ATHLETICS: Milestone triumph for Tromans

GLYN TROMANS is a good advertisement for cardiac surgery. Since undergoing two operations in 1996 to eradicate an extra valve in his heart, the Coventry Godiva runner has made what he describes as a "major breakthrough", and on Saturday he picked up his first British title to earn himself a place at next month's World Cross-Country Championships in Belfast.

The 29-year-old Tromans ran clear of almost 300 other athletes on an undulating course at Wollaton Park, Nottingham to win the Reebok Inter- Counties Championship which served as a trial for the world event in Northern Ireland on 27-28 March.

Behind him, Andrew Pearson and Dominic Bannister claimed the other two automatic qualifying places to form half of a team that will be completed with discretionary choices and announced today.

Britain's leading cross-country runners, Paula Radcliffe and Jon Brown, chose to miss the trials in order to prepare on the other side of the Atlantic. But Tromans, one of four new champions the trials produced, would not have missed the event for, well, the world.

"I felt really good out there today," he said. "I came here knowing I was going to win, even if some others didn't expect it." One of the main reasons for his confidence was the extra time he has had to devote himself to training, having given up his job last September as a lecturer in marketing at a further education college.

"It has made all the difference," he said. "It means I don't have to get up early every morning and fit sessions in around work." Lottery funding has enabled him to maintain his pursuit of a potential that was compromised for most of the Nineties by his heart condition.

"I had the problem since 1991, although I only had it diagnosed three weeks before the first operation," he said. "When I was out running, four or five times a week I would have to stop and recover from oxygen debt, because my heart rate would go from around 140 a minute to 220 or 230 within a couple of seconds.

"It could happen at any time. It didn't matter how hard I was running. The only thing I could do was to lie down where I was - on the track, or at the roadside - and wait for it to pass. It was more scary for my family a lot of the time, because I would be late coming back from runs while I waited for my heart rate to stabilise." Two minutes before his operation, it got scary for Tromans too as he was asked to sign a disclaimer form giving the surgeon the right to put in a pacemaker in the event of any problem. "They had to do a welding job to close the extra valve up and it was in the centre of the heart, so if they had burned too deep there might have been permanent damage," he said.

Less than a year after his second operation, he qualified for the World Cross-Country Championships with fourth place in the trials, and in last year's world event at Marrakesh he was the top British finisher, in 38th place.

Now he returns - as Warwickshire's first inter-counties champion since the 1970 Commonwealth 10,000m bronze medallist, Dick Taylor, who retains his links with Coventry Godiva and was present in the early spring sunshine to see Tromans - who trains with Taylor's son, Richard - earn his gold.

Tromans needs to be one of the top 10 European finishers in Belfast to maintain his current level of Lottery funding, but the pounds 2,000 he received as runner-up in the Reebok Cross-Country Challenge, and an extra pounds 1,000 as winner of the Puma Road Rankings, will have helped with the preparation costs.

In the women's 8km event, Angela Mudge produced a strong, front-running display which won her a first British title - that is, if you do not count hill running.

Mudge, a 27-year-old adopted Scot who is working on a PhD in chemistry at Edinburgh University, has twice been British hill-running champion, but her victory on Saturday, ahead of Tara Kryzwicki - daughter of the former West Bromwich Albion and Wales winger Dick Kryzwicki - and Lucy Wright surprised everyone, including herself.

Last month, after taking part in a cross-country race within the grounds of Stormont Castle, she was not included in a group of 35 likely British contenders who were shown around the world championship course in another part of Belfast. Instead, she went for a two-hour training run.

The inclusion of shorter races at the world championships offered opportunity to two other new champions, Helen Pattinson and Dave Heath, who won the 4km events to earn their Belfast trips.

Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture