Very encouraged to be asked to join this small group of coaches who are looking at ways to restore former glories in an increasingly Kenya/Ethiopia dominated world. The day kicks off with some building block ideas from Richard Nerurkar and Mara Yamauchi, both the second fastest ever English marathoners. Both are great combinations of ambition; commitment; long term perseverance; on top of the pre requisite innate good genetics. Nerurkar was actually not the best runner even in his own school; and took 3 years before he was Oxford University's best runner - yet a decade later felt that a wonderful 5th place in the Olympic marathon hadn't gone exactly as planned. Mara gives some great insights into the realities of living as a full time pro runner and the incredibly difficult choices - combined with some luck - that are faced by those tiny few who try this 'career'.
Also in attendance are Malcolm Brown, now best known as coach of the all-conquering triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, but also previously a coach to numerous GB elite 5k/10k/marathoners. Plus the likes of Bud Baldaro and the Scottish Head coach. It's a noteworthy event at a national level as it becomes clear that at year end the UK rankings will be headed by a 2.15 male and a 2.30 female, which isn't the greatest it's ever been. On a parochial level, it's great that the fastest Brit is my Serpentine clubmate Nick Torry (self coached) who now seems assured of selection for the Commonwealth Games or European Championships next summer; and also encouraging that Serpentine has 6 guys in the national Top 100, more than any other club, all of them setting PBs this year.