Jed gets a taste of the big time

U20 400/800m specialist Jed Hayes got a real taste for Championship racing following his recent PB performance in the Oxford BMC Grand Prix meeting. Competing for Northants County in the combined CAU Inter-Counties/ AAA National Championships at Bedford International track Jed put in a fantastic performance in his heat to secure qualification to his first National Championship final.

Spurred on by many of the KTH Middle Distance squad colleagues watching his race live on the big screen in the clubhouse during the KTH 24 Hour Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, Jed ran a magnificent heat to finish in a comfortable 2nd automatic qualifying slot with a time just outside his PB of 1:55.23.

Jed ran a great tactical race choosing to sit in the pack after 200m and ensuring he was ready for any injection of pace. It was Jed himself who decided to inject some speed as he kicked with 300m to go and put some distance between himself and the chasing pack, and with only the first two to qualify it was a sensible tactic. Jed held the lead to the home straight where he controlled the race and eased down to finish just behind senior men’s Basingstoke & Mid Hants athlete Tom Syckelmoore.

The final, which was held in the same day just a few hours after the heats, proved to be a real test of Jed’s endurance, and perhaps his relative lack of years in the sport caught up with him as he struggled to maintain the pace in a race won well within his range. Jed was disappointed to finish in 8th place but declared “his legs had gone during the warm up”, and as soon as the first 200m had been completed he “feared the worst”. None the less, it was a fantastic achievement to make a national Championship final at his first attempt and Jed was “very happy to have been selected to represent Northants County and to make the final” and the experience will be invaluable for him going forward.

Jed now switches his attention to running a fast time in probably his final 800m of the campaign at Watford in a week’s time.

Well Done Jed