New national champ is Race by name and nature

Worksop Harrier Emily Race
Worksop Harrier Emily Race

With the surname Race, it’s no surprise that Worksop’s newest national athletics champion is highly competitive in everything she does.

Emily Race, who recently took gold at the England Athletics Championships, has only been involved in the sport for five years.

Having excelled in her primary school sports day, the headteacher recommended that parents Mark and Carol take her to Worksop Harriers to benefit from proper coaching.

And the youngster has flourished ever since, often stealing the headlines with her performances at regional events, wearing the green vest of the Harriers.

Mum Carol said: “She always liked running.

“It was when she was at the top end of the Under 13s age group that it was clear she was quite good, when she was 12.

“She was winning races, and on the powerof10 website you can see the big list of her performances and achievements.”

Having come through the Harriers junior system, with one-to-one tuition from coach Peter Fendley, Race has found success in a number of disciplines.

She trains three times a week, at Worksop College, Manton Athletic Club and Spinkhill, and sometimes attends indoor sessions at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The Harriers have been instrumental in her development.

“They’re good, very friendly, not pushy.

“She’s moving more into the senior section now because she will be Under 17 next year and competing with older group.

“Peter Fendley spends a lot of time with her, giving her personal training.

And the 14-year-old takes it all very seriously.

“On race days she’s quite tense, she gets a bit angry,” said Carol.

“She’s very competitive, in everything, school and the lot.

“When we go on holiday she looks for a track so she can keep up the training, and if there is one she’ll be trying to get on it.”

Although she’s finding her talent especially lends itself to one discipline, her enjoyment comes elsewhere.

“Emily likes the high jump, and just straight sprinting - but her best event is probably the hurdles.

“I think because she does that all the time she gets a bit fed up, and enjoys the others ones a bit more.”

Her most recent success came at Bedford International Stadium, where she took two golds at the Under 15s combined events England Athletics Championships.

“We went with her, it was an individually entered thing, and we stayed over night.

“I can’t look sometimes, especially when she’s doing the high jump, but she managed to keep her head above water and win it.

Although Race is keeping a level head about her prospects in the sport, there are more big championships on the horizon and goals she would like to achieve.

Her mum explained: “When she started, she said at the beginning that we were aiming high.

“As she gets older she’s got more level headed about it and we’ll just see how she does.

“We’ve got another national next Sunday at Bedford, the age group national finals, and then the English Schools combined events.

“It would be nice if she could do an event for the Midlands, the Sainsbury’s Games or the Combined Games against Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”