Hannah Rose Irwin
In the best year of her athletics career, Alex Bell proved her worth on the world stage in Doha and has just been selected to represent GB in the relay at the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon. Bell holds many GB vests to her name as well as a sub-2 minutes 800m time. Alex was kind enough to chat to me and answer some questions I thought you would all find interesting. Thank you Alex!
Did qualifying for the world champs come as a surprise or was it your aim for that season? And how did qualifying feel after your disappointment from the Europeans the year before?
It was my main aim this year to make the team and finally get my hands on a GB vest for track . We specifically delayed the winter season & training as we knew that it was potentially going to be a very long summer season.
The disappointment from the previous year definitely motivated me in the dark cold evenings to make sure that I could be on the team this year. It made me in all a more better athlete for that knock as looking back on my season now, it just shows how if you strongly believe in your own goals and dreams, you can and will make it happen.. keep the resilience!
How does it feel everytime you get the opportunity to put on a GB vest?
It is always an honour as you are in essence carrying the flag for your country and every time you step up on that start line to race you can’t help but feel a sense of pride and belonging.
Running sub-2 at Watford in anyone’s eyes is a breakthrough race. What sort of things come after a breakthrough race like that?
It had been a target of mine for so long to break the barrier and when I smashed it, there was a huge sense of relief and happiness - even more overwhelming that I front ran in the windiest conditions ever! Once you start to see results and accomplish targets, you get a hunger for more and the confidence grows with you on your journey too. Believe in something enough and you’ll see it happen, not always do these things happen overnight, remember great things take time!
How do you cope with the mental side of sport and what do you do to release your mind from running?
I make sure I have a good balance and combination of things going on in my life. I’ve never been a one to just sit and mope around, live, eat, breath and sleep running 24/7.. that’s just not me and I’ll probably go insane! How boring would life be! I actually work through the week and juggle that around my training. I love to be in the outdoors, especially with my overweight silly dog called Ted! I think it’s important to not wholly be so focused on athletics and at a younger age try and be involved as many things as you can. It’s the perfect way to find out loads of interesting things and meet a wide range of people.
What would your dream post race meal be?
Defo a curry with loads of chutney and a banoffie pie to finish too!