Last weekend I headed to Birmingham for the Sainsburys British Championships and European Trials. There were 3 heats for the 800m, each packed with 10 or 11 top british athletes seeking qualification for the final which was achieved by coming in the first 2 or the 2 fastest losers. Fortunately the threatening black clouds hovering above Alexander Stadium held onto its contents for heat 1, my heat. I was in the lane next to Jenny Meadows, who was the former European indoor 800m champion and as I expected she went out hard. I lead the rest of the group for 600m but couldn’t hold off some fast finishing girls and came 4th in my heat in 2:03.73. The time wasn’t too bad but overall I was the 3rd fastest loser so just missed out on a place in the final which was televised on the BBC last Sunday. I enjoyed racing against some pro international athletes but next year I will aim to make the final again, like I did in 2013.
I then flew to Belfast on Wednesday to compete in the Belfast International meet at the Mary Peters track. The track is situated in the beautiful Lagan Valley surrounded by forest and trials which was refreshing and provided spectacular scenery. I was racing in the international women’s 800m which was the penultimate race scheduled for 20:40. Unfortunately there was a 25 minute delay which was slightly annoying but after a small jelly baby binge to reduce my impending hunger I got on with it and lined up with 13 other athletes. An Australian athlete, Selma Kagen with exactly the same PB as me (2:02.13) and the top Irish athlete, Laura Crowe started quickly and I tucked in behind them going through the bell (indicating the last lap) in 59 seconds. After 600m I passed the Irish athlete, and overtook the Australian in the home straight to win in 2:02.72. I was very happy with the win and fairly happy with the time, although a pb would have been an added bonus! I’m now heading home for some more training before my next race in Letterkenny.