First and foremost I must sincerely thank all of 32 benefactors who so kindly sponsored my Warm Weather Training Camp this year, enabling me to fund two weeks of quality training over Easter! Much obliged: Alex Keal, Andrea Ellington, Andy Annett, Barrie Kane, Becca Stott, Ben Rowland-Jones, Carla Bradley, Chidi Umeano, Chris Long, Dimeji Alli, Elaine Snell, Elizabeth Morgan, Emergn, Enitan Kane, Ian Simpson, Ian Watson, Jemima Stevens, Jessica O’Carroll, Jessica Spry-Leverton, Katherine East, Leon McRae, Lucy Williams, Martin Stevens, Patrick Medley, Rishi Vasanthan, Sally Brooks, Sam Leiper, Tom Flathers, Vicky Barber, Wendy Lyotier, Will Barrington, Will Kier. It’s the continued support of family, friends and supporters that enables me to chase my dream and for this I am especially grateful!
It’s customary for British athletes to leave UK shores in search of warmer climates over Easter but because of School/University exams I’ve never been able to go ‘Warm Weather Training’; so it was great to finally put to bed memories of being taunted during revision periods of recent years, by facebook photos of athlete friends posing in California/South Africa/Portugal et al. So with a skip in my step, under the guidance of coach Tony Jarrett, I ventured off full of glee for a fortnight in the Italian town of Naples, along with my training partners Gianni ‘Squalo’ Frankis, Gary ‘Milfhunter’ Wilson, Joseph ‘Five Start Flow’ Hylton, Holly Thomas and Gloria Alabi. I’m not gonna lie, I did harbour hopes of throwing on the Ray-Bans between sessions and perhaps checking out Pompeii, maybe visiting Mt. Vesuvius and possibly even chilling out at the beach some of the time. How naive I was… reeled in like a contestant on Channel 4’s ‘Tool Academy’, these two weeks were a far cry from a vacation – Tony may as well have pinned up ‘Welcome to Boot Camp’ banners in our rooms on arrival!
Admittedly, training was a new kind of tough, the intensity along with the weather meant it was that much more draining and left little energy for much else other than refuelling. Double training days were a standard affair and by day 10 I was literally hanging in there to make it to the end – I haven’t napped so much since I was in Kindergarten! Although, the constant laughs & jokes of the group helped us all get through it and thankfully we got a timely day-off on the Bank Holiday Monday, which we spent that relaxing in the Italian countryside with our new Azzurri friends (above). All in all my first Warm Weather training experience was a big success, having a concentrated period of focused training with fair weather and none of the distractions of domestic life is undoubtedly of great benefit to an athlete. If I could afford to I’d definitely do as many funded athletes do and train abroad for periods of the winter. Now back in England, I can’t wait to get the season underway, the camp has set me up well for the start of the Outdoors and I draw a lot of confidence from the quality and quantity of training I’ve been able to put in.
Thanks again to all those who sponsored me! (If anyone reading this missed the deadline on the crowd-funding page and would still like to help, there is now a Paypal ‘donate’ button on my Sponsor Me page).