Marathon man Callum Hawkins (coach: Robert Hawkins) has enjoyed a fine 2016, with the 24-year-old recently capping off his year with an individual bronze and a team gold medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy.
His achievements on the cross country front come on the back of lifetime best times over the half-marathon and marathon, but as he stated post-race in Chia, the emergence of his eye-catching form in 2016 is owed to years of hard work.
“This time last year when I was trying for Frankfurt to try and get an Olympic [qualifying] time, I would never have imagined that I’d do what I’ve done now; coming 9th in the Olympics, then running sub-61 [Great Scottish Half-Marathon] and now third [European Cross Country] here – the last few months have been incredible, but it’s been a long time coming; it’s all down to three years of hard work.”
After running 2:12:17 in Frankfurt last October – his first competitive marathon, and 1 minute 43 inside the Olympic qualifying time – Hawkins went on to lower his best to 2:10:52 on home-soil in London in May, before then taking to the streets of Rio to clock 2:11:52 for 9th place, a superb result on his Olympic Games debut.
Mental strength is something that Hawkins identifies as key when it comes to self-progression as an elite endurance runner, with praise for the mettle and determination shown in Rio quickly directed in the way of his father and coach Robert: “I’ve always been headstrong, but I’ve probably got it from my dad – his mentality has certainly rubbed off on me”.
The start of 2017 will see Hawkins compete for the British team at the Great Edinburgh International XCountry, an event he approaches with positivity, stating “it will be a great way to start 2017”, before then entering a strategically and meticulously planned training routine ahead of the marathon – for which he has been pre-selected – at next summer’s IAAF World Championships London 2017.
You can follow Callum’s journey HERE.
The marathon route at next summer’s IAAF World Championships London 2017 can be found HERE.
The British Athletics team for January’s Great Edinburgh International XCountry can be found HERE.