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10 Apr 2011 - World Grand Prix

Rob Heffernan: Sitting here now in Dublin getting ready to head to the great Ireland Run after getting back from Portugal late last night.The race in Portugal was a stacked field with the current Olympic Champion Valery Borchin, The other Russian Euro Champ, world bronze medallist Sanchez from Mexico and a host of others to name but a few. The race was taken in as part of my build up to the European cup so it can be very tough as your not at a peak mentally and physically so in effect the race is like an elevated training session with no where to hide because the calibre of athlete is so strong.

 

The race took part in a race walking stronghold of Portugal so there was some great support on the road for current European Bronze medallist J Veira. I wanted to sit in the second group until 10-12km and be ready to battle hard from 5km out. As it turned out a lead group of 3 got away and our group of about 20athletes caught them after 5km . After 9km Borchin doped the pace from 4m00/km to about 3.55 and started his pursuit for home with incredible ease. This totally split the field and I had to make a decision whether to go or maintain.All my instints wanted to go but another part of me was saying for what its only April and there a long way to go in the year. I ended up in the 2nd break away group and won the battle for 6th place while the other 5 got away. I was annoyed after as you always want to be in the mix but just didnt have the motivation to do it right now there is far bigger days ahead.

 

On a positive note its been a great week at home I now have a full support team working for me in Cork. I have been trying to get this for years and now I have it thanks to the Institute of sport and Athletics Ireland. While we are behind here in this country in terms of support compared to our European competitors it is definitely changing and there is a bigger realisation of the professional set up needed to develop athletes to international standard.I have worked with great people at home in the past including Liam O Reilly and Mark Mc Manus but with so many other commitments it was always hard to tie them down. Robbie Williams(strength and conditioning) and Gary Ahern(sports massage ans security) have been working with me on a daily basis for months , but now there is a structure after been put in place by the Institute to make things professional and I am very grateful for this.I better head to do this race .Talk soon

 

ps a big thank you to Ray who made the trip over to help me with my drinks and video work. Some going for a man of 86 years of age and he is going to run this Great Ireland Run with me today