Even by his own high standards, Richard Goodman had an exceptional weekend, racing to the top of the UK Under 17 1,500 metres rankings and then demolishing his personal best for 800 metres.
Competing in a British Milers Club 1,500 metres race in Watford, Goodman and other front runners passed the 800 metres mark in 2:04 assisted by a pacemaker. Goodman opened up a lead with 150 metres remaining and won by a significant margin in 3:54.72, the fastest Under 17 time in the UK for two years. In the process he cut his personal best by 8.9 seconds.
Goodman said: “I then ran the 800 metres in the Southern Counties Junior League at Eton, intending to use the two successive races as practice for heats and finals in a championship. I felt really tired as I warmed up for the 800 metres and kept to a strategy of sitting behind the leader until the last 100 metres.” The strategy worked to such an extent that his winning time of 1:57.2 cut more than two seconds off his previous best.
Making his achievements all the more remarkable is the fact that they were achieved in the middle of his stint of GCSE exams. Goodman said: “Once the exams are over I hope to have a concentrated spell of training and racing and cut my times still further. Of course I’m looking forward to next month’s Maccabiah, where I hope to do well in the middle distance events.”
Asked what he put his dramatic improvement down to, Goodman said: “I think it is the quality of my training, combining testing interval and speed work with my Shaftesbury teammates with long runs on my own. But I would also put it down to a great determination to achieve my potential and run faster than my competitors if I possibly can.”