Guest blog by NorDan sponsored athlete, Megan Dawson-Farrell
We recently shared a blog about two of our sponsored athletes, Kirsty Gilmour and Meggan Dawson-Farrell visiting our Livingston head office to give a talk to our team about about goal setting and overcoming challenges. We published a blog by Kirsty at the time and our next guest blog is by Meggan.
Meggan Dawson-Farrell is a Scottish wheelchair racer. She holds the Scottish T54 record over all distances from 400m to the marathon and is ranked 12th in the world in 1500m in her classification. She competed for Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and tt the IWAS World Junior Games held in August 2014 at Stoke Mandeville, Meggan won the gold medal in the T54 100m event.
It's been a very busy few months, seeing changes in my training and team.
Training has been on the up and up, the focus is securing a place on team Scotland for the commonwealth games next April in Australia.
Completions started for me early May in London. Testing the domestic field going in to the season. Times were reasonable despite my serious injury (fractured left ribs and torn intercostal muscle) i finishing 2nd in Great Britain.
I had a long, expensive stay in Switzerland May into June as 3 major completions were being held there. First being the Swiss nationals, this was held in Arbon. 2nd and 3rd meets were in luzern (Notwill) these were the Daniela Jutzeler and the IPC Grand Prix. These meets bring the biggest gathering of international athletes from all across the world. It has the largest gathering of wheelchair athletes than any other sporting event. It's amazing seeing other athletes from as far of as Japan, China, America, Thailand etc just to name a few.
The great thing is that competition is fierce. I was pleased with my pushes despite the lack of winter conditioning behind me. After the races i was placed 6th in the commonwealth, this should hopefully see me selected as part of team Scotland. Selection announcement will be in late October 2017.
The events for my class at the games are 1500m and Marathon. With this in mind I really wanted to compete over both distances. This has made training extremely tough over the summer as not only have I had to be competent over the 1500m but also marathon distance too (42k)
The 24th of this month (September) will see me compete in the Berlin marathon, I will be looking to finish in around the 1 hour 55 min or faster. This would see me achieve the A standard for the commonwealth games.
It's been such a busy season racing all over the globe as well as training camps in Switzerland. I'm very fortunate that I am invited to train with the Swiss team and take instruction form one of the best coaches as well as athletes in the world. This is costly but the benefits are greater.
I had a lot of problems with my racing chair over the summer, this wasn't a surprise as its over 4yrs old. In chair years this is pretty good. If you think I'm in it 6 days a week covering around 40-80k a day. The problem is cracks in the wheel receptors. The cracks have caused the clamps to come lose which In turn is allowing my wheels to travel out and get caught in my mud guards. This caused huge problems in several of my major international races this year.
The down side is that I had to order a new chair to be built. I went to Loughborough (England) after returning from an over seas race to be measured and design my new chair. The process from fitting to build takes approximately 3 months. I have had word today to say that it is in final build stage so all going well I will be traveling down to North London to pick it up this weekend. I'm not looking forward to the 6hr drive as I'll be missing valuable training time and my dads singing!!!!, But the possibility of having it before the Berlin marathon on the 24th is to important. I would be devastated if a problem occurred with my old chair during the race and I couldn't finish. The only down side to this is the cost, my new chair is £3050. My mum says that it's all my birthdays/Christmases for the next five years! I'll send a few pictures through once I have it.
Events still to come are of course the Berlin marathon, several road races around Europe topped of with the Dubai marathon this coming January. Hopefully all preparing me for the Commonwealth games.
I was selected by commonwealth games to carry the Queens baton whilst it was on its trip around the world pre games. My leg was Glasgow, taking the baton in to the innovations centre to show to a group of sport delegates. What a great honour!
I will hopefully be giving you an update soon on my new chair, Berlin and training.
Please come along and say hi if any of you are also doing the Berlin marathon, I know it attracts a huge international field of runners.
Yours in sport.