On Friday 21st March Ciara Kaneen, Robert Moore, Callum Taylor, our coach
Elizabeth Corran and I travelled the four hour boat journey to Heysham. We
arrived in Heysham at approximately 11.00pm and drove to a Travel Inn somewhere
near Preston. We were tired out!. To make things worse we had to be up at 6.00am
to travel to Nuneaton. With much grumbling and persuasion from Liz we managed to
be on our way for 7.45am. It took us less time than we expected so we went into
town to buy our lunch for that afternoon. We then made our way to the Pingles
Leisure Centre. One thing is for sure it made us appreciate the sports
facilities we have on the Island !!! There were some familiar faces of people we
had competed against in the past so not everyone were strangers. At about
10.30am we headed for the track for our first session, a sprint session. We were
spaced out along the back straight according to our 2km times and we had to
sprint 400m from that point, but instead of stopping after 400m we continued to
the 1500m mark where we counted how many cones we passed from there to the 200m
mark without being overtaken by the fastest person. It could not have been a
nicer day when it came to the weather but it also meant we were very dehydrated.
Next we had some fun in our teams with some football, but it was a little
different. There were three teams, three nets and two balls on the pitch at
once. After this we were taken inside to complete a sheet asking us whether we
should be here. It asked us questions like Are you Committed? Focused?
Ambitious? etc. We had to rate ourselves 1-4, 1 being Oops! and 4 being Oh Yes!
This was followed by what everyone had been waiting for, Lunch!
The start of the afternoon began with a core stability session taken by
Martin, a potential world class coach. He taught us exercises which could
improve our strength so our walking was more powerful. We then made our way to
the park area next to the track for a continuous relay in our teams. The first
leg walked 1600m, the second 1800m, and the third 2000m. all the time the points
were being added to our overall team total. Later we got a chance to relax and
get to know some more people when we had swimming followed by a disco and
buffet. We departed for our accommodation at approximately 10.45pm.
Sunday started with a 15min jog from the accommodation before breakfast. We
then loaded our stuff into the cars and went back to the Pingles Centre for a
cooked or continental breakfast. It was then upstairs for the video analysis. We
all benefited from the tactics talk that was given, and the tips which were
given to us by the coaches based on the video analysis. Next was an endurance
session. We could choose our distance as long as it was over the distance we
would do in a race. Robert walked around the park while Callum, Ciara and I
walked on the track. Callum walked 4km and Ciara and I walked 4km plus 800m. The
sun was shining and I think we all enjoyed our session. This was followed by
another game of football which the blues won (my team), but the overall winners
were the greens (Roberts team). We then had to do an evaluation sheet for the
whole weekend followed by another swimming session. After this it was time for
goodbyes and for us to head to Liverpool for our journey home. Little did we
know we would end up running to get the boat and still not arriving home until
2.30am. It was a long journey there and back but it was worth it! I am sure we
would all like to thank Jill Longford and Brian Adams for inviting us and Liz
for putting up with us. Thanks.
Emma's mention of Jill Langford
in her report gave me a chance to raid my large
collection of unused pictures from the Manchester
Commonwealth Games. Jill, the mother of Commonwealth
Games silver medallist Lisa Kehler, is pictured
with British 50km record holder and 5 times Olympic
athlete, Chris Maddocks.