Blackburn Harrier Alison Leonard has set her sights on qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Her whole focus and determination is on this target.
Alison currently places 2nd in the 1500m National Rankings with 4.10.77 and won a Silver Medal in the 1500m Indoor Championships back in February with a time which won her qualification to the World Indoor Championships in Oregon.
In her specialist distance of 800m – a distance she hasn’t competed in so far this year – she was 5th overall in the 2015 National Rankings and won a Bronze Medal in the British Championships that year too, and has a PB of 2.00.08.
As a Junior – who joined the Club as a 14yr old – she competed for Blackburn Harriers in the Young Athletes League and then the Northern League as well as contesting County and Regional Championships, compiling also a pretty impressive record which included at Domestic and International level :
2005 – 3rd AAA U17 Championships 800m
2006 – 1st ESAA Championships 800m, 1st AAA U17 Championships, 3rd AAA Indoor U17 Championships 800m, 3rd England Athletics U20 Open Championships 800m, 3rd AAA U20 Championships 800m
2007 – 3rd England Athletics U20 Championships 800m
2008 – 1st England Athletics U20 Open Championships 800m
2009 – 1st England U20 Championships 800m
2007 – 2nd World Youth Championships 800m
2008 – 4th World Junior Championships 800m
2009 – 4th European Junior Championships 800m
Now Alison is in hard training as part of the build up to Rio qualification and has been in Font Romeu for the last couple of weeks. This is the type of training and dedication that all athletes have to take on board if they are to make it at International and World level in the sport.
(Photo and Cover photo courtesy of Dougie Musson)
Speaking to the Club about her current training Alison told us that “I’ve now been in Font Romeu for nearly two weeks and I feel like I’m settling back into hard training. We woke up to snow a couple of times in the first week, but because it’s generally sunny during the day here it had mostly melted by the end of the day so luckily (or unluckily if you’re tired!) training wasn’t really affected. I’ve been doing lots of runs in the forests and round the lake in the valley; my legs don’t like the hills that much as anyone who has seen me try and do the Saucer during cross country knows, but they’re good for me and the views on the runs go some way to make up for the pain! I’ve also been doing lots of track sessions; the track is 1750m above sea level so I prefer the short sessions (as usual!) because they aren’t as affected by altitude. I’ll be racing soon after I get back to the UK in May so this is my last big training block before track season; I’m being sustained by lots of naps and lots of French bread at the moment. tiredness catches up with you very quickly on camp, especially at altitude, so aside from training I spend most of the time recovering and getting ready for the next training session, although we managed to visit the local animal park on our rest day last week. I’ve just over three weeks to go on this camp, it sound like ages now but I know it will go by all at once; I love it up here in the Pyrenees but I’ll be glad to be home after such a long time away. Best wishes to everyone at Harriers and hopefully I’ll see you at Witton over the summer”.
(Photo courtesy of Dougie Musson)