A season’s running update from Elswick’s Alex Goodhall (Alex lives with his family in Belgium and runs for R White Star AC). Alex is also affiliated to our running club and where events allow, competes in the vest of Elswick Harriers. Words kindly scribed by his mum Susan. Enjoy the read 🙂 GB
Alex was able to run just once in the Elswick vest this summer – at the England U20 championships at Bedford on June 16th. Unfortunately, he picked up a calf niggle in training about 10 days before and when it came to the race was not able to go flat out. He finished in 8th place in the first heat of the 800m with a time of just 1:58.89. It was all the more frustrating as two weeks before the championships Alex – running for White Star in a very competitive, paced race – had run a new 800m PB of 1:50.86 at the Memorial Leon Buyle in Oordegem, Belgium on June 2nd.
Picture: Memorial Leon Buyle (credit Maxime Delobel). This followed a very good start to his outdoor season over 800m in Belgium. On April 22nd he ran the all age group Brussels championships at Forest in Brussels – winning the race comfortably from the front in 1:59.60 to take both the all age group and junior titles. On May 19th he ran in the all age group championships for the French-speaking half of Belgium at Liege. He sat off the pace for the first lap and then kicked with 300m to go. Unfortunately, he’d left himself a little bit too much to do down the home straight – he was catching the leader all the way to the line but had to settle for second place in 1:54.70. He got a silver medal in the all age group category but also a gold as the first junior home. Picture: Francophone championships, Liege (credit Susan Convery).
After finishing his A levels in June and taking some vacation, Alex’s next main goal for the summer was to lower his 1500m PB which stood at 4:12 from April 2017. He ran 4:07 at Ninove, west of Brussels, on July 28th in a race he had to run as a solo time trial from gun to tape. However, that got him in a better quality, paced race at Lier, near Antwerp, on August 18. The pacing was perfect for a sub 4:00 for the first two and three quarter laps but Alex was the only one to follow it and had to run the last lap on his own – crossing the line at 4:00.78.
To finish the season Alex ran the Belgian Junior Championships 800m at Mouscron, near the French border, on August 26th. This was an incredibly tactical affair with the first lap run in a very slow 66 seconds and a real burn up over the last 200m – in which Alex managed to take 3rd place in his slowest time of the season (2:00.76).
Some tactical lessons to be learnt from that one! Alex is now taking a break before going off to university at the end of the month. Happily he’s going to Durham so will have more opportunities to run in Elswick colours over the next few years, hopefully some of them in the North East!