After injury, the British half-marathon champion has switched her focus to the track for Rio before returning to the roads in the autumn
Following an injury sustained in Frankfurt last year, Jess Coulson has switched her focus to the track for the Rio Olympics before returning to the roads in the autumn.
The British half-marathon champion had been targeting a place in the GB team for the 26.2-mile event this summer, and was due to be racing in London this month, but now a 10,000m Rio place is her aim.
She’s not ruling out the roads completely this year, though, as the 25-year-old has recently been announced for the inaugural Manchester Half Marathon this autumn.
Taking place on Sunday October 16, the new event starts and finishes at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
“It’s a really big year for me,” said Coulson. “And the Manchester Half Marathon is a big part of my plans.”
Coulson, who is a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University, added: “Manchester is such a great city and I have been here most of my life so I would love to come home with a win.”
Last year’s success at the Cardiff Half Marathon, which doubled up as the British Championships for the 13.1- mile event, brought Coulson a notable career highlight. Also in 2015, the Stockport Harrier secured another victory at the English 10,000m Championships.
However, a rollercoaster 12 months also included that season-ending foot injury during the Frankfurt Marathon as Coulson was poised to gain the Rio qualification standard.
She passed halfway in 74:24 but foot pain, which she later found out was a plantar fascia tear, caused her to pull out at 32km.
“My main focus at the moment is trying to qualify for Rio,” said Coulson, who won the European Cross Country Championships under-23 title in 2012.
“I was hoping to make the marathon team but I need to concentrate on the shorter distances for now. That’s why I am aiming for the 10,000m trials at Highgate in May.”
Coulson’s injury in Frankfurt ultimately led to her being unable to take a place at last month’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, but a ticket to Rio would be ample compensation.
“The Olympic 10km trial is on May 21 and the top two will get selected if you have done the time,” said Coulson, who will he aiming for sub-32:15.
“There’s 10 or 20 girls who are capable of getting up there so it will be anyone’s race on the day. It won’t be easy but if everything goes to plan I will be in the mix.”
Further information on the Manchester Half Marathon, for which entry is now open, can be found at www.manchesterhalfmarathon.com.