Alex Short: Racing for Great Britain has given me new perspective on running

Southend Standard: Alex Short in Belgrade Alex Short in Belgrade

ALEX Short says making his Great Britain debut at the European Cross-Country Championships has changed his perspective on running.

The 19-year-old finished in 26th place in the junior men’s race in Belgrade, Serbia, as his squad fell agonisingly short of team bronze medals.

Former Southend High School for Boys pupil Short admits he was frustrated not to have come home with a medal but insists he learnt a lot from his first international competition.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Short, a student at Cambridge University. “It was my first GB vest and hopefully the first of a few.

“It was frustrating we didn’t get the team medal. We were packing really well and if the result had been based on five scorers we would have won. In fact, if we had finished with the same points in the previous year’s race we would have won gold medals. It seems it was just a very competitive year. But it was a really, really good experience.

“Personally, there’s a bit of regret because I feel I could have given a little bit more. It was such a fast start and I think I got a little bit over-awed and went off a bit too quick and paid for that, particularly on the last lap which was one long, tough lap.

“But I gave it my best and was determined not to leave anything on the course.

“I have learnt a lot. The main thing I have taken away from the race is that you have to have the confidence to hold back. Everyone goes off so quickly and you need the confidence to hold back a bit and then reel them in slowly. I’m really glad about what I have learnt from it, it does compensate the little bit of regret I had when the race was actually going on.”

Short’s currently on something of a rest week after a whirlwind few weeks.

After finishing third at the trials race in Liverpool and thrusting himself into the national spotlight, the Chelmsford AC athlete has hardly had time to pause for thought.

“So much has changed in these two weeks,” said Short. “Before Liverpool I was grinding away, having little recognition, not national recognition anyway. But in the space of two weeks it has completely changed. My confidence has increased with that. I know that if I can stay fit and healthy I can mix it with the best nationally.

“It’s still pretty surreal. A lot of juniors who are good, work their way gradually on to the scene, but with me it feels like I have gone from virtually nothing to representing Great Britain. “It has put a new perspective on my running. I’m now no longer training just because I love running, there’s a material incentive there, which is the GB tracksuit. I’m loving it and hope I can maintain it as long as possible.”

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