Andy Vernon has vowed to not let his Bupa Great South Run disappointment detract from a memorable year.
Double 2014 European championship medal winner Vernon had been expected to be in medal contention on his home course but was hampered by a hamstring injury as he slipped to a 12th-place finish in a time of 48min 53sec.
The Stubbington runner was able to put a difficult day in perspective, though, by reflecting on 5,000m bronze and 10,000m silver medals gathered in Zurich in August.
He said: ‘At the end of the day, I performed where I needed to perform in the summer. Those races went well.
‘My focus isn’t the Great South Run.
‘It’s a great race to do and it’s one that I like doing.
‘But the focus now is on the summer next year so as long as I can stay fit and healthy for then, that is the main thing for me.’
Vernon put his latest injury setback – a proximal hamstring tendinopathy – down to the often-frustrating nature of athletics.
He said: ‘It’s annoying to have to deal with problems that you’ve got but that’s a part of running.
‘If you don’t have any problems, then you probably are not training hard enough.
‘But I’m not super-human – I can’t have a 100-per-cent fit body all the time.
‘Yesterday I probably took it a little bit too far by about mile seven – it was just telling me to slow down a little bit and just get through the race.’
Vernon admitted personal pride had kept him from pulling out of the race as he was met by a partisan Portsmouth crowd.
He added: ‘It’s the hardest thing when so many people come out to support me and I can’t perform.
‘I ran a lot of the race with Italian Daniele Meucci and he must have been hating life because everyone was shouting: Go on Andy!
‘Nobody was giving him too much support – so that was very nice.
‘It’s just a shame I couldn’t finish it off as I’d wanted.’