as the first three and two fastest losers went through.

We bumped into Birtley friend Mr McGuirk, and Stewy Bell with son Jordan, doubling the support for Adrian. Following Adrian’s heat we went for coffee with Stewy, and Adrian shared a potato with Tommy. Then we went and supported Jordan as he ran a strong 5k to take the bronze medal.

By now it was getting cold, and we wanted to get back on the road. Instruction sent to Adrian, run fast cos we want to go home. I know this is sad, but at this point I counted the spectators in the stands, 4 across from us and 6 on the first bend, the other half dozen or so I believe were actually officials. Disappointed that our fave official wasn’t there to watch with us, where were you Mrs Ward??

So, two laps, and how do you feel now? I think the comfortable heat had wiped the bowling lesson out of his mind from the night before…

The race started with the usual sprint to the break point, then although a decent pace it seemed to cramp up as it then changed to tactical. Adrian seemed to be towards the back but looked easy, however speed versus strength? He couldn’t afford to get boxed in. At 350 metres he tried to step out of his box, and the lad behind put a firm hand in his back and gave him such a shove that I jumped up and remonstrated, ( I don’t normally do that) but that seemed to give him what he needed, he pulled out and moved up through the pack. With 250 left the break for home and he tried to cover it, but there were two kids just stronger, I dare say they wouldn’t have run away from him on a straight 400 but as a first year senior, and following a 1:52 on Tuesday, and then a 1:56 heat, he can’t be disappointed with a bronze, and 1:54 in the final. I like to keep his feet on the ground, but let me tell you this….. I was really proud.

The other thing is, when the medal is dusty if the light is right….. The bronze medal does actually look gold. As far as Linda and I are concerned, and the rest of the family, on Sunday he was a winner. :)

Thanks to Tommy and Kieran for travelling down to support.

Just for those who may be wondering, I did a bit running a few years ago, my pb for 400 was 58 seconds, on Tuesday he did two 56 second 400’s, one straight after the other. He is 20 next week, so still has a lot of time ahead of him, he has been enjoying running since he was six, and let’s hope he continues to enjoy it for another 20 years and moreYB

Posted in Race report 2 years ago Permalink


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