St Albans runner to compete in 3,000-metre steeplechase
PUBLISHED: 17:46 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:46 18 September 2019
A St Albans runner has been chosen to represent Great Britain in the 2019 Athletics World Championships.
Lizzie Bird will be competing in the 3,000-metre steeplechase in Doha, Qatar on Friday, September 27, which involves jumping over obstacles and running through water ditches.
Having started running at an early age in St Albans, with Herts Phoenix Club and athletics coach George Harrison at St Albans School, this will be Lizzie's first time representing a senior GB team, and is a big milestone in her career.
The 24-year-old athlete has spent a long time gearing up for the competition, and described how the nerves are beginning to set in. She said: "I'm apprehensive, but just trying to enjoy the whole experience. I'm having a breakthrough season and feeling good."
Lizzie will travel to a training camp in Dubai with her new team this month, to prepare for the intense eastern heat, and will train alongside other accomplished athletes.
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She said: "I think it will be mentally challenging to focus on competing, rather than being in awe of my competitors and teammates the whole time!"
In the run-up to the world championships, Lizzie is training daily by running over 40 miles a week, in addition to weights sessions and cross-training, all of which is considered a low total for a long-distance runner.
However it has not all been smooth sailing. After struggling with various injuries, including a stress reaction in her femur, Lizzie was ready to give up on steeplechase in 2017.
After taking time off to recuperate, she has since bounced back in time to qualify for the World Championships.
"I've been able to get through my injuries with a huge amount of support from teammates, coaches, physiotherapists and my family," she said. "Each time I've been injured, I've come out stronger and smarter."
The success continues for Lizzie as she was also selected to compete in Belarus on Tuesday, September 10, representing Europe in the Europe vs. USA competition in Minsk.
You can follow Lizzie's progress and results of the competition on the British Athletics website. She also has a fundraising page where she raises money for refugees at https://milesforrefugees19.everydayhero.com/uk/lizzie-1