While we're sure you'll have had the pleasure of this guy whizzing past you at a race, it's only polite to introduce one of our most successful Machines, master of the Masters, Mr Jason Burgess. Here, he tells of his achievements over the past year, and how he trained to be an age group title holder in 2 championship races.
Coming down from the euphoria of winning the OCR World 40-44 title took a few months, especially after the sheer intensity of training for 12 months in the lead up to Canada. My coach, Dave Owen, suggested ticking over from Oct - Dec with a few outings on cross-country for my then local club Trentham A.C. Once the Christmas celebrations had passed, we got down to serious training in January of this year. I leave all of my running fitness down to Dave's schedules and programmes, which allows me to focus on technical specifics i.e. strength and grip work. The recent weather belies the atrocious weather of the early months of 2018 and it is hard to believe just how sodden and muddy the Staffordshire countryside was in these early training months. I competed in a few local XC events and Birmingham league fixtures in the winter-spring calendar including the County XC champs.
Dave and I picked out a few key OCR events to hone my fitness to be specific to the distance and to the obstacles that I would likely face in Esbjerg, Denmark in the forthcoming European Champs. En route to the champs, I also changed clubs locally to join Buxton A.C. - a club that compliments my event training and performance for Mudstacle Machines. There was, however, one glaring error on my part (not my coach, I have to say!) when I decided after winning Rat Race Dirty Weekend on 12th May to go and double up by entering Nuclear Rush on 19th May. Two big races in two weekends? Bad idea. I soon realised I had not recovered enough, and that it was a rash decision. I was justly beaten by teammate and close friend Dave Rogers.
After licking my wounds, I was soon back to fine tuning all the hard work I had put in since Christmas; with intense track sessions and carefully chosen 5 mile off-road and on road 10k in June. All of this to set me up for the trip to Denmark. When I banged out a set of sub-70 second 400m after a set of 3 x 800m, I think my coach and I knew that the work was done. Thankfully it turned out that despite the metaphorical obstacles met during that 6 months of intense training, we got it right! To concurrently hold both World and European titles was beyond my expectations a year ago and makes me immensely proud.
We can only imagine what he's set his sights on this year!