Danielle Carruthers: The speedway is very famous but no one knows who we are
On The Road To 2012: Postcard from Daytona
Sunday 19 February 2012
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.
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