It has confirmed to be a 12 months of two very totally different halves for Charlotte Purdue.
It began with despair, the marathon runner saying she was “thrown below a bus” when she was omitted from the Nice Britain squad for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics, regardless of ticking off the required qualification time.
However 2021 is ending on a excessive, smashing her private greatest by greater than two minutes on the London Marathon to cement her place because the third-fastest British girl in historical past, following victory on the Large Half in August and a third-place end on the Nice North Run.
“Adversity is barely the start,” Purdue wrote on Instagram on Sunday. The 30-year-old is wanting ahead – the previous is up to now.
“I positively really feel I can put it behind me,” she advised BBC Sport on Monday – her first full relaxation day of 2021. “If I did not have London it will have been rather a lot more durable as a result of I would not have had something to purpose for, I might have felt most likely a bit misplaced not figuring out what was subsequent.
“As quickly because the Olympic door closed and I used to be capable of deal with London, it was like ‘I will neglect about that now’.
“Yesterday I simply needed to go on the market and have run, so I am glad that I used to be in a position to try this. I really feel proud of that.”
Every little thing, for Purdue, had been geared in the direction of Tokyo 2020. It was to be her first Olympics, and with the quickest qualification time of the British ladies, her place look secured.
However then got here the Covid-19 pandemic and the Video games’ postponement to 2021 – the second from which the whole lot “began spiralling”.
On the recommendation of a UK Athletics (UKA) physician, Purdue sat out March’s Olympic trials due to an harm, having already achieved the time wanted on the 2019 London Marathon.
However she then wasn’t chosen for Tokyo on medical grounds, with Purdue claiming info cited on the choice listening to was false. UKA declined to remark.
“It was fairly demanding as a result of clearly I had been planning to run within the Olympics for the final three years and all my coaching and all of the races that I deliberate had been geared in the direction of getting qualification, which I did get the time in 2019,” she mentioned. “I do suppose I might have run properly.”
Tokyo wasn’t to be however it was end result for Purdue on the streets of London as she completed Tenth, her PB of two hours 23 minutes 26 seconds simply 14 seconds in need of Mara Yamauchi’s second place on the British all-time checklist, with Paula Radcliffe first.
Sunday’s run “could not have gone any higher” however Yamauchi’s 2:23.12 is a goal Purdue continues to be aiming for, assured she will shave additional day without work her greatest. Whether or not that occurs at subsequent 12 months’s World Championships in Oregon, the Commonwealth Video games or the Europeans stays to be seen along with her schedule for 2022 nonetheless to be determined.
“Earlier than I used to be two and a half minutes away so saying I used to be going for it was fairly daring, as a result of it was an enormous soar,” she mentioned.
“However I did really feel that my coaching mirrored that I may run round that point, so I believe now to be even nearer… if I say now I’m going for it, it isn’t so daring.”
‘I take into consideration my security on daily basis’
With winter and its darkish nights approaching, the treadmill will grow to be a extra outstanding characteristic in Purdue’s coaching as she avoids going out for a run in the dead of night.
It is one thing she has at all times prevented, however it’s a call that has once more moved to the forefront of her thoughts because the nation reels from the horrific abduction and homicide of Sarah Everard.
“Personally I’ve by no means felt protected operating alone, positively not at evening. Within the day, I at all times select locations which might be fairly busy, and somebody at all times is aware of the place I’m. I might by no means run alone at evening, and I by no means have,” Purdue mentioned.
“Once I was a younger child, my dad used to drive the automotive round with me. I ran a loop across the property the place we lived. They used to drive, park up, I might run previous and so they’d drive the subsequent half. My mum and pop have at all times instilled in me that I ought to by no means actually run alone.
“I positively would not really feel protected operating alone at evening. Within the daytime, I might really feel protected, however somebody at all times is aware of the place I’m and it is one thing I at all times take into consideration just about on daily basis. I at all times have.
“I normally run in the identical form of locations, however I will inform somebody the place I am going. My boyfriend is aware of all of the loops that I run so I will say I am doing this loop and he is aware of, and he’ll name me after I ought to be accomplished.”
She added: “Seeing it on the information in latest weeks positively brings it extra to my consideration, particularly if you may get complacent and suppose ‘oh, I will be all proper’.
“I most likely would not suppose that now.”