Toni is on the way to the bank when I call him. He’s in good spirits, which I put down to working with the team rather than his visit to Gringotts. As with the previous day the training has evidently been relaxed,
“It’s very short corners and free kicks now. Short sessions with plenty of rest in between. We were running block starts with five plus Jo was there to stretch out her legs after the weekend’s Heptathlon”.
“Everyone seems relaxed from the photo”.
“Yes, that’s what you want. Plenty of Banter.”
He has other news,
“Alicia has been invited to join the World Junior team competing in Wisdot in Poland in late July”.
“She must be pretty pleased?”
“She’s good, yes. She’s also been invited to run as part of the team at Mannheim but we’ve opted for the National Champs instead”.
“I thought you might want her to have the experience of travelling with the team?”
“We feel it’s more beneficial to run against the seniors to help her understand what she’ll be moving into next year. It’s four years since London. Time flies by. In four years time she’ll be twenty-two and aiming at Tokyo.
It’s part of our strategy to be competing at the top level with seniors. It’s like the Man United class of ’92 with Giggs, Beckham and Scholes, if you’re good enough you’re old enough.”
“And you think Alicia is good enough?”
“She’s already in the top eight domestically, irrespective of age group. Our short term goal was to make trials, she’s achieved that. Now it’s time to dip a toe in the water with the seniors. Also, remember it’s domestic, not international so the standard will be high but not off the scale”.
“What’s the goal at the Nationals?”
“To make the final”.
Toni’s got this. Perhaps it’s time to get to know Alicia Barrett a little better. Here are her answers to the questionnaire I’ve been circulating around the team:
What’s the first thing to enter your mind when you wake up on a training day?
I’m always motivated until Toni tells me I have 12 hurdles.
Tell me your favourite Toni story.
He does really funny impressions, it’s not a story but just funny moments.
Who trains and who complains the hardest?
Not really too sure haven’t been in the group long enough.
What’s your favourite / least favourite type of training?
Favourite has to be back to back runs and short hurdles. Least favourite is defiantly circuits.
If you could have any superpower – what would it be?
The ability to pause time so you can fully appreciate those special moments that go too quick.
What’s your typical meal and snack line up on a training day?
I have a yazoo milkshake for after training and a cereal bar
What’s your usual pre-race routine?
I always listen to music and not try to think too much about other people and just about what I need to do.
Describe the perfect 2016 for you.
Feeling content and happy in what I have done.
Quick fire round:
Favourite training music?
I listen to a mixture of r&b, hip hop, soul and electronic.
Favourite chocolate bar? (If you have one!)
Anything dairy milk, it’s all just so good.
Favourite film and why?
I love any good British film; from Snatch and Layer Cake to Four Weddings & A Funeral, British humour is just the best. Other than that I love Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, the soundtrack is amazing and the vision and cinematography is just captivating.
Tracy Emin, she has a wonderful talent and a strong work ethic which I admire and hope to replicate.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received (that you’re able to share!)?
There are good days, bad days, half way days, but we’re all still looking for that great day.