Long distance runner Richard Goodman said he felt honoured to win his first senior national title at the weekend.
Competing at Cofton Park in Birmingham, the 20-year-old made his break in the final lap and eventually finished nine seconds ahead of the English National Champion, Steve Vernon, to claim the Inter-Counties cross country title.
Describing what the win meant to him, he said: “Growing up I can remember watching the winner of the senior men’s race in awe thinking to myself how is it possible to run at such ferocious speed for 12 kilometres over undulating, muddy and energy sapping ground. Now some years have passed and thousands of training miles run I’m delighted and honoured to have won such a prestigious race.”
Punching the air in delight as he crossed the finishing line, he said: “I was physically and psychologically spent, I gave every ounce of energy to win the race and when I knew I had won it with 200 meters to go, I was relaxed and enjoyed the run to the finish.”
Saying the win will give him the belief to win more senior events, he said: “This can be a big psychological win as well. But winning the UK national title as well as all the other major races I’ve won this year has also given me enormous confidence and self-belief.”
Reflecting on his defeat, Vernon said it could now be the time for the next generation of runners to take over, and Goodman says he believes he can be one of them. “I think so [that he could be one of them]” he says, “it won’t be an easy task but I’m willing to put everything I’ve got into making sure it happens.”
Now turning his attention towards the summer track season, he says: “There are many major national and international championships on the cards, all of which I hope to gain selection for and medal in.”