Are you inspired by Alex Vero's ambitions, or slightly insulted?

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17/03/2008 at 12:17
JG2, Touche

17/03/2008 at 12:22

JG2 Don't you worry, I will be expecting an apologie quite soon I can take all the flak no problem my friend and haven't disappeared at all, the problem was I've had a broken leg for 5 months of last year upto Xmas and couldn't train at all, but you don't have to worry I'm still here to prove my original point only in a marathon where the winner wasn't 10 minutes down on his projected time  I'l even post the time here for you, just so you don't forget!

Just need to get back upto speed that's all which won't be a problem.

The question is, will you be man enough WHEN I do it this time around to say well done? I doubt it, but there we go.


17/03/2008 at 12:23

To reach our full potential as athletes we somehow have to stay within the region bounded by these two aphorisms:

 "Ah but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?" (Robert Browning)  and
"Protect what you have before reaching out for more" (Hadd)

A difficult balancing act...

17/03/2008 at 13:23
I’m with JG2 on this, and I was one of the first to be critical of Vero when this thread started.  At the time  I said “It's this sort of arrogance which irritates me. It's one thing to be confident of one's own ability - providing that confidence is borne of a realistic assessment of what you think you are capable of. It's something else just to think that if you say it often enough and loud enough, it's going to happen. I've no time for people who are so blinded by their own ambitions that they just can't see that they are unachievable.” In retrospect, it’s probably naivity rather than arrogance which leads to such unrealisable ambitions. Hopefully Alex is now older and wiser and can apply that wisdom in setting and achieving realisable targets. He’s got the capacity to become a good standard club runner, but I for one won’t be holding my breath waiting for him to break 2:30. I’m also surprised at how many posters on this thread claimed to be inspired by Alex.  I hope that inspiration arises from the commitment to his training rather than his arrogant/naïve “shoot for the moon” philosophy. If that is the case, then I have to say that commitment to training isn’t that big a deal – there are loads of people posting on this forum who are equally, if not more commited. The thing is they just get on with it without making a song and dance about it.   And finally from the first page of this thread: “I'm always inspired by the tales of ordinary folk like Tracey Morris. I suppose I prefer my heroes to be quiet and self-effacing. I don’t really care whether Vero succeeds or not, but I’d rather he shuts up about it until he does.”
17/03/2008 at 13:57

Apologies for the lack of paragraphs in the above

Pug, sorry t hear about your broken leg. However you can take inspiratin from Karen Harewood, the 800m international 800m runner who shattered her femur in last years UK indoors championshps. Last week she raced 1000m indoors in 2:58.5 - 13 secs down in her PB. Many years ago I suffered a similar fate at the hands of a motor bike and managed to run a PB for the mile (4:32.5) eight months after the accident.

17/03/2008 at 14:01

If you run 2:36 in a marathon, of course I'll come on this thread and say "well done". Always provided that you're man enough to say "no excuses, I wasn't good enough" if you don't!

I seem to recall another RW contributor Running Bhoy broke 2:45 in that same Edinburgh Maathon you were in and said that the wind accounted for 2 mins at most. Or did you have your own micro-climate?

When you say you broke your leg, I think you had a stress fracture didn't you, which isn't quite what most people mean when they say they broke their leg? Classic "too much too soon" injury (see Hadd quotation above).

Of the three fatties I mention above, I think you've set the most achieveable target but I think that you'll need to start being a bit more honest with yourself if you are to reach it:
Edinburgh Marathon - went off too fast.
Stress fracture - not bad luck, training error.

If you don't learn those lessons, you can shout it as loud as you like, but you won't succeed (in my humble opinion - no charge for the advice, take it or leave it).

17/03/2008 at 15:19

Hobbling Harrier and Tom, you both seem to critical of Vero because there are....

"hundreds of major success stories out there just a case of looking even a little deeper as these guys are on the whole so damn modest etc ....." or " don't make a song and dance about it etc...."

 Well that's hardly Vero's fault is it?  Maybe these other success stories should stop being so damn modest and try engaging and inspiring other runners for a change!

The bottom line with Vero is he's stuck his head above the parapet and gone from an unfit 16 stone unit in January06 to a 1hr 13m half marathon in October07, even the most cynical runner should be able to give some grudging respect to that?

 For most of us the fact he is an everyday punter (ie not a 'professional' runner who has trained for a lifetime), and hence easier to relate to, and has improved so much, is what makes him inspiration, in a similar way that Tracey Morris (from Dentist to the Olympics) is.   What happened to giving someone a break?!

17/03/2008 at 15:46

If when Alex was 16 stone he had said he was setting himself the target of 1:13 for HM  I would have been a bit more impressed, as that's a tough but realistic target.....but he didn't...he said he was aiming for team UK at Bejing. It was a stupiid thiing to say as he didn't have the first idea about what was involved.

I'm not belittling his efforts - 73 mins is a decent enough time and he should take pride in it - especially if he gave it his best shot.

17/03/2008 at 16:34

Urbane Loafer
May I suggest that you take yourself over to the Sub-3 thread in the FLM area of the forum. There are far more impressive examples of everyday types (including Mr Gobi himself) who are quietly going about the business of training their socks off, reaching for their potential, but without the self-aggrandisement of Vero and the like. You'll find sub-2:30 marathons and sub-70 halves being achieved without the need for a production company and film camera, let alone a blog. Now that's inspiring!

FWIW people here have given Vero a break - several times - he was going for 2:45 in 2006, 2:30 in Paris a year ago and 2:15 (plus Olympic selection) this year. He has now FAILED to achieve any of those stated objectives. The other reason he doesn't deserve any more breaks (or any sympathy) is that, rather than just admit that he's just not good enough (however hard he trains), he keeps coming up with these over-dramatic excuses (collapsed, but raised from the dead to complete the Majorca marathon, "deep muscle tear" but bravely carries on to finish in Paris). Pass the sick bag I want to vomit.

17/03/2008 at 16:49
James, you may very well be right about who is more deserving of the praise, but the fact is that people like to hear about quick rags to riches stories more than they like to hear about people working away for years and getting their just rewards.

I'd put a bet on Alex Vero inspiring more people to start running or start training seriously than I would on some Joe Bloggs sat in a running clubhouse somewhere who's got his time down to 2:30 after 10 years of hard training.
17/03/2008 at 16:57
I was actually pointing out that you can read about some very much more inspiring stories right here on RW Forum. Better to be inspired by the "can do" who actually do it, than the chronic underachievers like Vero.
17/03/2008 at 17:15

Tom. - Great news about Karen Harewood - thanks for mentioning it. I was just wondering how she was getting on. John Nuttall, one of the coaches at Loughborough  Uni,  took a last minute place in FLM (as in literally a couple of weeks before the race) last year to raise money for her rehab. Interestingly (in light of the topif of this thread) he finished in 2.57.... off 15mi/wk training....  He always was a class athlete, but that was pushing things a bit!

17/03/2008 at 17:22

JG2, I take it you are not a fan then?

Good to hear there are other stories of runners acheiving excellent results, although without disappearing up my own *&%$ I am frankly far too busy to go scrolling through reams of threads to sift out the background, and then progress, of runners who might or might not have an engaging story to tell. As I suspect is the case for most of us.  By using a production company, film camers, blogs, (hey, even drama), Vero is much more visible and has entered on my radar as a result, when others haven't, is that such a problem?

 Tom, I hear what you are saying although I think the documentary title is more a hook (sensible or otherwise depending on your point of view) whereas the aims of it are to look at the decline in british marathon running + how far the average joe could improve in a 2 year period, - in light of performance and exposure re the issues i think its been pretty successful so far in that.

17/03/2008 at 17:23
In response to Tom.: I can say I am sort of inspired by the Vero project, but he is not the only and def. not the first one. There are indeed a lot of great stories on the forum, and they have opened my eyes to what can be done with hard training, even if they are not professionals. And those who inspire me are by no means only the fast ones, either
17/03/2008 at 17:24
JG2, I'm not exactly quiet and do have hopes of a 2.30 before I am too old.
17/03/2008 at 17:24
You lot are an angry bunch on this thread. It almost verges on comical how much resentment there is towards me.

One thing that you lot seem to forget is that I am a documentary maker (director of the project) making a documentary about the decline of British marathon running in comparison to the Ethiopian and Kenyan runners. Part of my aim to was to bring running to a mainstream audience and so used by own story to show how hard but yet how far anyone can progress.

I am not interested in having anyones praise, if my own story encourages more people into running then great but at the end of the day when the project is over and the documentary comes out you might then understand why I have done what I have.

Yes it is pretty gutting not being able to run London and Yes aiming for Beijing was ridicules but it's given the necessary exposure to produced and fund the documentary which was exactly what I need.

I have two other great stories for the documentary now which will now be concluding at the Amsterdam Marathon.
17/03/2008 at 17:35

There's a great line in the movie Working Girl: "Just because I dance around the kitchen in my underwear, it doesn't make me Madonna .....and it never will"

17/03/2008 at 17:40

"Alexander Vero" - strange that you give a Hotmail address as your email address a few pages back, when your real email address is given on your website. An imposter methinks!

Edited: 17/03/2008 at 17:41
17/03/2008 at 17:42
Damn! I thought it was a documentary about overambitious fat blokes.
17/03/2008 at 17:44

Alex, I think you're being a bit revisionist there.

Or are you really admitting that your Bejing ambition was rediculous, if  so then you weren't self delusional - just telling porkies.

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