martedì 4 dicembre 2012

BETSY SAINA..A RISING STAR


In recent NCAA XC champs i have appreciated very much the winner Betsy Saina..studied something about her and discovered a real great talent with possibility of a big improvement.
Who is Betsy Saina first of all?..
TFRRS              ALL-ATHLETICS                     IAAF


Watch more video of 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on flotrack.org

This is her incredible win in last NCAA XC champs and down here u can read exclusive interview she gave me

NCAA XC:What an amazing race Betsy in nationals..you looked so easy and concetrated and u did a fantastic sprint?
Thanks for your complement, if at all I looked easy on that ran then I must be really good with concealing. Going into NCAA championship at Louisville, I knew I was ready, but I also appreciate the fact that NCAA is one of the most competitive league. There were a couple of girls who were equally competitive and the key issue was who had a better strategy.  Initially, I was planning to start pulling away after 4k, but at the four kilometer mark I look around and realize that everyone in that group was somehow under-control, at that point I decided to go with my second strategy. For the final sprint, timing was of great essential, I had to remain patient and put myself I a good position to kick when the right time comes. Am happy I had a perfect timing and position coming to homestretch.

Some girls u feared?or sure about yourself?
About fear, I think the right way I will describe is respect. I have great respect for my opponents, I was well aware of their accomplishment. The only thing you can control in any race is yourself. I knew I was ready for the race, but you can’t control what other people do, all you have to do is to be observant and ready to go with any challenge that come along the way.

2012 was an incredible season for you...starting from indoors then 10k in Palo Alto then in kenyan trials and African games..
I will go with your word “Incredible” I could not have ask for anything better, well may be making the Kenya team to London or may be that will be asking for too much. My indoor momentum started early in December by what I was able to accomplish in my Christmas break training. Going towards NCAA indoor championship, I felt really good but still I was not the fastest woman in the field. I expected to be in the mix for the title. If there is a race that I feel I really deserve to win then it is that race, I took it really hard with 2k to go and I worked for me. That same race becomes a spring-board for my outdoor season.

10k at Palo Alto was an inmportant race...u realized one of the best world times on distances..
Despite the indoor success, I think the 10 at Payton Invitation was my breakthrough race. Going into the race, Olympic A standard was in my mind but my coach had predicted that I was in better shape than that. The race turn out to be a right fit for my training, the pacing was so perfect, the splits were so even that it didn’t feel that we were running a fast race. Towards the end of the race, I felt that I still had something left and decided to go for it. At the end of the race, I was happy I had run such a fast race but at the same time running un-attached meant that I could not get the collegiate record.

What about Kenian trials and African Champs experiences??
Going to Olympic trials in Kenya, my heart and mind was dividend. While my mind was telling me that this was just a way to test the waters. My heart felt that I was in a position to be in the team to London. I have never been scared of a race the way I was scared before the Kenyan 10k trials. At the dressing room I was surrounded by all the big guns, to make even more scaring my locker was between that of Vivian Cheruiyot and that of Linet Masai, going from the locker room to the starting line seems like entire 10k. As for the race itself, I think I lost mental toughness rather than racing itself. The race pace was not that hot but I didn’t stay composed as I normally do in such race. During one of the usual mind race surge, I found myself in no man’s land, running alone behind five women. While I able to close the gap, that took most from me, and I didn’t have enough at the final kick to make the Kenyan team to London. I consider that race as a win for me though, anytime you get a chance put on Kenyan uniform is honorable thing.
It is amazing what a race with big guns can do to someone confidence, coming out of trials and heading to African championships, I felt that I could compete at that level. I went to the championship with mind set of winning. During the race in Porto-Novo Benin, I wanted to win and even attempted to pull away at the bell, but that didn’t happen. In that race I was up against Prisca Jepleting-Cherono (2-times Olympian) and Gladys Cherono (68min half marathon). I took experience from that race and hope to get a chance of wearing the Kenyan uniform again in the near future.

And now?how is the future of Betsy Saina?Indoors??...outdoor season again veri high-level?
I still have indoor and outdoor eligibility with NCAA. I think sometimes people fail to realize how challenging the NCAA season is. To be on the top of the game in this league, you have to be in top shape in November, early March, and June. That is really difficult. My plan is to defend my 5k indoor title then goes with 10k for outdoors. According to my coach, Corey Ihmels I was in sub 31 min 10k shape at the peak during this past cross country. I suddenly feel that I could have done that. As for 5k, my wish is to run a respectable time, if that means 15.10 I will take it. My 2013 goal is to gradually improve my times as I transition to post-collegiate running. I am more comfortable running in track and that I where I intend to concentrate. 

Lisa Uhl back in Iowa..the right training-mate?  Lisa Uhl coming back to Ames has been such a blessing to me. We will be training under the same schedule soon. To have such a successful individual as a training mate is exciting to me. It makes it even sweeter since we are both 10k runners. I hope to learn a lot from her. As for where I will be training, that remain a misery even to myself, though right now am more leaning towards staying here in Ames and training with Coach Corey and Lisa. That could change though.



Watch more video of 2012 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on flotrack.org