Isabelle Boffey takes the 1,000m, in her longest race ever, photo by Getty Images/ British Athletics
The one thousand meters is five laps on a standard 200m indoor track. It is a tough distance if your specialty is 400m, 600m or 800m. For the 1,500m runner, the 1,000m is a bit fast, but not crazy fast like the 800m.
For Isabelle Boffey, she did two things right: she listened to her coach, and she ran her own race. Two lessons one must remember to do well at all levels in athletics. In return, Isabelle, who goes by @issyboffey on social media, took down some very impressive middle distance runners.
Our European editor, and co-host on #AthleticsChat, the always quotable Stuart Weir, wrote this column for #RunBlogRun. Stuart also had to battle the crazy storms across the pond this past week to get to the presser and the meet. We are glad that he is safely home with his lovely family.
There was a full program of women’s middle-distance races at the Birmingham Muller GP – an 800, a 1,000, and 1,500. The 1,000 was planned as the climax of the 3-hour program with Laura Muir attempting to break the British record. Laura was in Birmingham, but sadly on crutches.
I took a particular interest in the race as I sat next to Jackie Bauman, the race pacemaker, in the bus from the hotel to the arena. We talked about pace-making and how she was making a career of it – guaranteed to be paid at every race! She told me that hitting a target was always easy for her. In fact, she said, “You could wake me up at 3.00am and put me on a track, ask me to run a 59-second lap and I could do it”. Now there is a challenge but where do I find a track open at 3.00am?
Jemma Reekie went for it, the 1000m was just a bit too long on Saturday, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
Jemma Reekie stepped in to replace Laura and was the only athlete to try to go with the pacemaker. She led the field by a significant margin before running out of steam. Isabelle Boffey(GBR) won the race in a PR of 2:38.25 from Angelika Cichocka (Poland) who ran 2:38.57 with Katharina Trost (Germany) third in 2:38.62. Jemma Reekie was sixth in 2:39.74. Jemma commented: “I’m in good shape and sometimes you’ve got to learn so I’ll take it. Training camp went really well and it’s just getting back into things.” Jemma also confirmed a change of plan that she would be in the British Indoor Champs next week targeting a place in the World Indoors.
Isabelle Boffey ran an impressive race, ignoring the pacemaker and not trying to follow Reekie. She summed her performance up: “It was a weird one and a bit back and forth. I just stuck to my guns and to my race plan and you know I did everything I needed to do and got a PB. I have never raced over 1K before but it was definitely fun. It is different from an 800 because the extra 200 makes all the difference – definitely more aerobic”.
Jemma Reekie went out hard, going for the 1,000m British record, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
While Jemma Reekie tried to go with the pacemaker, Isabelle was content to hang back and make her move later, explaining “My coach and I put together a solid plan which was pacing myself”.
Isabelle Boffey takes control in the 1,000m, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
Boffey who is 21 and won the European Under 20 (2019) and Under 23 (2021) 800m titles as well as reaching the final of the European Indoors last year enjoys running on the boards – “the main difference is the bends. More bends make it more difficult to overtake. Otherwise indoors is just more busy, more pushy, more tactically driven”.
Isabelle Boffey takes the 1,000 meters in Birmingham, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
Next week she will run in the GB indoor trials, having already secured the World Indoor qualifying standard. As well as the World Indoors, her goal is to be selected for at least one of the summer championships.
Isabelle Boffey, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics
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