Keith Gerrard

Keith Gerrard 12 - Photo By Richard Allen

Whatever the season, and whether it's on road, track or cross-country, Keith Gerrard is up there competing with the best. The 27-year-old from Peel recently won a team bronze representing Great Britain at the European Cross-Country Championships, and he has been selected to represent Great Britain in the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country on January 11, 2014. But his main target for 2014 is to represent Team Isle of Man on the track at the Commonwealth Games. Here's a profile of the man who is the most successful distance runner in the Isle of Man's proud history of producing great athletes.

Name: Keith Gerrard

Age: 27

Home town: Peel

Sport: Long-distance running

Club: Newham & Essex Beagles

Sporting achievements
Winner 2012 and 2013 National Cross Country Championships
Winner 2012 McCain Inter Counties Cross Country Challenge
Team bronze medal representing GB in 2013 European Cross-Country Championships (20th overall)
Winner under-20 2005 National Cross-Country Championships
Winner 1,500m and 5,000m at 2011 Island Games in the Isle of Wight. He broke the Island Games record in the 1,500m.
9th in 2012 European Athletics Championships 10,000m
4th in 2012 GB Olympic trials 5,000m
10th in 2011 Great North Run and top placed British runner
Silver medals at 2008 British university championships in 5,000m and cross country; 2006 British university championships 10,000m; 2005 under-20 Inter Counties Cross Country Challenge; 2002 under-17 National Cross-Country; 2002 English Schools 3,000m
Bronze medal in 2004 AAA under-20 5,000m
Personal bests: 28m 27.03s for 10,000m; 13m 50.06s for 5,000m and 63m 39s for half-marathon.

Target events for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
10,000metres or 5,000metres

Aims for 2014
"My aims are centred around three main events - the defence of my National Cross Country title in February, an attempt in March to break my half-marathon personal best (which currently is 63m 39s set at the 2011 Great North Run), and then the Commonwealth Games in July. There is the European Cross Country next December too where I'd like to go even better than this year's event, but that's providing I'm not already preparing for a marathon by then."

How does support you receive help you?
"I am extremely grateful for grants provided by Isle of Man Sport Aid and my sponsors Microgaming, and their support will be a significant help in my preparations for Glasgow 2014 and beyond. Thanks must also go to my kit sponsors Adidas for providing me with the very best training gear."

What do the Commonwealth Games mean to you?
"If I'm selected for Team Isle of Man's Glasgow 2014 squad it would be a very proud moment, as would making my debut at the Commonwealth Games. With Glasgow being so close it would almost be like a home Games. My target will be the 10,000metres or the 5,000metres. I'd like to think that I can pull on the Isle of Man vest in those Games and give a good account of myself on the track. That would be fantastic. After Glasgow it may be time to start thinking about longer road races, but at the moment I feel I still have unfinished business on the track."

Photo - Copyright Richard Allen.