My next big race

Saucony Hurricane, Ieuan Thomas, talks about his next big race in London

These past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion. I started this season with the goal of running the qualifying time for next years Commonwealth Games. The idea of making a World Championship team seemed a fair distance away, but was always there in the back of my mind. When I ran the Commonwealth ‘A’ standard in my first race of the season the concept of making a British team seemed all the more real, and my goals changed. I was more determined than ever to gain my first Great Britain selection. A few more races came and passed, and although the times were consistent I couldn’t quite nail the automatic time of 8.32.00. After finishing 3rd at the British Championships my coach James Thie and I started looking for one more race to try and get that automatic time but nothing was materialising.

Eventually we came to the conclusion that the best option was to try and time trial the standard at a British Athletics League in Bedford with a little pacing help from one of my teammates.  Just me and my Ballistas against the clock.

That race was one of the hardest of my life, but I was moving well and hurdling efficiently. The first km came and went pretty quickly, and at the second km split I was still on pace. When the bell rang to signify 1 lap to go the clock read 7.25…it was on. Then disaster struck. I clipped the barrier on the back straight with my trail leg with 200m to go and hit the deck. I stayed down a while reflecting on the impact and assessing the damage. The qualifying time was gone, and my World Championship dream was now in the hands of the IAAF.

I spent the next week meticulously checking the IAAF rankings to see if there was a chance I may get an invite one of the top 45 in the world (3 per nation). When the qualifying window closed I was 47th, so I knew there was a chance, and I just had to wait in hope that the invitation came.

3 days passed and I’d heard nothing. I began to accept that the World’s wasn’t going to happen for me. Then on day 4 the call came. I genuinely couldn’t believe it. I was going to a World Championships, and in London to top it off! My first British vest at a home Championships…what a feeling!

Because the invitation came so late it did not seem worthwhile flying out to Paris to join the holding camp, which for me was a blessing. I have a full time job, which means I can’t just take lots of time off at the click of a finger. Luckily I work for a company that appreciates me as a runner, so time off to race for Great Britain is no problem. This also means that I get to prepare for the biggest race of my life as I have for nearly every other race this season, at home, with my coach and training group on hand to make sure I am the best shape possible come race day.

I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to step on the start line this Sunday.

You can follow me on twitter and instagram at @ThomasIeuan

- Ieuan Thomas

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