INTERNATIONAL athlete Tom Humphries has targeted the World track and field championships as his 2013 goal, writes Dave McLean.
The Gnosall runner has boosted his main aim this year with a successful start to his first ever indoor season and a national medal.
After a successful career on the road and cross country, Humphries hit the boards at the end of last month and is now pushing for a Great Britain 5000m place on the plane to Moscow for the Worlds in August.
Humphries made his indoor debut at a meeting in Austria, finishing a creditable third in a then personal best time of 8:02.11 Two days later he took in the Birmingham Games at the NIA, this time running over 1500m, and grabbed second spot in 3:47.70.
The European (indoor) Trials and UK Championships were next on the agenda for the 28-year-old and Humphries came away with an excellent national silver medal, having been edged out by Dave Bishop (Bristiol and West).
“Four of us hit the last 200m, but I was a little boxed in lane one. Nevertheless I managed to find a gap and nip through to take second spot,” said Humphries.
On Saturday, the Cannock and Stafford AC runner hit the big stage when competing in the British Athletics Grand Prix meeting at the NIA and rubbing shoulders with a double gold medal winning Olympian.
Humphries lined up alongside Mo Farah in the 3000m, looking to acquire a qualifying time of 7.50 which would have been good enough to earn him a place at this year’s European Indoor Championships.
“I have been showing good form indoors and was looking for that fast time at the Grand Prix,” said Humphries.
“But unlike some of the races on the day we did not have a pacemaker and that forced me to try and push it from the start.” Humphries led for the opening six laps, but Farah gradually came through the pack and began to dictate the race, eventually winning in 7:42.00.
In the end, Humphries had to settle for a creditable fourth spot, knocking no less than eight seconds off his previous best time, finishing in 7:54.79.
Humphries, who is receiving treatment for a hip problem, has the World 5000m very much in his sights later this year.
He now aims to take in a quality race over the distance in April in