MARCH 8th, 2014
Written by Rebecca James
Birchfield Harriers’ rising star Kara Lane put her rough 12 months firmly behind her as she helped England retain the Nihill Shield at the weekend on the Isle of Man.
The 12 year old race walker was victorious in the 2km race at the National Sports Centre in Douglas setting herself a new personal best of 10 minutes 55 seconds in the process.
Kara has struggled over the past year and former women’s coach Beryl Randle said: “she has been very down over the last 12 months as she didn’t do too well in the younger categories. I didn’t know which way she would go”.
Amazingly the youngster turned it around and Beryl added, “the win has done her a power of good.”
The Nihill Shield is a junior competition in memory of Paul Nihill who won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 for the 50km race. Race Walkers compete in age categories from Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 20, the scores are then added together to provide an overall total.
The final score for last weekend was RWA England 38 Ireland 35.
Originally Kara joined the road runners under Keith Holt as a novice. However when she came to the track and saw the race walkers Kara decided that was something she wanted to try.
The youngster said: “I saw some other athletes doing it so I thought I would just take the mickey and do it. Then Mo, who is now my coach, saw me so I tried walking for a week and I’ve done it ever since. I have won nearly all my races so I thought I’d stay with it!”
Kara is surrounded by some of the best people in the race walking industry with vast knowledge to bring the fledgling athlete through the ranks including coach Mo Graham.
Despite being so low last year Lane completed 23,000 steps over a course of 13 races and it is evident that now Lane has her confidence back Mo believes she is going to have a bright future ahead of her.
As she dreams of representing Great Britain at the Olympics in the future Kara added: “Mo was saying I was born with it.”
Ms. Graham said: “If she stays in the sport she can be a very good athlete. Kara is exactly where I want her to be at this age. I don’t let the pressure get to her as she is only 2 and as good as I want her to be.”
Despite her young age Kara is fully focused on race walking and when she is gearing up for a race Mo added: “she goes into a zone on her own and then I know she is ready!”
Kara is next in action this Sunday in the Midland Road Championship at Abbey Park in Leicester and then in a National competition at Forge Valley in Sheffield on 5th April.