It would be unusual if you hadn’t seen athletics in the headlines at some point this week.
Of course, it would be great if I could say it was due to some fantastic performances at the Diamond League in Birmingham (which there were plenty!) but alas that’s not to be. It is such a shame that drugs and doping cheats are taking top spot ahead of true and clean talent.
As a long distance runner, seeing Mo Farah in the headlines along with his coach Alberto and the Oregon Project, I was slightly taken aback, if not disgusted that association of drugs and their names were in the same sentence. Obviously nothing has been proven … And you’re not guilty until charged, but what sort of impression is this giving to those out there considering taking up the sport?
As an athlete, I know the hours of hard work and dedication that go into performances and what it feels like to see it all come together. But imagine standing on the start line knowing that the outcome is going to be fake – what’s happened to the love of the sport?! It’s a scandal really – that true stars are not getting their chance to shine. A two year ban, the removal of a few medals or naming and shaming athletes doesn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent these days as more and more are coming into the limelight. I watched the BBC Panorama programme on drugs the other night (Catch me if you can) and was shocked to see just how easy it was to cheat and get away with it.
And for what? The honour of a fake achievement?
Obviously it is up to each individual as to what they do to get to the top of their game and the type of risks they will take. It isn’t fair to label everyone as a drug cheat or accuse anyone until they are found out to be. Many athletes are clean and passionate about their sport and get a great sense of achievement from being rewarded with PBs and championship titles. This is what needs to be focused on, congratulated and made aware of, these are the REAL achievements.
In the knowledge that I am a clean athlete, I have enjoyed my training this week. I have also enjoyed bumping into a lot of people out running around Worcester too. It makes me laugh that everyone seems to give that runners nod or the classic wave as they pass each other, as to say we know how you’re feeling! In fact I was getting so carried away with the wave the other day, I nearly ended up in the river!.. Something that would have probably amused many passers-by.
As the summer season is now getting into full swing, it is time to start focusing on performances and targeting races. I know a lot of you reading this will probably be aiming to run the Worcester City 10km in September, and that is a fantastic target to aim for. There is plenty of time to get in a bit of running beforehand and even dabble in a couple of other races as a practice (they always say practice makes perfect don’t they!). Can I suggest parkrun, especially good if you’re new to this (addictive) running craze. These regular Saturday events (for Worcester it’s at the Country Centre) are laid back, fun and completely relaxed, and running 5km is perfect race day preparation! So give it a go if you get the chance – I promise you won’t regret it!
I guess that is all for now, just remember get out there and have fun! Do something because you love, not just for extrinsic values as these mean nothing in the long run. Aim high and get there at your own pace, don’t cheat, but be content with small progressions! Every step is a step in the right direction!
Enjoy your week