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What did Andy Turner get up to in February?
Date: 6/3/2007

Andy  and Jasmin
Well, this month has definately not been as exotic as last month, no Africa, no sun and my tan has definitely faded to a pastie white colour.  It was really nice coming home from South Africa, I got to see my girls who I'd missed loads. Jasmin told me she missed me then about 2 seconds later forgot I was there and got back to her Dora the Explorer cartoon. Carmen on the other hand is only 4 months old and didn't take her eyes off me, she gave out a big smile and a little squeaky noise which I reckon was baby for "hello daddy".

A couple of days after getting back home me and my girlfriend decided to take the nippers to the zoo. As I said in my last diary, I love animals especially snakes and lions, so decided to go with them after training.

Andy at the zoo
As we were walking we heard an almighty roar and then as we turned the corner there was a great big lion pacing up and down and roaring like there was no tomorrow. It turns out his girlfriend had recently died and all he had done since was walk up and down the same path and roar, it was really sad.   In the next enclosure there was a big family of tigers who had just had 3 cubs. They were brilliant, they just kept running up and jumping on their mum then turning around and giving the daddy tiger a smack before running off to hide, then they would turn on each other and have scraps all day, brilliant!!
Jasmins favourite animals were the spider  monkeys, these are small and full of energy and love playing. Jas told me that she wanted a spider monkey in her garden. Nice idea but can't see it happening.

The social side of life this month hasn't been very exciting to be honest. This month is all about preparing for the indoor season. My first race in Glasgow went pretty well. I won the race and beat a pretty decent field so things were definitely on the right track.  A week later I raced in Prague in the Czech Republic.  Training had been going really well and I really expected to run a very quick time. I won my heat in 7.68 which was almost half a second quicker than the guy who came 2nd. In the final an hour later I won again in 7.63, I was actually annoyed as me and the guy that came second collided over a barrier which completely messed up my rhythm. These things happen in hurdles so you just have to forget it and move on to the next race.

We had our European Championship Trials the week later so you have to be on top form there to gain selection for the Europeans which take place on March 2-4th.   On the day of the race I felt really relaxed, I knew I was in good shape but I needed to lay down a good time to show the rest of Europe that I'm in shape and they will need to run very quick to beat me.  I was in the 1st heat and a little nervous but more confident than anything.  I went on to win the heat in a new personal best time of 7.59. 

I'm never happy with my races as I feel something could always be better and again I thought this race should've been faster.  I saved that aggression and said to myself that I'd save it for the Final.  To make the European Champs I had to come in the top 2, I knew I should win the race but its definitely easier said than done. I felt real good when the starter said "to your marks", I did my usual routine getting into the starting blocks. "set", I'm like a coiled spring ready to fire, "bang" I'm off,  I start o.k but feel the guy next to me, we clear the second hurdle at the same time then I change gear and begin to move ahead of him, I'm winning and winning by a good margin. I cross the line and look at the clock, 7.55!!! A new personal best, the quickest in Europe and 3rd in the World at the time. The next guy was 7.76 so I'd won by more than 2 metres, a good days work I thought. I did a lap of honour which was live on t.v straight after the race, as I was jogging I stubbed my toe into the track and nearly fell over......what an idiot, I felt soooooo stupid. My friends all text me after the race and not one of them said welldone, all they sent was abuse about the trip.

My next race was going to be a big challenge. It was in Birmingham and it was a big grand prix with the best athletes in the world. I knew I could win the race and I really wanted to do it infront of a home crowd. I was very nervous for this race as the Europeans were getting ever closer and I wanted to show the world that I'm a contender for the Gold.  I'm normally a very disciplined athlete but for some reason I lost my discipline at the start of the race and foolishly I false started meaning I was disqualified.  I was so gutted but amazingly the 10,000 strong crowd all clapped  to show they were behind me. I felt like I'd let them down....a mistake I won't be making again.

I'm not a big fan of the 60 metre hurdles, we normally run 110 metres which gives you a bit longer if you make a mistake. I have 7 and a half seconds to get it right with no mistakes.  If I do this then I know I can be victorious at the European Championships.  I'm normally a very confident athlete who believes 100% in my own ability.  The false start in Birmingham rocked my confidence a little but I believe everything happens for a reason.  Maybe I wasn't supposed to run quick there on that day, maybe when I'm back there in just over a weeks time it will be my turn to run quick, who knows?

All I know is that when I get on the start line I have a chance to do something special and the people next to me need to run out of their skins because I aim to go home with the Gold.

Andy and Jasmin with hurdles
Jasmin told me she wanted a gold medal, I asked if silver would do and she shouted "no way". I'll try not to disappoint her, thing is though, Jasmin loves to wear my medals but now they have all got teeth marks all over and greasy finger stains on them, oh well, if it keeps her happy and I get some peace and quiet then she can play with them all day.

Thanks for reading and hopefully next time I write to you I'll be crowned the
European 60 meter hurdles champion......sounds nice eh!

Come back soon to find out how Andy got on in the European Indoor Championships.

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