CHIPPENHAM international track runner Dave Bishop flies into Britain from America today in a bid to win a place in the Great Britain team for the European Cross Country Championships, writes KEVIN FAHEY.
Bishop will make a brief stopover in Wiltshire before travelling up to Liverpool tomorrow to prepare for the McCain Cross Challenge which incorporates the trials for the Europeans.
Bishop’s late return for Saturday’s event is not by accident. To enjoy the maximum benefits of his time at altitude in Albuquerque, New Mexico and minimise the impact of the time change Bishop left his flight home until the last possible moment.
The real gamble for the former Hardenhuish School student is that he has yet to race since the end of the track season.
However, he said: “I think I’m in pretty decent shape right now. I decided not to race this autumn, instead opting to train straight through for a solid three months.
“It might have been more beneficial for Liverpool to race before it as nothing prepares you for the pain of racing like racing.
“But I decided that the outdoor track season was my number one priority and it would probably be a better fit to train throughout the autumn and then race after the new year.
Provided the conditions are not too heavy underfoot – fast, firm going would suit him better – then the 25-year-old could make the top ten.
“I think I have a decent shot at making the GB team for the Europeans just through the improvements I’ve made over the last track season and being a stronger, more confident athlete in general, rather than my general training indicating such,’’ he said.
“However, if I can replicate last year’s 19th place, which was off a smoother build up and a preparation race, then I think it will show some decent signs of progress and I’ll be happy with it.’’
Fellow county athlete Phil Wylie will also be heading to the north west at the weekend.
The Hilperton-based international duathlete warmed up with a solid tenth place in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on Sunday clocking a time of 30mins 02secs, just three seconds outside the personal best he recorded 12 months ago.
- DAUNTSEY’S School pupil Will Christofi clinched victory in the Swindon 10k last weekend.
The 18-year-old Bristol & West club runner led home a field of more than 500, after taking the lead just before the halfway point.
He finished in 32 minutes and 35 seconds, a minute quicker than his run last year.
A contingent of more than 20 from Dauntsey’s took part in the race.
The Rough ’n’ Tumble ten-mile multi-terrain event will take place on January 13, with entries now being taken. See grassrootsevents.co.uk for details.