4 January 2011
The Christmas break is a distant memory but sunshine and warmer climates beckon for members of the Aviva GB&NI team who fly out to the Aviva funded UKA Warm Weather Training camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa today to begin preparations for the year ahead.
An important juncture in their careers, January signals the start of 2011 just two months from the European Indoor Championships, eight months from the IAAF World Championships and 20 months out from the 2012 Olympic Games.
The group, who will train on campus at the University of Stellenbosch, includes a mix of experience and youth, champions and potential, all eager to make the most of the annual camp courtesy of long term GB&NI team sponsors Aviva.
Looking to retain the form which gave them a solid 2010, European and Commonwealth medallists Dai Greene, Leon Baptiste, Christian Malcolm and Eilidh Child will spend time at the camp.
On a highly anticipated comeback trail Germaine Mason, Andrew Steele, Goldie Sayers, Nicola Sanders, Kelly Sotherton and Tasha Danvers will use the camp to further fuel their ambitions for the coming season.
While Commonwealth silver medallists William Sharman and Rhys Williams look for an extra inch from the trip in search of that ever illusive gold.
Young guns Lawrence Clarke, Jack Meredith, Chris Clarke, Nathan Woodward and Matti Mortimore will lay the foundations for their summer international age group Championships campaigns.
Others at the camp include Marlon Devonish, Martyn Bernard, Kate Dennison, Richard Buck, Craig Pickering and Emily Freeman.
Athletes invited to the Aviva and London Marathon funded UKA Altitude camp will make their pilgrimage to the home of endurance running, Iten, Kenya, this week. Story to follow on www.uka.org.uk.