NEW MANX CHAMPION, ANDY CANNELL,
GIVES HIS VERSION OF HIS EXCITING RISE
TO THE TOP
The XC Champs
I feel the same as many people about
the race: Im stunned. I was well prepared, feeling strong and thought about a
top three but didnt think Id win it. I can only give thanks to those who have
showed their support (not least my Mum for feeding me and my Dad for
encouraging me and driving me all over the Island)
and of course to Chris and Colin for their continual help with my training.
I cant get away without acknowledging
Darren Gray either. It was he who dictated the early part of the race, he who
set such a tremendous opening pace and he who had to bear the brunt of the wind
in the first two laps. I hold a lot of respect for Darren and the work he puts
into his running; it was uplifting for me just to be able to keep up with him
In the end though, the race was won in
the mud on the 3rd lap when I was able to inch away from him.
Afterward we both agreed it must have been a good race to watch, and as Andy
Fox says, were likely to have many more tremendous battles in the future. I
look forward to them greatly.
Andy Cannell, certainly not out of his depth!
Middle Distance Squad
I came to the first MD meeting on the
back of five months training for the Ramsey Sprint Triathlon where I finished a
disappointing 11th with the 20th fastest run time. I
attended the meeting to improve my training quality and hopefully my running
I was inspired by the prospect of
getting to the Island Games and the squad culture that Chris and Gianni
envisaged. Within three weeks of the first meeting I had decided to put
triathlon to one side and strive to represent my country at the Island Games as
a middle distance runner.
Since getting involved with the squad
Ive learnt a great deal to improve my training and racing. Chris and Colin
have provided me with a progressive training program emphasizing the importance
of building slowly with placing steady runs at the core of my training.
Ive learnt also to listen to my body
when training. Overtraining only leads to long-term injury (not to mention
unbearable frustration) that ultimately reduces your ability to train further
and perform well. Theyve showed me that maintaining a high training quality is
much better than doing too much, too fast, too soon.
What impresses me the most is the
ambition of the squad to approach training in an integrated way. To become a
good runner doesnt just involve running a ridiculous number of miles a week.
It is about finding a balance in many things such as training intensity, volume
and frequency; using varying terrain and sensible recovery periods; eating and
drinking the right food and fluids at the right time; and setting achievable
short- and long-term goals.
These are just a few of the areas the
squad is trying to develop, and whilst still in its infancy, who knows what
training and support the squad may have to offer by the 2007 Island Games?
Im sure that if I can progress the way
I have, there is no reason as to why anyone else cant. Im just a 22 year-old who got disillusioned
with football and decided to do something about it. You only have to look to
Keith Gerrard to see what an ambitious youth can achieve. Its a very exciting
time to be involved in middle distance running on the Island and with the squad
in place Im sure the Isle of Man will
recapture and surpass the glory days of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
I hope to continually improve and to
get to the Island Games in Rhodes in 2007, but
I dont want it to be an easy ride. I want to be pushed all the way by the
people now with all the potential to be great. Its cliched and self-explanatory,
but the youngsters are the potential stars of tomorrow, and it is to them that
the middle distance squad will prove most valuable.
Though athletics is an individual
sport, a strong support team backs up the finest runners, and I hope the MD
squad can provide this backdrop in the future. Returning to Chris swallow
analogy: you rarely see a swallow make the huge endurance test that is
migration alone, they migrate together and through working together they
achieve great things.
TO JOIN THE MIDDLE DISTANCE
The Isle of Man Middle Distance squad
will be meeting for a training session this Saturday, 14th February at 10.30 at
the NSC track. Runners should bring their spikes as it is intended to train on
the grass at the Spring Valley/Pulrose playing fields. We should be finished
around 11.45 to 12 pm.
Remember these sessions are open to all from under 15s
We are trying
to add in more weekend sessions as well now as the track season approaches both
through the squad gatherings and by encouraging athletes to attend other
organised sessions such as that organised by Andy Fox at the sand dunes
recently. If the results at last weekend's cross country championships are
anything to go by, then these sessions are really helping the runners to
There will be a
longer session in mid March. This include a further fitness test to measure
progress since last November - further details shortly.
Anyone with questions should contact Chris
Quine on 670521 or e-mail [email protected].