Grant is a local boy who has been into running since he was little. He talks to Sundried about how he overcomes setbacks and how he takes inspiration from his coaches.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been into sport from a very young age, where I played football from the age of 8. I started athletics when I was 14 years old and ended up juggling the athletics with playing football. By the age of 16 I had to make a decision whether I wanted to pursue a career in either football or athletics, so I decided to take the route of athletics and started to concentrate solely on running.
What was your best race to date?
My best race to date has to be back in 2014 in the Essex Championship 5000m. In previous years I had finished around 6th or 7th place, but this year was going very well for me and training and racing were all coming together. I remember the conditions on the day were awful, very strong winds and rain so the thought of times went out the window and it was a case of trying to go for the win. I managed to stay with the leaders throughout each lap of the track and with about 4 laps to go it came down to 3 of us. I felt good and was just thinking to myself, "just sit in and hang on for as long as you can". Coming round with 450m to go I hit the front and kicked for home to try and get rid of the opposition. I managed to make a gap of about 5-10 metres then managed to hold on and get the win which I was over the moon about. I crossed the line and the clock said 15:44 which was an eight second PB and something I did not expect in those conditions.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
My biggest racing disaster came in January 2016 in the Essex Cross Country Championships, I had the best winter season of my life and I finished 1st in the Essex League overall standings so going into the championships I had confidence that I could possibly get a medal, if not win. The race did not go to plan at all and I think I put too much pressure on myself and I ended up finishing 11th and was extremely angry with myself.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I overcome set backs by thinking about the bigger picture. Sometimes a race doesn't go your way but there are plenty of races throughout the season, and I take a lot of advice from my coach who has been there and done it in the running world which is a good thing for me mentally.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
The best bit of advice I wish I got told before I started competing is to listen to your body. If you have a little niggle or injury then it doesn't hurt to take a few days off to recover; there are many times when I have ran through niggles which then leads to bigger injuries which keep you out for even longer.
What are your training goals now?
My goal for 2017 is to get some very good training in leading up to this cross country season starting in October. I have had a bit of time out of the sport as I lost my motivation but I have now found my love for it again and looking to come back stronger than I was before.
Who do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from my coaches. My coach Nick Wetheridge was an international runner in his time and competed in the world half marathon championships and has run some very good times. Also Eamonn Martin who coaches us as well; Eamonn was the last British male winner of the London Marathon with a time of 2:10.