Berkhamsted runner Zoe Doyle has won a national title for the third year in a row at the British National Masters Indoors Athletics Championships, held this year at Lee Valley in London at the weekend.
Zoe had been the national indoor W35 800m champion for the past two years but was not been able to do the speed training needed to compete at that distance this year because of being injured for five months with a stress fracture.
So she competed this year in the 1500m and 3000m instead.
Zoe explained: “These were my first track races of 2018 after starting training again at the end of January.
“In the 1500m on Saturday I went out very slow and I lacked the confidence to take the race on. With 600m to go [opponent]Fiona Du Mauny increased the pace. I stayed with her but did not have the kick to out-sprint her and finished one second behind in 4.49. “I felt very nervous before the race and as a season’s opener it was still a positive start [and a silver medal].”
Zoe had never run a 3000m indoor race before and it had been a few years since she had completed an outdoor version.
She said: “I felt confident I could run a good pace. I took the race on from the gun and tried to keep up an even pace. All the women’s age categories ran together so I lapped the older athletes many times.
“Fifteen laps of the 200m indoor track was mentally challenging and very hot.
“It turned out to be a special race because Angela Copson broke the W70 world record.
“I wanted to run a decent time to feel confident about running the 3000m in the European Championships next week in Madrid.
“I ran 10.21, running the race like a time-trail. I know I am in better shape than that and there is definitely more to come. “
Zoe flies out to Spain this weekend for the 3000m and 5km cross-country.
“This was a championships I did not think I would be fit enough to compete in. I move up to the W40 in June so I intend to enjoy my last championship in the W35,” Zoe added.