Monte Gordo, Portugal
Sunday 5th August 2012

& then there was one!  On arrival in Monte Gordo for the pre-Olympic Games holding camp, over 60 athletes from Team GB were working through the last days of their preparatory training under the Portuguese sun.  However, since July 31st, each day has seen a group of athletes, coaches & support staff head down the road to Faro airport & fly back to London, to enter the Olympic Village.

Today, Lynsey Sharp (800m) & Dan Awde (decathlon) flew back to Britain after spending their last night in Portugal in the athlete’s lounge here, watching Jess, Greg & Mo mesmerise the British public on their way to securing Olympic gold in the heptathlon, long jump & 10km respectively.

On Tuesday, the last athlete, Scott Overall, will collect his boarding pass & catch up with all the action in the capital in readiness for competing in the marathon on Sunday August 12th.  In the meantime, we are working on ways to pass the time between the television coverage of the athletics programmes.

So, to find out more about Scott, read on:

1)      OF:  Scott, introduce yourself in 5 words

SO:  Scott Overall Olympic Marathon Runner


2)      OF:  What have been the 3 most memorable things you’ve experienced on this holding camp?

SO: Firstly the food!  It has been sensational…in fact it’s a good job I have to run a lot because I can see the sprinters would have difficulty not putting on weight. 

Secondly, spending time with the rest of the team…well initially at least!!!  These are guys I wouldn’t normally see during the year except for at Championships…so the likes of Chris Tomlinson or Greg Rutherford spend their time long jumping as opposed to mixing with distance runners. 

Finally, the weather has been fantastic…although it has meant I have had to be up early to train before the heat kicks in & I’m not such a fan of that!


3)      OF:  Which athlete has made the biggest impression on you during this holding camp?

        SO:  I would say Jess Ennis because she must have been under such pressure & yet she has appeared very calm, cool & relaxed throughout…something that I think came across in the Stadium over the last 2 days.


4)      OF:  What are your aims for the next 7 days?

        SO:  To get back to London & experience the atmosphere but without letting it distract me.  I would like to go to the stadium for a night but then my main aim is to run a PB in the marathon on Sunday.

5)      OF:  Which other Olympic athlete (away from track & field) would you most like to meet in the Village?

SO:  Juan Mata (Chelsea player) – he was in the Spanish football team, so the likelihood he will be there is slim but you never know, they might be around for the closing ceremony.


6)      OF:  The Games has obviously drawn huge crowds.  Who amongst those who will tune in to watch you has inspired you most along your journey?

        SO:  My coach, Robert Chapman, has been a great inspiration since I first started working with him in 2007 & it has been a challenge as he is based in the USA, whilst I am based in the UK. 

        It has always been our long term plan to switch to the marathon but with the Games being in London this year, we had to make the change earlier than we planned.  Yet he has always held the firm belief that I could run the times & has never doubted we were on the right track. 

        I am extremely grateful for his efforts in coaching me & I am delighted I can repay his faith in me by becoming his first Olympic athlete.


7)      OF:  A lot has been made of the celebrity spectators at the Games.  Which star would you like to think is cheering you on along the streets of London?

        SO:  The entire Chelsea team – I have been tweeting David Luiz to try & persuade them to take an interest…I’ve not had much response as yet!!!  I do think they owe me after all the times I have been to support them!


8)      OF:  If you could bend time & space to meet your 16 year old self face to face, what golden nugget of advice would you impart?

        SO:  Don’t go to university in the UK – go straight to the USA.  I improved so much more during my time in America & learnt a lot about my running whilst I was there.  I also wouldn’t have all the student debt that I accrued whilst at uni here! 

        The US Collegiate system is ten times better than the UK system with regards athletics facilities, training & competition – you almost can’t help but improve training out there. There are 350 track & field athletes competing in this Olympics that have collegiate ties to the NCAA system.  That doesn’t even include those competing in sports such as swimming or basketball.  Interestingly, only 123 of those are representing the USA.


9)      OF:  What has been the biggest challenge in your running career so far & how did you overcome it?

        SO:  Sacrificing normal life to pursue the Olympic dream in London.  I’ve had to put getting a job, buying a house & getting a mortgage on hold, as a runner’s salary doesn’t stretch that far!! 

        I plan on running until I can’t afford to do so anymore…so whether that be next week or after Rio, who knows.  But running isn’t everything & I have to make sure I don’t waste my life afterwards.  It’s okay when you are younger & not thinking about pensions but I am going to be 30 next year & haven’t yet had a full time job…so it’s not exactly the norm!!


10)   OF:  What would be the title of your autobiography?

        SO:  Long Island Iced Teas, Hold the Ice – a reference to Wednesday nights at Butler University, where you could make a useful investment with $1!!


11)   OF:  Over the last week, I have realised how much you are addicted to Twitter!  If anyone wants to follow you, what is your Twitter name?

        SO:  @scottoverall – I am trying to reach 5,000 followers by the end of the week!!!

Thanks for answering those questions Scott & helping pass the time whilst we wait for the likes of Chrissie Ohuruogu & Perri Shakes-Drayton to "take the stage" tonight.

        Find out more about Scott at

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