Athletics News

Calum Johnson: “I had a lot more to give at triathlon”

Calum Johnson: "I had a lot more to give at triathlon"

Two-time Inter-Counties champion reflects on the challenges he faced during his triathlon days as he prepares to take on the World Cross Country Championships

Calum Johnson finds himself as one of the country’s most talented cross-country runners, but he wouldn’t be the athlete he is today if it wasn’t for triathlon.

As a triathlete, he claimed victory in the European Triathlon Cup in Weer 2017 and regularly placed in the top 10 of World Cups. The 29-year-old was a consistent competitor for Great Britain on the international stage.

It was a sport he thanks for his resilience but despite his successes, Johnson found himself feeling “under appreciated” and “unrecognised”.

Reflecting on his journey, the North of England cross-country champion believes he had a lot more to give if it wasn’t for the demotivating battle against the sport.

Moving away from triathlons during lockdown, Johnson is now concentrating on putting on his best performance at the World Cross Country Championships this weekend (March 30).

His triumph in the senior men’s UK Inter-Counties race this year guaranteed his place at the World Cross in Belgrade.

This will be the second time the Gateshead athlete competes for GB this cross-country season, as he finished 23rd at the European Championships.

Johnson will then set his sights on the LA Olympics in 2028 as he hopes to transition to marathons.

AW chats exclusively to Johnson below:

How do you reflect on your Inter-Counties win?

To win it for the second time is pretty special. I think the first time I went to Inter-Counties was when I was 16 and I remember watching the senior race and thinking ‘wow wouldn’t that be amazing to win’.

It really means a lot to me because a lot of effort goes into the training and preparing for these events. I absolutely love club running, I love grassroots and I love the domestic racing scene, especially cross country because the support is always amazing.

How does it feel to represent GB at the World Cross Country Championships?

Any time that I have qualified for a major championships and got the opportunity to put on a GB kit, it always feels amazing. It means a lot to me because sport is my life – triathlon was my life and now running is my life.

I have to pinch myself to to realise what I have achieved, because it’s what I dreamt of as a junior and probably what a lot of people dream of now.

I can’t wait to go out there and soak it all up and enjoy the experience…

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