So you’re probably expecting a review of the Bupa 10k. Here it is:
Big London sights, lots of people, 6.2 miles, not enough toilets, good burger and drink at the end (not provided by the race). To be honest, aside from the large number of entrants and the bit of sight seeing I don’t have a great deal to say about bupa 10k, which is why I’m going to tell you how great Jo Pavey is instead.
Imagine the scene, you’re strolling through a park one day when you come across a lady running some drills. She’s watched over by her husband holding a young baby with a 3-4 year old tearing about. Sounds pretty ordinary right? Except the lady is the 10k European champion, Jo Pavey.
There are many reasons why I think Jo should be inspirational to us mere mortal club runners. Some of these things I hope you can relate to.
Jo is a mother of two young children and yet somehow still finds time to run 100 miles a week. This only dropped when she was pregnant and quite late into the pregnancies as well. In fact, when she ran her ‘come back’ race at the British Championships in 2014 she had only stopped breast feeding a month previously.
She went on to win bronze in the Glasgow Commonwealth games and then gold in the European Championships in Zurich 2014.
Defying all stereotypes, Jo was 40 at the time, making her the first European Champion to be in their 40s. She has joked that she has won races in crop tops that have been older than some of her fellow competitors.
Her career has been far from smooth sailing though. Spanning 18 years she spent a total of 6 of them injured and after a knee operation she still has one leg she can’t fully straighten. Imagine how many times she thought about packing it all in and just getting a “normal” job. To those of you struggling with injury or just coming back to the sport, remember Jo as proof that it is possible to come back blazing from long set backs.
Jo has also been hit by bad luck, with sickness and other incidents often occurring the night or days before a big race. She suffered from food poisoning before the Bejing Olympics and a bacterial infection before the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
This hasn’t really improved, as the night before the Bupa 10k this week she was up all night being sick. Yet, against the odds she smashed it and won, beating 20 year old Rebecca Murray. I had had a good night sleep and was in pretty good health, yet by the time Jo finished in 32 min 56 seconds I was still tearing round London streets with many more minutes of running left.
This is what I want to show really – who a real elite fast runner is, and she is Jo Pavey, a 40-something mother of two that also happens to be a four time Olympion, European champion and 2nd fastest British 5k and 10k runner of all time (behind Paula).
Finally her coach is Gavin Pavey – her husband. Yep, you heard me – her husband. Would any of you be brave enough to let your other half coach you? Maybe you can try it and get back to us?
Jo is currently aiming for the Rio Olympics in 2016. This will mean she has competed in every Olympics for GB since 2000. I am sure I’m not going to be alone hoping she gets there!
Nikki “I actually researched this one” Stanley