Stuart Weir has written for RunBlogRun for nearly five years. Always love his pieces and sense of humor. I wrote for years that he was Scottish, not true, but as you know, when I get on a rant, it continues.
Here’s a fine piece of a real Scottish runner, Chris O’Hare, by a non-Scottish writer, Stuart Weir.
Chris O’Hare focuses on 2018
2017 was a good year for Chris O’Hare. He won the British Championships, won a Diamond League, won the Long Island mile and came second in the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile and also ran a PB. His assessment of the season was: “I was happy with the season as a whole this year, it was by far my best season yet”.
2017 was a good year but not always straight forward as it started a bit late: “My training for the 2017 season was different to previous years”, he explained. “The knee injury that hampered my performance in Rio last year held me out of training until December which isn’t ideal. As the injury took so long to heal, Terrence (my coach) and I decided to skip indoors altogether and make sure we got ready for outdoors. With that in mind, we were able to build up my mileage slowly and not rush anything. My mileage got up to around 80 miles a week, whenever I pushed for any more, my body would start to break down, so 80 miles a week it was”.
He won the GB Championship in what looked like the Edinburgh AC championships with Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman following him home! He also won the Anniversary Games in 3:34.75 commenting: “I knew with 200 to go I had a lot to do. I was mad at myself for that so I thought I had better go and hope there was enough track left and there was by half a metre. I feel so much stronger than I have ever been. I have put in a lot of work. I didn’t use any of my finishing speed until the last 150m.It is huge just knowing even in a 3:34 race that I’ve got the finish and could close down on the big guys so it is a huge confidence builder”.
Chris sets himself very high standards and even when he ran the PB of 3:33.6 in Monaco he was ambivalent. Commenting on the race: “I’m very disappointed. The third lap was where I wanted to push it and I kept having to push and shove just to be able to run where I wanted to run. There were too many bodies but I am happy for the opportunity to run. It was a PB so you can’t argue with that. I just wish I had done better”.
The disappointment of the season was the World Championship when he finished 12th. With time for the dust to settle he commented: “Unfortunately, my final at Worlds didn’t go to plan. It is frustrating to have such a successful season and be so far away from my potential when it mattered most but that is just the way the world works sometimes and I am at peace with it”.
His season did end with a flourish, winning the Hoka Long Island Mile Run beating Nick Willis by 0.19 seconds. The race was overshadowed by the recent death of David Torrence, to whom the race was dedicated with lane 1 left open. It was a good win for Chris but he described the day as “a tough race, more emotionally than physically”.
He was second in the Fifth Avenue mile in 3:52:00 behind Nick Willis (3:51.30) His assessment of his performance was, “5th Avenue mile is always a fantastic event. The organizers are amazing and you can’t go wrong with a mile race down such a historic avenue. Obviously, I would have liked to take the win but Nick is always a fierce competitor and just timed his kick better than I did on the day. I cannot really complain. We both ran well and on the day he got the better of me”.
While running is his job, it is not everything to him. He recently tweeted a photo of his wife and son with the comment: “These two make me a better man”. He added: “Fatherhood has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and my running. It gives me the motivation to get out of bed and run when I don’t want to because I want to be able to provide for my son now and make him proud when he is old enough to understand the sport”.
2018 promises to be a long and busy year for Chris but he is ready: “It is going to be a very interesting year due to the strange nature of the schedule. My plan is to compete at World Indoors, Commonwealths and Europeans. The toughest part will be getting the schedule right to make sure I am ready to perform at all three”.