Letter from America - Dan Watts

PUBLISHED: 11:30 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

IT has been a busy holiday period for March athlete Dan Watts. As he prepares to fly back to the University of Oklahoma, Dan reflects on his recent performances. MY first priority was the European Cross Country Trials and I travelled back to England to c

IT has been a busy holiday period for March athlete Dan Watts. As he prepares to fly back to the University of Oklahoma, Dan reflects on his recent performances.

MY first priority was the European Cross Country Trials and I travelled back to England to compete in Liverpool at the end of November.

The Great Britain team consists of six people and so the runners placed second to seventh behind race winner Moomen Geele were selected.

I started well and went out with the leaders but my legs gave way in the final kilometre and I ended up finishing ninth, 10 seconds from that crucial seventh place.

I think I may have been suffering from jet lag as I only had 24 hours or so to adjust to the time difference.

I was then back on a plane to return to Oklahoma to take my final exams for the semester. Next year, I will be studying English composition, American history, statistics and speech.

After the European trials I was selected to run in Belgium for the Southern Region team in the Lotto Iris Cup in mid December.

Britain took a few teams to compete in this European cross-country league event and I really learned from my mistakes in Liverpool.

I went out much easier and steadily worked my way through to finish second, outsprinting England team member, Adam Hickey, in the final stages.

It was nice to beat Adam and it was revenge for the AAA under-20 3k at Crystal Palace last year when he took gold from me in similar fashion.

Andy Vernon, European silver medalist the week before, was the clear winner finishing 55 seconds ahead of me.

I wasn't as affected with jet lag as I landed on the Saturday morning and travelled to Belgium to race on the Sunday. I tried not to think about adjusting to time differences and just caught up on as much sleep as possible.

I have had a great Christmas and it was brilliant to see my girlfriend Jo, friends and family again but I return to the United States on Sunday.

I will be competing in indoor races now, mainly at 3k but also preparing to set a fast time outdoor 5k time. The university team will be travelling across the country to compete and I can't wait!

I hope you all had a great holiday and I wish everyone all the best for 2006.

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