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

541 to 560 of 726 messages
27/03/2008 at 08:29
Beetle

good point about the kids

My daughter is 6 and has no game stations or anything like that. She also runs 9 mins for a mile and has a 35 min 5km PB. Although her mum is not a runner she is active. OH and I run a bit. Looking round her school play ground it is easy to spot the ones with "jump"

G
27/03/2008 at 11:58
with "jump"  ????
27/03/2008 at 12:06
I think the project, if you look at it, is an interesting one - it appears, to me at least, like this thread has slightly misrepresented his orginal aim: not to make Beijing himself, which he says he would not have been capable if fit, but to examine the decline in male marathon running, which is an important question which does desperately need addressing, especially if we want success in 2012.

I am, as many others have said, neither inspired nor insulted by his story, if anything, I think it is perhaps slightly dangerous to be too strong a follower - to decide to do something about your life and then crash-train for two years doesn't seem like the most sensible route to long-term development of the sport.

Many others have commented on his targets being somewhat unrealistic, and with this I agree, and I ask anyone who disagrees to look at the obvious. He sets out a list of targets and results here - http://www.theroadtobeijing.co.uk/trtb-results.htm. After he starts to really "get good" at Reading there is a turning point and suddenly his targets become consistently unattained. There is a big difference between running a sub 1.26 half and qualifying for the Olympics marathon. When you first start running there is generally a massive improvement quickly, which his progress certainly indicates. However, once you hit a certain point, progress becomes more diffcult - each second is harder to achieve. To think he can knock 3 minutes off a half-marathon time in a few weeks is to do what some people may spend years trying to do - to equal what he ran before would have been realistic, or maybe to improve by <30 seconds. You cannot except to continue with that rate of improvement.

However, I think what he is trying to do with the project and with the profiling of young debutee marathoners is very important for the sport. His story is also interesting as part of the identification of rates of improvement in new runners.

27/03/2008 at 14:54
Spikes - no the thread wasn't misrepresenting his original aim (speaking as the person who started the thread). Hero Vero himself did originally state on his website that he was aiming to run faster than 2:15 in the 2008 FLM and be selected to run for GB at the Beijing Olympics. He has shifted his objectives several times since then. It was those original objectives that some people had found insulting. As people have observed since, if he had merely said that he was going to lose a lot of weight, train as hard as he could for two years and see how fast he could run a marathon, nobody would have been bothered.
Edited: 27/03/2008 at 15:14
27/03/2008 at 15:28
JG2 is correct that the original goal was 2.15 himself. Alex has grown up with the project and the goals have moved.

paininthefoot

jump = lively outgoing the kids that run around a lot
27/03/2008 at 15:46
 James you are right in your in saying that my original aim was to run an Olympic qualification time, taking the attitude that anything was possible and then see where I ended up. As an independent documentary maker I needed to gain enough interest and in the project to make it marketable. I realised pretty early on that the incremental improvements were not large enough to make it happen but decided to carry on to see how close I could get anywayMaking a documentary about someone losing weight and trying to run a fast marathon time would not have worked on a big enough scale so I diversified the project to encompass all the issues outline in the documentary page.  It has taken a lot more time then I had anticipated finding the two right characters that I wanted for the documentary and getting injured before London although gutting on a personal scale has worked in my favour with the culmination of the project in Amsterdam, the two human interest stories and the all important filming rights.

Documentaries don’t just appear on the TV there is a huge amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes, you start with a plan and over time that plan evolves into the end product. Getting to where I have as a distance runner has been damn hard work, but nothing in comparison to the effort to get the documentary to this exciting stage.

27/03/2008 at 16:14
Very interesting. Presumably the documentary won't be called "The Road To Beijing"? Which TV channel will be showing it?
27/03/2008 at 16:21

Alexander as a latecomer to the site and as someone who tried (and failed) to attain a certain level sub 2:40, sub 75 minutes etc before injury curtailed a 16 year running life I have nothing but admiration for what you have achieved -

I was turned on to athletics in the 70s firstly by Dave Bedford - who certainly isn't the bast*rd portrayed on some of the threads on this site, then by the likes of Ovett, Coe etc - (look at you tube if you don't remember them!)

I guess since the 80s and their heyday, the guys that have followed on have had so much history to live up to that it has become a soul destoying task - obviously it all hit an all time low a few years ago when Paula Radcliffe ran 2:15 and was the top British runner. I guess chasing East Africans around also makes for it to be hard.

 A grade 3 coach wrote a letter to AW last week bemoaning the fact that there were only 65 (I think) under 20 and under 17 males entered in the Junior indoor championships over 1500/800 metres on the same weekend as the national cross when there were 1400 or so entrants in the same classes.

Well to me that is a cause for celebration because that is where the future of the sport is going to come from, not from poncing around a 200 metre track. (my opinion only of course)

Good luck with what you have achieved so far and the times you have run and in highlighting on a runners forum the plight of distance running in the UK -

It actually makes a change to read this rather than some of the cr*p that is posted!!

27/03/2008 at 16:29
I have been in talks with a number of distribution companies and one terrestrial broadcaster but can't go into too much detail. The general gist of these meeting is "go and make it and give us the end product and we'll show it." As has been the case the risks involved (injury, illness, unforeseen circumstances) are too high to get an outright commission.

As for the title, it might stay the same, it's just that my road to beijing never really got further then Hyde Park, but hopefully my own endeavors and the documentary might help out two other two runners progress their own journeys towards London 2012.

Who knows, first of all I need to get back running but it's heading in a good direction now.
27/03/2008 at 16:32
Good luck - I still I have my 3rd palce medal in the Serpentine Handicap from August 1986!!
27/03/2008 at 17:50
Grendel3 wrote (see)

Alexander as a latecomer to the site and as someone who tried (and failed) to attain a certain level sub 2:40, sub 75 minutes etc before injury curtailed a 16 year running life I have nothing but admiration for what you have achieved -

I was turned on to athletics in the 70s firstly by Dave Bedford - who certainly isn't the bast*rd portrayed on some of the threads on this site, then by the likes of Ovett, Coe etc - (look at you tube if you don't remember them!)

I guess since the 80s and their heyday, the guys that have followed on have had so much history to live up to that it has become a soul destoying task - obviously it all hit an all time low a few years ago when Paula Radcliffe ran 2:15 and was the top British runner. I guess chasing East Africans around also makes for it to be hard.

 A grade 3 coach wrote a letter to AW last week bemoaning the fact that there were only 65 (I think) under 20 and under 17 males entered in the Junior indoor championships over 1500/800 metres on the same weekend as the national cross when there were 1400 or so entrants in the same classes.

Well to me that is a cause for celebration because that is where the future of the sport is going to come from, not from poncing around a 200 metre track. (my opinion only of course)

Good luck with what you have achieved so far and the times you have run and in highlighting on a runners forum the plight of distance running in the UK -

It actually makes a change to read this rather than some of the cr*p that is posted!!

Hear hear.
27/03/2008 at 20:44

`A grade 3 coach wrote a letter to AW last week bemoaning the fact that there were only 65 (I think) under 20 and under 17 males entered in the Junior indoor championships over 1500/800 metres on the same weekend as the national cross when there were 1400 or so entrants in the same classes.

Well to me that is a cause for celebration because that is where the future of the sport is going to come from, not from poncing around a 200 metre track. (my opinion only of course)`

The future of the sport is mass participation at long distance events AND elite (youth) at shorter track events.

They can feed off each other. Remember Paula Radcliffe was inspired by her dad being a fun runner. And many runners are inspired by the sight of elite success. Whilst recognising they are unlikely to match them it does raise awareness.

Oon the subject of the Grade 3 coaches and the coaching mafiosa types. Yes some of them are sad gits and many UKA coaching courses are fixated by youth/track/elite competition. But does not remove some validity to their concerns over declining `elite` paticipation.  

28/03/2008 at 08:55
Ok, I admitt I interpretted the remainder of the website wrong, but still stand by the original post - to get so far in so short a time is nothing short of remarkable, but the minutes which remain to be taken off are the hardest of all.

For the people talking about the Indoors, is worth noting that anyone can run the National XC - you have to run a qualifying time for the indoors. Plus, imagine if 1400 entrants had turned up for the Indoors - that would be an absolute nightmare - they'd have to have about 200 heats across the two age groups! 65 isn't an awful number for Indoors really - not a huge number of young middle distance runners run indoors, and if they do, would not target it over the cross-country, especially not when there is pressure from coaches to make up teams in the cross. To be honest, nobody really cares that much if you're the national indoor U17 1500m champion. Indeed, the southern U15G indoor bronze medallist last year didn't even break 5.10/1500m. It's about what you do on the country, and what you do on the outdoor track as a junior distance runner, almost without question. It says a lot more about the sprinters.
28/03/2008 at 09:17
It's less remarkable because he already had a background in running - he'd done the MdS and done very well there beating lots of experienced ultra runners.   Not knocking the achievement as he's put in good times but he's not come from nothing.
28/03/2008 at 11:09
When would be a likely release date for the documentary, it sounds a facinating journy with or without achieving Beijing- especially the bell boy in africa. I think maybe alot of the hard feelings maybe a little jealousy over those runners not acheiving lower times? if someone can achieve sub 1.20 half times then its a matter of time? if the trainings compressed into a few years or over a decade, that would be a costly and very long documentary. SHame you arnt able to run london Alex, would have been great to see the program completed
28/03/2008 at 11:19

The future of the sport is mass participation at long distance events AND elite (youth) at shorter track events

 The point I was trying to make was the elite of yesteryear did tend to run cross country and this is where their stamina and strength arose from, that X Country is a benefit of all runners and the fact that a large number of youths chose to run the cross country was heartening to see.

28/03/2008 at 11:32

Hi Grant

The documentary will now culminate at the ING Amsterdam Marathon. My own aim is still to run sub 2:30 as I had been aiming for in London. The documentary should be completed by December 2008.

OUTLINE FROM THE WESITE - www.theroadtobeijing.co.uk

Not being able to run in the London Marathon is hugely disappointing to say the least. When I was told the news that I would not be able to run again until after the London Marathon due to an achilles problem I was not to sure if I should laugh or cry. I was never going to run an Olympic qualification time at London even if I had of stayed injury free, the reality is that running 2:30 was about the best I could have squeezed out of my body. Although it would have looked good on paper it is still a very long way off an International standard.

The documentary (view original outline) will continue along the same lines but instead of culminating the project at The London Marathon with the aim of running 2:30 the project will now end at The ING Amsterdam Marathon where we have been granted permission to film the race. The documentary will continue to delve into the reasons behind the decline of British marathon running in comparison to the rise of the East African distance runner.

Part of my dream may have ended by not being able to run in London but along my journey I have met two hugely talented and contrasting runners from the UK and Ethiopia who's stories will add a unique human interest element to the documentary and with a little help and a lot of hard work could potentially line up together at London 2012.

I met Mengsitu Abebe at the Ararat Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The manager of the hotel summoned over the smartly dressed bellboy then explained that "we have a boy who can show you places to make training". He acted as our guide for the duration of the trip but it was not until the 3rd day when he had dropped me and was running on his own that we recognised his huge natural talent. The plan had been to bring him over for the London Marathon but with visa complications, filming rights and my own injury we decided to postpone. We are hoping to bring Mengsitu over to race in the Bristol half marathon in what will be a fascinating first part of his dual with Ben before heading on to Amsterdam.

I met Ben Moreau at the dingy "Bunch of Grapes" pub, a run down old boozers pub in London. The irony of discussing a marathon running documentary in such an establishment was rather amusing. Ben is a hugely talented young runner and recently ran a 1:05 half marathon at Reading which was the 4th fastest half marathon time of the year in the UK. Despite this and his potential as one of the UK's most promising young distance runners for the future he does not even have a kit sponsor. Ben will be coming out to Ethiopia in the summer to train with Mengsitu and visa versa in September.

Both Mengsitu and Ben will be making their marathon debut at the ING Amsterdam Marathon which will hopefully mark their first steps on the Road to London 2012.

Alex

28/03/2008 at 12:13

What a fab thread - am hooked!

I wanted to comment on sport in schools; particularly to a comment joethelibratian made a while back.  Im in my early 40's and when I was at school everyone hated running/athletics during the summer and cross country across (predominantly winter months) but we all did it and the talented were picked up and went on to bigger and better in some cases. BUT we were all fitter at that time compared to the youth of today (makes me sound like a real oldie!) becuase so much more time was dedicated to PE/Games.  My teenage son goes to a 'sports college' status high school and he only does 2 hours of sport a week!!  Outrageous. Yes, there are after school clubs that he can go to but thats not the point, the national curriculum does not allow for sport development.  Luckily, my son is very active anyway, plays for a youth football team, plays cricket in the summer and occasionally comes out running with me. (only been running just over a year myself, and did my first half marathon in 2.15!) . Today's youngsters should be encouraged & pushed (and by this I don't mean forced, theres a big difference) to keep up the physical/sport side .  School years are the prime years to find and develop athletic/running/sporting talent and its all ebbing away. No wonder so few youngsters coming through.

Sorry, ranted away abit and have drifted away from the main debate on this thread (feel better having got that one off my chest!).

28/03/2008 at 12:55

'sports college' status high school and he only does 2 hours of sport a week

That comment more than many says it all-

I went to a local comprehensive in the 70s and we did two of those each week!!

28/03/2008 at 14:03

If that be the case (and seems to be one of the more compelling reasons for the decline if it is) then we are b*&^*&$d are we not?  An increasing trend of less sport in the national curriculum would see our potential elite athletes of the future coming through in spite of, not because of, the system.  Coupled with the lack of prize money in the sport (compared to football/tennis/etc) it's not hard to see how the next Steve Ovett of his generation could take a different path at a young, but crucial age.

Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW Forums