UK Athletics have finally published their qualification criteria for this year's World 24 hr Championships. It's near the bottom of this page on their website.
Basically athletes should achieve the required standard between 1 May 2010 and 31 May 2012 and those all important standards are:
Men - A standard ... 238 km (147.9 miles)
Men - team standard ... 230 km (142.9 miles)
Women - A standard ... 214 km (133.0 miles)
Women - team standard ... 204 km (126.8 miles)
Right, that's one less thing for me to worry about. I ran further than 238 km when winning the race in Perth back in September 2010.
So, apart from relief, what are my initial thoughts ?
1 - the men's standards have risen quite a lot since last time. They were 236 km and 225 km (146.6 and 139.8 miles).
2 - I don't have the figures to hand but I think the women's standards have fallen by a single kilometre.
3 - Runners without the necessary standard have only 34 days to make the grade. I'm guessing that there will be about 8 or 9 European races in May in which to do that ... but how many have an IAU label ? [two I think]. And how many still have places available ?
4 - By way of contrast, the UK qualifying standard for the Olympic marathon was announced back in summer 2011 with the final date to achieve the standard being 22 April 2012. That's about 8 or 9 months and probably quite a few marathons to choose from in which to do the business.
5 - Oh well ... I guess that until we have 24 hr races in the Olympic and/or Commonwealth Games they'll always be seen as not quite as important even though we train just as hard (if not harder) ... grumble, grumble, grumble.
6 - Four men and two women have the A standard. In date order they are: Lizzy Hawker, John Pares, myself, Emily Gelder, Richard Quennell and Jim Rogers. Also, Jen Salter, Pat Robbins, Sharon Law, Marie Doke, Debbie Martin-Consani and Angie Sadler have the team standard.
There are seven women in that list and as there'll be a maximum of six men and six women going to Katowiche at least one of them will be staying at home unfortunately.
So, there it is. A bit late I think but at least I have the necessary standard and now it's down to the selectors who meet at the beginning of June and announce the team on Tuesday the 19th.
As a final point it would appear that in order to get the A standard for the 2013 World Championships I would have to break my pb sometime this year. I know I can do that.