Thursday, July 16, 2009

1500 and the Hero Within

Yesterday I realised I had published the 1500th entry on this blog (it didn't seem that long ago since the millennium). 1500 was quite a significant number in my formative years.

I was never a sprinter when I was growing up, even at the age of 11 I was far better suited to the race around the circumference of my Primary School appox. 400m to the 50m sprint up the track. Sadly with a 5 metre lead in the qualifying I looked over my shoulder at the wrong point and twisted my ankle in a hole.

However, I'm digressing slightly as it was 1500 which for most of my secondary school career was the longest event on the menu. Of course in the 80s there was a great deal of British interest in the event there was Ovett v Coe in 1980 at Moscow, Coe v Ovett with minor role for Cram in LA in 1984. Then just as I finished my A levels shock of shock, Coe was omitted from the event for Seoul.

Coe had gone to Loughborough to study Economics and Social History. I applied to Loughborough as my first choice to study Economics and Accountancy. Who as an aspiring sportsman doesn't apply to the best equipped sporting university in the country. A reputation enhanced by its fastest ever graduate over the metric and imperial mile. Coe of course later did a masters in sports science at the University.

Coe of course then got involved on retirement from running in the politics of the sport, and eventually the politics of the country, although for the 'wrong' party. So he inspired me run maybe in more ways than one. After all as in sport there was an Ovett to shadow Coe why not in politics to.

Of course my athletics career eventually doubled the distance and put barriers in the way. Maybe the same is true of my political career trying to break through the allusion of two party politics. But Seb Coe was a childhood hero and apart from the party affiliation and some policy judgements still is.

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