Former fell runner Georgina Outten now has track success in mind

After clocking a personal best of 4:19.01 for 1500m, which placed her fourth on the UK under-20 2014 rankings, former fell running international Georgina Outten claims she is now a “well and truly converted track runner”.

The 18-year-old Birchfield Harrier is in good hands as she is coached by the experienced Bud Baldaro, although on a day-to-day basis she works with Andy Walling and his group of athletes in Bangor.

“I love doing speed work – especially 200m sessions,” explains Georgina, giving further evidence that her days of running up mountains are behind her.

Full of praise for her coach, she says: “Bud is fantastic. He is always really encouraging and patient with me, although I don’t get to see him much as he is based in Birmingham and it costs a lot of money to get there. Bud put me in touch with Andy Walling. We train three times a week and the group is great, there are lots of really talented runners and we all support each other.”

Having represented Wales and placed third in the World Mountain Running Youth Cup last year, Georgina was sad to leave mountain running behind, but due to being nearly 6ft tall, she feels her build is more suited to track.

Her performances this year could be seen to largely justify this decision as the talented teenager became Welsh under-20 1500m champion, was 10th in the UK Championships and European Trials and clocked 4:19.01, which marked an 18-second improvement on her best from last year.

“It was really unexpected to run that time!” she says. “At the start of the track season, Bud set me some target times for 1500m and I was hoping to run 4:24 by the end of the season. I had just been warm-weather training in Spain with Team Walling and felt really good. My asthma wasn’t bothering me and I just went along to Trafford feeling chilled out with no pressure or expectations and I ran 4:20.

“This gave me the confidence to go into the track season with a good time under my belt. I was in a BMC Grand Prix race with Bobby Clay and Amy Griffiths at Sport City when I ran my PB and I just clung on to them for dear life.”

Right now Georgina is focussed on cross country and recently competed at the European Cross Country Championships in Bulgaria where she formed part of Britain’s team gold medal-winning junior women’s squad.

Having had a taste of success this year, Georgina is hungry for more. “My main aim this year is to get my track times down. I’m hoping to improve on my 1500m time, which I think will be my main focus, and I’d also like to try some 800m races.” she says.

Georgina’s passion for the sport is clear and she reveals how running was a kind of saving grace to her in her younger years.

“I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia and nothing really made sense to me until I found running. The only time I ever wanted to go to school was on sports day. I joined the local athletics club when I was seven and have never looked back,” she says. “I am also grateful to my mum for being so supportive.”

You can find further performance stats on Georgina on Power of 10 here.

» Support young athletes via the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, see rpmf.org.uk