Vernon sets sights on  hitting mark at trials

Fareham's Andy Vernon
Fareham's Andy Vernon

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Andy Vernon will decide after the British Trials this weekend in Birmingham if he wants to double up at European Championships.

The Fareham man will be out to gain a 5,000m qualifying time in the midlands, after a disappointing showing at the Meeting De Montreuil European Athletics Classic Permit in Paris on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old already has the 10,000m time, but clocked 13min 56.01sec, way below his personal best of 13:11.50, to finish 16th in the 20-man field.

That was his first 5k of the season as the Aldershot, Farnham and District man aims for the 13.30.30 qualifying mark.

The European Championships takes place in Berlin, Germany next month and Vernon was trying to pinpoint where he went wrong during his post-race analysis

'I really don't know what happened there,' he admitted.

'I was off it right from the start. For the first couple of laps I was 63-second pace. It shouldn't sting me as much as it did.

'My belly wasn't great either, I don't know if that was a factor especially particularly in the last six or seven laps.

'It was just getting worse and worse as the race went on.

'Maybe I'm just going into races training a bit too hard at the moment.

'When you're training for 10k you can't really ease down too much.

'I wanted to come here to get the European qualifier. I wanted to go into the trials to be able to be automatically selected.'

And Vernon will have another qualifying stab in Birmingham where nearly Berlin-bound Chris Thompson and Marc Scott will also be expected in the field.

'I'm good at trying qualifying for the five,' he added.

'I'll see how it goes. I don't know if I'm definitely going to do it at the Europeans if I am selected. My main one is focusing for ten.

'It can be a bonus event but I don't want to go in there to run like that and I don't just want to take someone's place for the sake of me doing it, so I got to weigh up a few things.

'First thing I’ve got to run the qualifying time which I haven't done yet.'

And despite the below par performance in Montreuil, Vernon is happy with his training preparations for this weekend's big trials.

He said: 'Training has been fine. You can't base your whole fitness on one race but you don't lose 27:52 form (10,000m) in three weeks. If anything I've been training harder.'