“If the Euros do go ahead, I’ll be ready for them” – Travers

By Stephen Leonard

JOHN Travers is, by nature, a positive person and that optimistic outlook on life is serving him well at a time when the Covid-19 threat is seriously curtailing the progress of athletes all around the world.

While also meeting the demands of raising a young family, the Donore Harriers star believes that he could emerge from these challenging times in a better position than most competitors.

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Donore Harriers’ John Travers has managed to keep much of his training intact in the hope of contesting the Europeans

Indeed, having moved to Sligo three years ago, the Drimnagh man is benefiting from convenient local access to the Coillte Forest, Union Wood from his home in Ballysadare which allows him to maintain a good level of training.

“The set-up here really suits me a lot better and my training hasn’t really been affected” said the reigning National Senior 3000m champion.

“Because we live just right beside a Coillte forest, I’m still able to get out for my runs. The way I see it is that I’m storing up money in the bank and I’ll be able to withdraw it when I need to.

“The Europeans are scheduled for Paris in August. I don’t think they’ll go ahead. I think the next time we’ll see any [competitive] action will be cross country. But if the Europeans do go ahead, I’ll be ready for them.

“And I think that competitions being cancelled could be good in a way because usually you’re pushing your body to be ready for them” he told The Echo.

Travers, who is no stranger to the European stage, harbours the ambition of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games over 5000m and sees the accumulation of sufficient points and the National title as a means to fulfilling that dream.

He has contested one European Outdoor Championship and travelled to no less than four European Indoors, running 1500m in all of them and finishing seventh back in 2015.

He was turning in some very impressive times just before Athletics Ireland called time on this season because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Crossing the line in eight minutes flat, he topped the podium in the National Senior 3000m Championships for the third year in succession.

And the manner of his victory will have been even more encouraging as he covered the final 200m in under 28 seconds the day after he clocked 8.20 in the heats.

What’s more, just six 200m runs in the days leading up to the championships, had accounted for his only track work since back in July.

Having chalked up a 5km PB of 13.28 in last year’s IFAM Meet in Belgium, Travers was looking forward to competing in this year’s event next month, but that has since been cancelled.

Plenty more competitors are sure to go the same way, but Travers continues to focus on the positives.

“I’ve always been a glass half-full person and we’ve just got to get on with it and manage as best we can” he said.

“The postponement of the Olympics could probably be a good thing for me. I won’t be able to go to any training camps with two young kids at home.

“I think it will affect more the young athletes and the old athletes because young athletes just want to run quick times and older athletes may be looking at retirement.

“Hopefully I’ll be even stronger next year and perhaps have a really good indoor stint and get my points up” he said.

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