Kenya’s High Altitude Training Centre has been dubbed as long-distance runners’ ‘University of Champions’ – something which Jack Goodwin hopes rings true as he sets off to Africa in his bid for Rio 2016.
The second-year BA Sport and PE student at the University of Bedfordshire, who has represented the nation at junior level in the European Championships – running distances of 5,000 metres, was selected by UK Athletics (UKA) to attend the camp this month.
Jack, 19, said as he tackles altitudes of 8,000ft, he will be recalling on the sights of Mo Farrah’s double-gold in London and of United States’ silver-medal 10,000 metre white runner, Galen Rupp, for inspiration.
“My aim is to be selected for Team GB Rio 2016 and to be competitive; after watching the Olympics recently I really, really want to get there,” said the Bedford student, who had previously studied at the town’s Wootton Upper School.
“I’ve got to build up and prepare for Rio as best I can and it is a great honour for me to be selected for the camp, as it’s fully funded by UKA and opportunities like this are rare.
“For my athletic career this opportunity would have great benefit and open lots of doors for me in the future.”
As part of the course Jack will be away from home – and from the Bedford-based uni course – for a month (from 25 October until 21 November), but said he still plans to keep his head down.
“I am confident that I can keep up with the workload as I will have access to hand in my work electronically. The nature of the camp will leave me with large rest periods, which will allow me plenty of time to study and complete assignments,” added Jack, who has raced across Europe.
The challenges presented by the High Altitude Training Centre, which was founded in 1999 by World Champion and World Record holder Lornah Kiplagat, will be something Jack has not experienced before. It’s based in Iten, a town which possesses miles of soft red dirt trails, no industry and very pure air.
However Jack said he is very much looking forward to the challenge, adding, “it should be a really good experience. It will be nice to team up with some of the senior UKA members and see how far I am from their standard too.”