Tag Archives: Middle Distance

Track Beauty of the Week: Ingvill Måkestad Bovim

Ingvill Måkestad Bovim is this week’s Track Beauty!

Måkestad Bovim is Norway’s best middle distance runner. She holds the Norwegian records in both the 800m (1:59.82, 2010) and the rarely run 1000m (2:36.7, 2011). [1] Ingvill’s 1500m run personal best is 4:02.20, only two seconds from the legendary Grete Waitz’s national record. As a junior, she specialized in the two-lap event before shifting to the longer distance as she grew older.

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Track Beauty of the Week: Emma Coburn

Emma Coburn is this week’s Track Beauty!

The United States has the best athletics team in the planet, as shown by the results of the London Olympics. It is remarkable to note the credible American presence in a wide variety of track & field events, not just in the major crowd drawers. Up and coming athletes like Emma Coburn signify this formidable U.S. representation.

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Track Beauty of the Week: Hannah England

Hannah England is this week’s track beauty!

The middle distance runner is at the forefront of British athletics hopes in the upcoming London Olympics. At the Daegu World Championships last August, the aptly-named England stormed from seventh place all the way to second place to clinch the 1,500m run silver!

A victorious Hannah England at the Daegu World Championships (Photo from Standard.Co.Uk)

This was her first ever major international medal – in her maiden appearance at the prestigious world stage.

Prior to Daegu, England’s best performance in a major meet was tenth at the 2010 European Championships. England had a stellar 2011 season, shaving off 3 seconds to run a lifetime’s best of 4:01.89. In a span of five years, the 24-year old improved her personal best by 16 seconds.

The Oxford-born athlete is the daughter of a geophysicist. She attended Birmingham University to take up biochemistry. According her Wiki profile, she spent a year in Florida State Univeristy where she won NCAA titles in the 1,500m run and the Mile.

Track Beauty of the Week: Georgie Clarke

Georgie Clarke is this week’s track beauty!

Athletics is a sport where mature, full-developed athletes rule. In fact, athletes below 16 years old cannot compete in the Olympics or the senior IAAF World Championships. Clarke is a rare, once in a generation talent. As a 16-year old, the Aussie competed in front of thousands of her screaming countrymen during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Clarke talks about her Olympic experience (Runner Space)

The Geelong-born middle distance runner went as far the semifinals – a big achievement for any athlete, especially for a teenager. Clarke narrowly missed the third slot in the 800m run, losing out to veteran campaigners.

Photos from Australia Athletics, Life and Geelong Advertiser

Clarke won her first national title at the age of 14. As a 16-year old, she ran the second fastest 1500m by an Australian (4:06.77). Her personal best in the 800m run in 2000 was a world class 2:01.73, faster than middle distance greats Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Sebastian Coe when they were at the same age, according to a Cool Running article. Prior to the Sydney Olympics, Clarke lived in Europe to compete at the prestigious European circuit. An informative feature article by Running Times Magazine, accurately depicted the athletics prodigy’s difficulties in living out the elite athlete life. At such a young age, she was uprooted from her comfort zone. Clarke was unhappy, according to the article.

Photos from Geelong Advertiser, 101 West Photography and Running Times Magazine

Since her stellar performance at the Sydney Olympics, Clarke has been hounded by injuries, missing the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. She suffered fractures in her spine. There came a point where the once-promising middle distance prospect could hardly walk without pain. But still, the 2001 World Youth Champion persevered. In 2008, despite running with a stress fracture on her foot, she missed qualifying for the Beijing Olympics by two-hundredths of a second. A few months later, her foot broke.

A lesser person would buckle under the pressures of constant defeat and chronic injury. Despite the pain of it all, Clarke did not waver. The following quote from Running Times captures the essence of the sport completely: “I always would look back to why I started to run. It was for the pure reason that I loved it, for the freedom and simplicity of it.”

True enough, Clarke is still at it. Most recently, the now 26-year old former child prodigy is at the top of the distance category in the 2011 Australian Athletics Tour. She ran a competitive 4:17 in the 1500m to finish first palce in the Brisbane Track Classic.

Indeed, her running days are far from over. With the London Olympics barely 2 years away, the prospects for an injury-free Georgie Clarke are bright.

Article by Joboy Quintos

Sources:

Running Times Magazine

Cool Running

Video Credits:

Runners’ Tribe

Runner Space

Steve Cram on the Golden Days of British Athletics

I love the 800m’s tactical nature. The combination of speed, spills and subtle nudges make for an exciting race.  Although the other middle distance event, 1500m, is much too long for this sprint hurdler, the following BBC video about the Golden Era of British Athletics fosters proves interest.

Watch BBC’s Steve Cram feature

Additional link:

Steve Cram wiki

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