Danielle Carruthers: The speedway is very famous but no one knows who we are

On The Road To 2012: Postcard from Daytona

My training group is based in Daytona Beach, Florida. It's the ideal place for training. It's very quiet, very small. We train at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University there.

There are 14 of us – a couple of Europeans and the rest are Americans. My coach is Rana Reider, who also coaches Shara Proctor on the British team.

The track isn't right near the beach. It's a five to 10-minute drive from Daytona Speedway, the home of the Daytona 500. When the cars are practising and racing you can hear them going brum, brum, brum all day long.

I haven't been to see the race yet. It's around Thanksgiving time. I could not believe how many people came for that. This is a very serious thing for them, the car thing – way more than I ever imagined.

I went to college in Indiana, where they have the Indy 500, and I've been there a little bit for that but this is way bigger. It just takes over Daytona.

Car racing is huge in the United States, unlike track and field. I won a silver medal in the 100m hurdles at the World Championships in Daegu last summer but I get zero attention. People have no idea about me.

It's funny. I get a lot of people on my Facebook page saying things like: "Well done, great job." But when I walk down the street no one's going to say: "Oh, there's Danielle Carruthers, world silver medallist."

It's not just me. It's the same for everyone. We just accept that's the way it is for track and field in the States. We have other sports that take precedence: football, baseball, basketball. Track and field is a small interest sport in the US.

My actual home town is Paducah. It's a really small town in south-western Kentucky. That's a tri-state area, where three states meet. You can get to Illinois in five minutes, Missouri in 30 minutes and Tennessee in an hour.

The town is based on the Ohio-Tennessee River. The most famous thing we have going on in Paducah is our quilts. People love quilting. I do a little bit of crocheting myself. My grandmother makes really beautiful quilts. She's made some for my mom, she's made some for the grandkids and now she's working on them for the great-grandchildren.

I'm the only one of my family without any children yet and she made a quilt for my child and put it away, which is kind of like a hint that you're taking too long.

But before I even think about anything like that, there's the Olympics this summer in London.

Sally Pearson of Australia won the world title in Daegu in a championship record time of 12.28sec.

The hurdles is perhaps the one event where you can be in the perfect shape – the greatest shape of your life – but things can still go wrong.

Maybe you get lazy with the lead leg or the trail leg is thrown just a little bit off. You can be focused and then all of a sudden the race is over.

That's just the reality of the women's 100m hurdles – and the men's 110m hurdles. It's based on getting over 10 obstacles and running fast at the same time.

I've done it myself. I've said: "Oh, if I hadn't hit that hurdle I would have run fast." But the reality is: the name of the game is not to hit the hurdles.

So don't hit the hurdle, run fast, and you win. If you do hit the hurdle and mess it up, then the best person won – because they didn't mess it up. That's how you have to look at it.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine