This is Jeff Benjamin’s piece on WC gold medalist Jake Wightman, who is always open to an interview and is racing on 11 September at the NB Fifth Avenue Mile!
Wightmania Hits 5th Avenue Tomorrow!
5 Quick questions with WC Gold Medalist & Defending NYRR 5th Avenue Mile Champ Jake Wightman!
1) With your crowded racing schedule, have you been able at all to sit back and look at your World Champs Gold Performance or have you (for now) just kept your focus on the upcoming races?
“I’ve tried to stay focussed on what I’ve still got ahead as I need to finish the season as strongly as I can. I’m looking forward to finishing to give my chance to celebrate what I’ve been able to achieve this year.”
2) In previous stories, there’s always been an emphasis on you competing in the winter months in XC races – Seb Coe had called it a “vital cog” in his training – how vital is it for you?
“I am terrible at Cross Country but swallow my pride and compete on the mud, as I’m aware of what it provides me. We train on the grass a lot as well, which provides similar benefits in providing that strength and toughness for me in the Summer.”
3) You seem to be emulating the legacies of Coe, Cram Ovett, and Elliott with not only XC racing prep but also competing in other distances on the track, notable your great 1:43 800- Your thoughts?
“I’ve always hoped I can race well over 800m similar to those guys as that’s the type of athlete I am. To be mentioned in the same sentence as them is an honour and their success is something we all strive to try and emulate.”
4) Has “Wightmania” taken hold in you and your family’s life since the WC Gold?
“The buzz of it has died down a bit now, but it’s definitely a moment that all my family will cherish forever!”
5) After the 5th Avenue Mile, is it downtime for you, and what exactly do you do when the season ends – jogging/no running?
“I will have a couple of week off running compete whilst on holiday. I’m getting old now, so can’t allow my body any more time as it’s too sore to get back!”