Tuesday, 3 August 2010

"Runners to the line", "Toes behind the line"

On your marks, get set, go.... I find myself sprinting into the clear, arms up high defending position on the rail, and float around the bend, 3 laps later my heart is pounding in my chest, a weak athlete would slow, give in to the pain, I find myself questioning fate, one last effort to make the commonwealth games, I find another gear, im kicking hard, now im leading, but it's too early. Arms stephen arms, keep driving your arms.

I hear John Allen, "Keep working to the line", it wakes me up and I kick again, catch my balance at the line and its over. I've been running for 11 years now, and It all came down to running fast on my home track in Belfast. I've been lucky to find people to help me along the way, and provide the vital support required that got me both mentally and physically ready for Belfasts Grand Prix.

It's been a really great and enjoyable last few months, which took me from the downfall in Marseille, to the fast tactical 1500m in Budapest, then to Sweden for a painful experience over 5000m, and back to London for Solihulls breakthrough, and finally the big one in Belfast. But the whole journey has been enjoyable and that all began under Coach John Moffett at the Mary Peters track in 1999. Since then ive changed coach a number of times, and continue to have contact with most. You have to learn how to use the people around you, and let their knowledge and experience help you push forward.

I've just gotten word that im selected for the Commonwealth games in India, It hasn't completely sunk in yet. Im blogging from Belfast City Airport, before I board my plane back to London. A great place to base myself for the pre build up training. The commonwealth games will see me race hard in front of thousands, but for me its important to learn from the big occasion. Its an honour to represent the country that made me, the country that taught me to survive on the 1st three laps of my 1500m, and the country that taught me how to fight on the last lap.

For now, I will be enjoying a little lay off period for a week; however, I have some work to do if I wanna be ready for India. Were given these opportunities in life to test us, and see how good we can be. Its time to fight for Northern Ireland, and put our country on the map. Lets bring some pride back to Northern Ireland, someone has to take home glory, why can't it be the small team from Northern Ireland.

Stephen Scullion