The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of many athletes’ careers, and for 1500m runner Katie Snowden, that is no different. I caught up with Katie to speak to her about her preparation, as well as how her time in Nottingham has helped shape her athletic career so far.
Katie, speaking from her high-altitude training camp in France, found out she qualified for the Olympics at the end of June. “I was so pleased with myself”, she said – despite coming third in the qualifier event which saw only the top two athletes automatically qualify, her performances throughout 2021 were enough to guarantee her a place on the plane.
“Sports days helped massively, and my PE teachers suggested I start looking at competing more seriously”
After joining her local athletics club Herne Hill Harriers when she was 12 years old, Snowden says that secondary school is where she found her real passion for running. “Sports days helped massively, and my PE teachers suggested I start looking at competing more seriously”, a key reason for her joining the Harriers, of which she is still a member aged 27.
On her stint in Nottingham, Katie has very fond memories. “I met so many great people through my course and halls” – she studied Geography and stayed in Rutland Hall, right next to the David Ross Sports Village, which she said helped immensely. “But most of my friends I made through both the athletics societies and BUCS, especially at weekend competitions across the country”. She also fell in love with the city of Nottingham and her natural surroundings, often going on runs in nearby Wollaton Park and along the Nottingham canal.
“As I got older, and competed in more endurance training, I realised that actually the 1500m was perfect for me, and perfectly suited all of my strengths.”
Snowden originally started competing in shorter distances such as the 800m. “As I got older, and competed in more endurance training, I realised that actually the 1500m was perfect for me, and perfectly suited all of my strengths.”
The Tokyo Games will be like no other, especially with zero fans in attendance. Katie knows the impact that spectators have on athletes – she was there on Super Saturday in 2012, one of the best days in British sporting history. “The atmosphere was phenomenal, and that moment will always stick with me”, she says.
Whilst competing in the Olympics is Katie’s greatest achievement so far, she knows that she needs to look forward to the future too, and plan for a life post-athletics. “We have many championships coming up, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, and I definitely want to focus on athletics for the next few years”.
As the nation sits down to watch the biggest sports competition in the world, one of Nottingham’s very own will be there, representing not just England and Team GB, but the entirety of the university and the city of Nottingham. Good luck Katie!
For the full interview with Katie, pick up a copy of Impact Magazine’s next issue, due to be released in September.
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