Indoor British Championships debut looms for Norwich athlete Tom Hook

Tom Hook (487) leads the way in the Wymondham 10K on New Year's Day 2015.

Tom Hook (487) leads the way in the Wymondham 10K on New Year's Day 2015. - Credit: Archant

After an excellent 2014, Cringleford athlete Tom Hook is preparing for his first shot at success in the Indoor British Championships.

The 19-year-old was among the top performing under-20 athletes in the country last year and is gearing up for plenty more hard work in 2015.

The City of Norwich Athletics Club member has run the fastest 10km time for an U20 man in the whole country so far this year.

His winning time of 33:21 in the Wymondham 10K on New Year's Day is nine seconds better than any other U20 man has managed yet in 2015, and the 28th best overall in the country.

However that is over a minute slower than his PB of 32:13, recorded at the Wymondham 10K a year earlier, which eventually ranked as the 19th best time for an U20 man in the country last year.

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Hook also ran the 10th fastest 5km time for an U20 man in the UK in 2014, with his PB of 15:13 when finishing fifth in the Lord Mayor's 5K City Centre Classic in Norwich in July – which was also the 114th best time overall in the country.

His other national U20 rankings for 2014 included: second for 5,000m (PB of 14:25.25 – meeting the UK Athletics World Junior Standard), second for 3,000m steeplechase (PB of 9:10.34), third for the mile (PB of 4:09.83) and eighth for 3,000m (PB of 8:18.77).

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'It was pretty good,' the former Easton & Otley College sports student said modestly of his achievements. 'I started off doing 5Ks off the back of the cross country season and got those times early, then started doing 1,500s, well I only did three or four, but I did pretty well.

'I enjoy it (track) more than cross country, I'm more suited to it because I've got quite a long stride.

'I don't really know which event I'm going to primarily focus on in the future. I'm just going to do as much as I can in terms of different events.'

Hook has missed most of the current cross country season because of a plantar fasciitis problem, also known as jogger's heel, but today competes in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Cross Country Championships in Brighton.

After that he will focus on competing in the 1,500m at the Indoor British Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on the weekend of February 14-15.

'I haven't competed indoors before so I was surprised when I got the invite but it should be good,' Hook added. 'I'm practising the 800m next week to get used to the indoors track, because the corners are banked, but I think it's going to be good.

'I went to the Outdoor British Championships last year and took part in the 3K steeplechase, so I expect it will be a similar standard to that.'

Hook is coached by City of Norwich AC's Tim and Pauline Ash and is currently studying sports rehabilitation at St Mary's University in Twickenham.

He recently received a further boost after being awarded a prestigious grant from the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund.

Hook said: 'I am very honoured to have received this award and it will go a long way to aiding me in my ambitions to run for Great Britain at some point in my athletics career.

'I have a busy training schedule with only one rest day a week, so as you imagine I burn through running shoes pretty quickly. The award will help me enormously.'

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