Freya Ross will jet out to Colorado today with some extra fuel on her fire after finishing tenth in yesterday’s Great North Run in Newcastle in her final tune-up before her return to the marathon in Chicago next month.
The Capital contender, who narrowly missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics, dropped off the pace on Tyneside set by Olympic 5000 metres gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot, the eventual winner, and completed the half marathon course in 1:15:22.
“I did make an effort to close the gap but never got back,” Ross admitted. “I was hoping to run a bit quicker and thought I had more in me. But it’s tough when you’re isolated. I felt I was in better shape than that. But it was a stepping stone for me towards next month’s Chicago Marathon.”
Ross will now spend three weeks under the watchful eye of her coach Steve Jones before competing on the course where the Welshman once set a world record.
“With Chicago, I felt like I wanted to get another one under my belt,” she said. “Training’s been going a lot better recently. I feel in better shape than I was going into London earlier this year.”
Jake Wightman will gear up for 2017 with a win under his belt after the Capital prospect took victory over the mile in Saturday’s Great CityGames on Tyneside. The European Championship finalist, who narrowly missed out on Olympic selection, revealed he is to re-locate to London in a bid to take another step forward ahead of the world championships in the city next summer.
But the former European junior champion has still seen progression from the current campaign.
“It was a season of consolidation for me because last year was such a massive disappointment,” he said. “I wanted to cement something that was OK. I feel at least I have something I can be proud of.”
His Edinburgh AC club-mate Lynsey Sharp rounded off her year with a terrific victory in the women’s 500 metres and then immediately set her sights on a medal at next year’s world championships in London.
The Olympic 800m finalist plans a stint at altitude in a quest to take further steps forward in 2017 with the dream of ending up on her first global podium.
“London 2012 was amazing but I wasn’t at the point in my career where I could have fought for a medal,” the Capital star said. “Whereas next year’s more exciting because I can reasonably fight for one. In front of a home crowd again, that would be really cool.”