3000 m. in the European Cup

This weekend I raced the 3000 meter in the European Cup at the Nadderud Stadium in Norway. The field was very strong with Mouhrit, ex.Marrocco now Belgium (7.32/12.58) who won the World Cross Country Championships this spring and Diaz of Spain, a…

3.31 1500 meter runner. The race started very slow. I had discussed with one of my close advisors, Per Halle, before the race about race tactics. We agreed on staying behind and relaxing up to the 1800 meter mark, and then gradually build up for a 400 m. sprint finish. This tactic worked perfect. With 1400 meter to go I advanced to 2nd place and with 1200 I took the lead. The pace then gradually got faster the next two laps, with lap times dropping from 66 to 61 and 60. With one lap to go, Diaz and Mouhrit was still there. Diaz kicked hard with 200 meter to go and I tried to go with him. Mouhrit did the same. Diaz got a few meters when he passed me, and it was difficult to close that gap. But when I saw Mouhrit coming on my shoulder I realized that this was a chance to beat a great runner. So I kept on pushing and kicking down the straightaway and finished 8/100 of a second in front of Mouhrit with a 8.02 for second place. The last 1500 meters was right around 3.44. I was very happy with it because such a tactical affair is something I am not used to. Usually I have to run as hard as I can the whole race just to keep up. I learned a great deal from it, and it was another experience that will help me run well in a tactical race in Sydney.