Richard Goodman maintained his excellent start to the year by securing an emphatic win in the British Universities Cross Country Championships in Stirling.
He finished 22 seconds clear of long-time rival Jonathan Hay and he also led the St Mary’s University College Team, Twickenham, to victory.
Goodman’s win, following on from his equally commanding performance in the Southern Counties Championships the previous week, demonstrates that he is now in the form of his life.
The Stirling course consisted of one short lap and three long laps, totalling 11.1 km. Goodman said: "Although the route was muddy, it was fairly firm under-foot and the race was fast. Each lap had three or four short steep hills, which made for a tough course.
"I kept to my recent strategy of gradually moving up to the front and then testing the leaders with around 3km to go. Entering the last lap, Jonny Hay was still with me, but when I put on a hard surge he was not able to respond." A double gold winner at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, Goodman’s current form represents a reward for self-belief and perseverance in the face of injury and disappointment.
In December 2011, a few months after leaving JFS, Goodman achieved his most significant international performance to date, gaining the silver medal in the European Junior Cross Country Championships. The performance earned him a coveted athletics scholarship at Oregon University. However, recurring hip injuries led to that race turning out to be his last for 23 months and to Oregon withdrawing their financial support.
Goodman is now a Sports Science student at St Mary’s, in daily contact with his new coach Mick Wood.
"The last six weeks, including my month at altitude in Kenya, has been the best block of training I have ever had,"said Goodman, who has two more cross country races planned for this season: the National Championships at Nottingham in two weeks’ time, followed by the Inter-Counties at Birmingham in March.
He said: "I want to get the training miles under my belt and to stay injury-free, as I’m hoping for a full track season. It is important for me to win some sponsorship and I want to try for the qualifying times for the European and Commonwealth Championships."