Now that the Rio Olympics have been and gone and those nail-biting moments spent glued to the television are just distant summer memories, what can we as runners take away from the two weeks of élite sport? Implementing a punishing Olympic training régime might not be realistic, but that’s not to say that reflecting on these athletics feats is not a valuable exercise. No review of the Olympic athletics would be complete without first mentioning Mo Farah. His amazing achievement in securing the ‘double double’ of distance track running was all the more remarkable when you consider how his 10,000m race played out. It is often the hardest thing to pick yourself up after a fall, whether literal or metaphorical, and for him to then go on and win the race so decisively was especially spectacular. Whilst Farah’s wins on the track were undoubtedly the highlight of Rio from a British athletics perspective, who could possibly forget the women’s 10,000m? No less than four of the athletes ran under 30 minutes as Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana stormed to victory, smashing the 23-year-old world record by almost a quarter of a minute in an amazing time of 29:17. We couldn’t have asked for more excitement from the opening race of the Games.
And it isn’t all about the winning, although we wouldn’t usually admit that ourselves… The touching story of Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino reflects the true spirit of sportsmanship and fair play that we attempt to replicate here at OUCCC. As the days begin to shorten and the climate cools, we can do more than just reminisce over a summer of track triumphs, but instead use these Olympic stories as motivation for the upcoming cross-country season. If ever in doubt, you can always take inspiration from the Olympic motto, ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.
So whether you’re looking just to have some fun in the mud this winter, or planning how to launch your Olympic career, don’t look any further because OUCCC is the place to be.
Helene Greenwood, OUCCC Women’s Captain 2016-17, University College