Some incredible performances at BUCS XC made our choice for our January's 'athletes of the month' a particularly difficult one. However, special mention must go to James Hancock, who not only put in a cracking performance up in Sheffield but has come on leaps and bounds over the past year and is a highly valued member of the club. Also, we must say a special thank you to Penny Oliver for ALWAYS turning up to track whatever the weather, to motivate, support and help lead sessions, despite not actually being able to run herself. We wish you all the best for your return from injury and can't wait to see you compete in the summer.
Both of these athletes spared me a bit of their time to answer some questions - thanks guys!
Tell us a bit about yourself - what do you study? What year are you in and what are your hobbies?
I study Natural Sciences and am in my second year. My hobbies are running obviously, playing the piano and guitar and just any sport in general.
So although you’ve been an absolute asset as assistant timer/motivator this season, we miss you on the track/mud – can you tell us a little bit about your injury and what training you’re doing instead?
I have a foot injury that is due to my left glute not engaging which causes my foot bones to be the only stabilisers. I've been doing slow 15 minute runs three times a week which has been frustrating because I want to run fast. I also do resistance training and core in the gym three times a week and the occasional bike session. I also do netball on the weekends and yoga everyday.
Have you always loved running?
When I first started running I hated it, I used to cry every morning before cross country club when I was in year three. But I kept going because I didn't want my older sister to beat me.
When you are able to run, what is your favourite distance?
My favourite distance is 800m.
What is your proudest running achievement to date?
My proudest achievement was when I came third at English schools fell running when I'd never done fell running before.
Where’s your favourite place to run in Exeter?
My favourite place to run is the track! Or exploring places I've never been before, I love running until I get lost and finding my way back.
Have you got any personal targets for the year?
My targets are to get pbs in 800 and 400. I want to get sub 2:20 and sub 60.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you study? What year are you in and what are your hobbies?
I study accounting and finance and am in my second year. Outside of running, I like to play and watch football – I’m a big Arsenal fan, although that's not something to be proud of at the moment!
Have you always run? What inspired you to take it up?
My Dad inspired me to start running when I was 11, as he would train quite regularly and do a lot of 10k's, so he got me involved with the local club and it started from there really!
Where is your favourite place to run in Exeter?
My favourite place to run in Exeter is probably the track, just because my favourite type of training is speed work, so I'm always really up for doing some tough sessions there.
What is your proudest running achievement?
I'd say my proudest running achievement is winning the Lord Mayor's Mile in London back in 2010!
How do you prefer to train?
I prefer to train by doing shorter track sessions, but also like doing longer runs to increase my fitness and de-stress!
What are your goals for the year?
My main goals for this year are to get a sub 4 min 1500 and to make the semis for both the BUCS indoors and outdoors. However, a sub 7 minute beer mile is on the top of my list for this term!!