Stevens called up for England after retaining her title
VICTORY in the 3000m at the Northern Indoor Championships in Sheffield marked the start of a busy spell for Derby athlete Ellie Stevens.
The 28-year-old from Littleover retained her Northern Indoor title in a championship-best nine minutes 40.97 seconds and had come second in the 1500m at the championships the previous day.
Just as last year, she was then told she had been selected to run for England in the annual Gugl Indoor International meeting in Linz, Austria.
In her first appearance in an England vest on the track, Stevens turn in a personal best 9.31.4,1 as she came home second.
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And she will go straight from there to represent her club, Birchfield Harriers, in the European Club Cross Country Championships in Spain.
"Austria is the same competition as last year, so I'm really happy, as I just loved the whole thing," said Stevens.
"The race was brilliant, the stadium was unbelievable and the atmosphere was fantastic, so I'm really pleased to have been selected again.
"I fly out on the 30th, race on the 31st and fly home on the 1st of February – at which point, I need to get myself from Heathrow to Gatwick in an hour to get my flight with the team to Spain for the cross country!"
Stevens, whose career through her early 20s was plagued by injuries and illness, still believes the best is yet to come, as it often is for middle distance runners at her age.
She has a new coach, Trevor Marsay, and is training at Loughborough once a week for strength and speed work.
"Although I was pretty much injury-free in the summer, it was about laying down new foundations with my new coach," she said.
"But, so far, this winter seems to be going well and I'm just looking to build a nice solid base to use for the outdoors."