Brownlees admit they’re runners at heart

Ahead of the World Triathlon Grand Final London, the Brownlee brothers chat to AW about the cross country circuit and a triathlon/10,000m double at Glasgow 2014

Brownlee brothers

Although fully focused on the triathlon with the World Triathlon Grand Final in London just days away, Alistair Brownlee admits he still enjoys the idea of racing the Commonwealth Games 10,000m and he has not ruled out a triathlon/track double in Glasgow next year.

The Olympic champion impressed the athletics world in April when he ran 28:32.48 in the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in California. It is a time that only two Britons – Mo Farah and Chris Thompson – have beaten this year and is almost a minute quicker than Andrew Lemoncello ran in July to win an admittedly cat-and-mouse UK 10,000m title in Birmingham.

Despite this, the England qualification A standard for the 10,000m in Glasgow is 27:50 while the B standard is 28:10 and the 25-year-old says finding a race where he can attack the 28:10 target might prove too tricky. “I’d love to (run the Commonwealth 10,000m) but I have to qualify so I think realistically it’s going to be hard as I’d maybe need to run about 28:10 to qualify and that won’t be easy,” he told AW.

Both Alistair and younger brother Jonny, the reigning world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, also like the idea of doing the big domestic cross country races this winter, but admit their participation depends on their schedule.

“The triathlon season doesn’t finish for another month or so and then we have a rest so by the time we get going again in training it’s virtually January,” explained Jonny.

“The Inter-Counties is a very tough event and you have to be very fit to do it. So we like to do it when we can, but it depends if it fits in each winter. I certainly did it when I was a kid – right through all the age groups – and I loved it.”

It’s not often triathletes grace the pages of Athletics Weekly, let alone the cover, but both brothers are very clearly accomplished runners in their own right. As such, do the triathlon specialists get a kick out of beating full-time runners? “Not really to be honest,” says Alistair. “To be a top triathlete nowadays you have to be a really good runner.”

Jonny agrees: “I consider myself a runner, too, really.”

» This is an extract from a two-page interview with the Brownlee brothers in the September 12 issue of AW which is available here or digitally here. Alistair and Jonny were speaking ahead of the World Triathlon Grand Final London taking place from September 11-15 as well as the airing of a new one-hour documentary on BT Sport 2 on September 17, a clip of which can be found here.

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