World Cup Sprint Relay
The final race in the first set of World Cups was held yesterday in Wroclaw Poland, writes Liz Campbell. Great Britain had 13 athletes, three full teams and Kirstin Maxwell running fourth leg for a mixed nation team. There was lots of nervous anticipation as 140 of the world’s best athletes warmed up on the quarantine 400m track - it was always going to be an exciting race!
Jess Tullie, on first leg, found the 18 minutes from call up to the start stressful. During the 750m to jog to the arena , the athletes were watching each other whilst wondering where they were going and what it would be like. There was limited space to 'do your own thing' and, for Jess, 'the minutes felt like hours' to be contrasted by the fast and furious racing that 'went by in a blur'.
Trzebnica is a small town with cobbled streets and small areas of parkland. The courses were well planned with most of the route choices giving good spectator viewing as runners split and came back together again. Several controls were placed at the top of short sharp slopes needing a powerful effort with little time to recover and the run through was an uphill cobbled street which Dave Schorah renamed ‘the tourmalet’ after one of the classic cols in the French Pyrenees.
The team was disappointed with the end results with several people making errors and despite some strong performances no single GB team achieved four good runs. All athletes have positives to take from this weekend and will now go home and reflect in detail on their races and tweak their plans for the rest of the season.
Whilst we should, and will, celebrate our strong performances this weekend we are only too well aware that, as a team, we have had far too many athletes falling foul of basic errors. Our athletes are fitter than they have been before and we now plan to increase the intensity of technical training so that they can confidently deliver the performances that they are capable of at the big international races.
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