Suffolk athlete Millar thrives on 'great experience' of running at the European Championships
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 December 2018
Suffolk athlete John (Jack) Millar loved every minute of his first taste of major international competition, at last weekend's European Cross Country Championships, held in Tilburg, Netherlands.
Millar, a member of Ipswich Harriers, recovered from a poor start to finish 28th in the under-23 men’s race, while his Great Britain team clinched the silver team medals behind France.
He was one of two Suffolk runners in action, with Stowmarket’s Emily Moyes also enjoying her big day with 45th spot in the under-23 women’s event – she picked up a bronze team medal with Great Britain finishing third behind Germany and Spain.
Millar is hoping for more of the same over the coming months and years, after returning to Bath University to continue with his studies this week.
“It was a great experience,” enthused Millar, who is a specialist steeplechaser on the track. “I really enjoyed it. The camaraderie amongst the squad was terrific, both before and after the race, even though not everyone ran the race that they had wanted.
“I felt that I had a decent run, although I had a very bad start.
“The whole field went off very hard, which was to be expected, but I fell over a couple of times on the first lap, mainly due to all the jostling, which left me back in 82nd after the first kilometre.
“However, I managed to pick my way through the field for the rest of the race. I was constantly over-taking people, which was good for my confidence, if not my position in the team.
“We all got silver medals, which was a proud moment, although the best thing was the whole atmosphere of the event, and being a part of it. My coach Steve (Hicks) had also travelled over to support me, which was great.
“Now I want to keep up with my running. Four of the six in the British team will still be in the same age group next year, including me, so I’d love to qualify for these championships again next year, when they are being staged in Portugal.
“I plan to do the County Championships next month, and will then be looking towards the National Champs and also the Inter-Counties at Loughborough, which will double up as the World Trials. I’d like to do well in those Trials,” added Millar, who comes from Helmingham and is coached by Hicks at Ipswich Harriers.