Athletics News

Hannah Nuttall pays tribute to dad as she targets Olympics

Hannah Nuttall pays tribute to dad as she targets Olympics

The 26-year-old’s motivation to nail the Olympic 5000m qualifying standard comes from deep within

Hannah Nutall’s primary focus this season is to represent Great Britain at the Paris Olympics.

To do that she’ll firstly need to run the Olympic 5000m qualifying standard of 14:52.00. She’s currently just over 11 seconds off the mark but that’s a whole lot closer than Nuttall was last season.

At the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston (February 9), Nuttall clocked an outright 5000m personal best of 15:03.39. The fact that she took 13 seconds off her previous best (15:16.92) over the distance was one thing but it was also indoors, which will excite Nuttall ahead of the outdoor track season.

Another part of Nuttall’s self-belief will also come from the experience she will have gained at the World Indoors, finishing 12th in the 3000m final. Nuttall describes that as a ‘learning curve’ and states that racing in front of such a raucous British crowd makes more hungry ahead of the summer.

However, Nuttall’s greatest impulse to make the Olympics comes from something deep within. Not associated with a single training session or race but motivation that’s derived from grief.

Last November, her dad John Nuttall suddenly passed away from a heart attack. It shocked the athletics world and Nuttall received hundreds of supportive comments on Instagram when she posted a selfie of herself and dad John.

Nuttall is the first to say that processing the grief has been difficult but that her dad’s abiding faith she’d  make the Paris Olympics is a seismic driving force this season.

Next up for Nuttall is this weekend’s Podium Festival (March 16), where she test herself out in a 1km time trial.

AW chats exclusively to Nuttall below:

How do you reflect on your personal bests in Boston and, more generally, the start to the 2024 season? 

I was actually quite disappointed with my first race in Boston where I ran 8:45 and I wanted a bit quicker than that. The race was just a bit too quick, the girls went off and they weren’t messing around. I think they ended up around 8:25. I wasn’t quite there to be able to hang on and I did all I could on the day.

My next goal was to go for the 5000m race at the BU race the week afterwards. That was the main goal and aim for the indoor season and getting closer to 15 minutes. I was really happy that I ran 15:03. My training in Flagstaff was a bit up and down. I was trying to increase…

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