TEENAGE ATHLETE Adam Howard has followed in the footsteps of double Olympic Games gold medallist Mo Farrah in winning the National Cross-Country Championships.
Adam, who is from Moorside, triumphed at Sunderland in the under-17’s race by a margin of four seconds.
“When I look at the trophy and see that Mo Farrah won it in 1999 and 2000 makes me proud and want to follow him along those lines,” explained the 17-year-old.
Adam’s dream is to compete at the Olympic Games. While Farrar struck gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m, the Oldham and Royton Harriers’ athletic is a 1,500m track specialist.
“My ambition is to find a sponsor so I can become a full-time athlete with my aim to compete in the Olympics,” he continued.
What made the victory in the National Cross-Country Championships even more remarkable was the fact that Adam, who also won the same title at under-15 level, does not consider himself to be fully fit.
He has struggled for the last two years with a knee injury and also being struck down by a debilitating virus.
Adam, who is studying at Hopwood Hall Fitness Academy to be either a gym instructor or personal trainer, said: “I had the knee injury and the virus and things just snowballed and it has been a difficult couple of years.
“I didn’t expect to win in Sunderland and was surprised when I did. The fact I did so when I don’t consider myself fully fit was a massive boost to my confidence.”
If Adam was looking for another lift, the impressive trophy was presented by Steve Cram who was once one of the golden generation of 800m and 1,500m runners in the era of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett.
Adam has been running since the age of 11 and has enjoyed considerable success, both cross country and on the track. He was also a good footballer for Springhead and cricketer for Moorside, but had to give them up as athletics became more intense.
He was won many cross-country championships – Inter-Countries, Northern Counties, English Schools’ and also represented England in the Home Internationals finishing in second place.
And on the track he was victories in the Northern Counties and Nationals as well as a second place in the English Schools at distances varying from 800m to 3,000m.
The former Watersheddings Primary and Countill (Waterhead Academy) pupil is looking forward above anything else to an injury free season on the track something which eluded him in 2012.