By Myles Edwards
Great Britain athletics legend Dave Moorcroft believes that Aberdeen’s athletics past can provide inspiration for athletes now and in the future.
The former 5000 metre world record holder and Commonwealth gold medallist feels that the success of Aberdeen’s past marathon greats – such as Fraser Clyne, Mel Edwards, Graham Laing and Alistair Wood – proves that anything can be achieved in the world of athletics, providing the correct attitude is adopted.
Moorcroft said: “You can be world class and not leave Britain. You do not necessarily need to go to Africa or to altitude, but it helps if you have an ‘African’ mentality. It has been done and can be done again. Numerous people in places such as Aberdeen have proved that you can work full time and still be very successful.”
It was not so long ago that Aberdeen was home to a number of international class marathon runners. The fastest being Evening Express contributor Fraser Clyne, who clocked an impressive 2 hours 11 minutes 50 seconds in the 1984 California International Marathon. Colin Youngston and Donald Ritchie were others to make their mark in the long distances, with Ritchie still holding the world record for 100 km on the track.
Many of the current crop of athletes at Aberdeen AAC possess great potential and the club also has a number of excellent coaches for a wide range of events. With the correct attitude and level of dedication these athletes have the capability of achieving great success.
Ian Garioch and Ellie Workman are two of these promising up and coming athletes. Workman’s impressive improvement and Garioch’s 400 metre gold medal performance at the British Universities Indoor Championships last weekend indicate there are athletes in the Granite City capable of achieving great things.
Moorcroft says that it is essential for athletes to believe in themselves in order to reach their potential. “You must believe that for that period in your life you are a serious runner and you shape your life around it. Everything you do slots into making you the best runner you can be. A lot of it is about making the choice that you will be tough, train hard and cleverly and developing a strong belief in your own ability.”