Carlisle Olympian Back on Home Soil

Team GB’s gold nosed plane has touched down to jubilant scenes as our Olympian’s have collected their greatest ever medal haul and once again won over the nation’s hearts.

Niall Spence talked to our local Olympic hero Tom Farrell on his life within the sport and what it is like to be back on home soil.

Runner, Tom recently represented Great Britain in the 5000m heats alongside household name Mo Farah. Although often in the United States with his team Oregon Track Club Elite, he is now enjoying some well earned downtime in his home city of Carlisle.

Tom said: “The reception back home has been excellent, I haven’t met up with that many people just yet apart from my close friends and family but I’ve had loads of nice messages from people on social media. I had a chance to meet some children from Stone Eden Nursery School in Carlisle and they were the ones who kind of welcomed me home and gave me a really positive response; even though all they knew was that I had been to the Olympics and I had been on the TV. Everyone has given me a really positive response and a few people have been giving me a slap across the face and telling me not to be disappointed with my performance and to remember that I got to perform at the Olympics.”

Both of Tom’s parents used to be athletes. His father David was a steeplechaser and his mother Jennifer was a high jumper. His parents now own and run Stone Eden Nursery School in the city.

Tom said: “I grew up on a red surface; I spent a lot of time on the track as a kid. My mum and dad were both involved with the Border Harriers and when I was about nine or ten I started training a bit more seriously with the Border Harriers and it all snowballed from there.“

One of the aims of the Olympic Games is to encourage young people to take up sport. Tom believes that a love for the sport is the key for any aspiring young Olympians out there.

Tom claims: “It is all about enjoyment. You have to enjoy the sport. We only do this sport for the enjoyment. You need to decide early that it is what you want to do and then you need to be dedicated, extremely patient and prepared for any setbacks as they only make you stronger as a person and an athlete. It is important to realise that it isn’t always a smooth road.”

Speaking about the best part of his life as a runner Tom said: “Being able to do what I love as a job means the world to me. I’ve made a lot of friends in the sport, it is fantastic being able to meet new people from all over the world, and you make a lot of friends but when you’re all on the starting line together that goes out the window. It’s a dog eat dog world.

“The hardest part is the amount of hours you have to put in. it really hurts some days but you just have to battle through it. I’m weird like that though, I actually enjoy the training as well as the competitions.

“It is hard though getting up on a Monday morning in the middle of winter knowing you have just put over 100 miles in last week and trying to tell your body that you’re going to do it all again. My body breaks some mornings but I just grab my coffee, get out the door and after a couple of miles it starts responding again.”

Looking to the future Tom is going to continue with the sport he loves looking towards the next Olympic Games in 2020.

Tom said: “Tokyo is definitely on the horizon but that really is a long term goal – although looking back at how quick the last four years since London has gone it will be probably come round sooner than I expect.  My short term goal is to qualify and compete in the World Championships in London in 2017.  I competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow back in 2014 and that was pretty special but to compete on a World Championship level representing my country in London will be something else.”

“Being able to do what I love as a job means the world to me”.

He continued: “I’m always massively proud to represent my country whenever I race and to compete and represent Great Britain on the world stage is something that really honours me. I’m lucky enough to be one of those people that people can watch from home and feel proud to be British. It’s such a huge honour.”


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