Poor planning costs Hannah Brooks in Olympic trials final
HANNAH Brooks says she regrets not winding up the pace earlier after finding herself leading the 1,500m final at the Olympic trials on Sunday evening.
The Caterham athlete, who runs for Crawley Athletics Club, has spent the past 18 months in the United States studying for a masters degree.
Her plans included giving herself the best chance of prospering after finishing her studies at Florida State University.
And now she is aiming to return to the Midlands to her old training group, while finding a job in that region.
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First, however, she could turn out for Crawley this weekend in their second UK Women's League fixture, in Stevenage.
On Saturday, in the first round of the trials, Brooks ran 4 minutes 15.93 seconds to qualify third fastest for Sunday's final.
But the final was much slower and she finished sixth in 4:23.89.
"In retrospect I would definitely have taken the final faster.
"That was my poor planning before the race of not making a decision about what I would do if I found myself in the lead.
"I didn't intend on leading for 1,200m of the final. I just tried to stick in there.
"It was a really slow race.
"That tends to happen when nobody particularly wants to lead and it was quite windy, too."
Having returned to the UK last Wednesday, she said she was "reasonably pleased" with how the trials went.
"I was honestly just thinking reach the final and see what happens," she said.
"I'm still quite a long way off the A standard but I'm going to keep trying for 2016," said Brooks, who also has the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 to aim for.
"I'd say going to America has worked," she added. "It's helped keep me motivated and to keep enjoying it.
"I've improved a fair bit over 1,500m and anything upwards.
"My 5,000m and cross-country have come on, which will help me in terms of giving me extra strength and endurance."
So will she now step up in distance?
Brooks laughed, then said: "That's the question.
"I've been told I'd make a very good 5,000m runner one day, but we will see."
She feels she can "definitely" run under 16 minutes.
In the meantime she could make an On Camp With Kelly race at the Crystal Palace Diamond League meeting in mid-July and a couple of BMC races in England, as well as one in Switzerland.
But she has had a long season already, having begun early – in April in the States.
A rare appearance beckons for Crawley, promoted in the last three seasons.
She said: "I've been watching their results even though I have been away.
"Now I plan to go and compete for them if I can fit it into my schedule."
That schedule is now looking for a Birmingham-based job so she can go back to her old training group.
Club-mate Charlotte Best, from Salfords, finished sixth in the 800m, in 2:05.36.
It was slower than her heat, in which she ran 2:05.05.