David’s a 1,500m hurdler of great promise!

David Evans started out with Pembrokeshire Harriers as a middle distance runner, giving the 800David’s a 1,500m hurdler of great promise! metres and 1,500 metres a chance before he took up the even more demanding 1,500 metres steeplechase and is doing really well.
In less than a year he has dramatically reduced his personal best from 5 minutes 29 seconds to 5 minutes 4 seconds, a transformation of 25 seconds as a tribute to all the hard work he has put into his new event.
It is no mean feat in a tough event which demands that the competitor clears the water jump three times and negotiates 16 hurdles in the course of their 1,500 metres; technically demanding and calls for commitment and stamina from those like David who took part.

Early start at Mary Immaculate

David first showed his running ability at the county schools cross-country championships held at Oakwood, where he ran for Mary Immaculate Primary School, usually finishing high enough to qualify for the next st
age at Dyfed level, running at venues like Llandeilo.
One of the ladies who worked at the school was Ann Freeman, whose husband Peter is fundamental to the success of the Pembrokeshire Harriers, and she invited him along to join the club.
Now David would be the first to say that parents Al and Kate were hugely encouraging from the outset and have been wonderful taxi drivers to him and younger sister Alice, who is already showing promise as a 1,500 metre runner.
David started out in the 800 metres and showed his ability from the outset, doing well in the Louise Arthur League and the special Gerald Codd Memorial Competition held on home territory at the Sir Thomas Picton School track.

A year out – but back better than ever

Then he took a year out with football but as he got bigger and stronger decided it was the right time to return to the Harriers, where he was made very welcome as he switched to the 1,500 metres under the watchful eye of Mr Freeman.
He competed for STP School in the county championships and came second to qualify for the Dyfed Championships, where he ran well to earn first place on the podium. This earned him a chance to compete in the Welsh Championships at Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff, and although he didn't come home with a medal he could console himself with the fact that he achieved a new personal best time!
 David’s a 1,500m hurdler of great promise!

Change of event – almost by accident

Then his choice of event changed, almost by chance, in January this year, when he was competing in the Senior League in Cardiff and was asked to try his hand at the 1,500 steeplechase - and agreed to try and win a point by doing so.
"I was surprised how hard it was because I could manage to jump up on the three water jumps but didn't have a clue how to jump the hurdles so I just jumped up on top of them and fired myself off the other side. It must have looked cumbersome but I managed to finish fourth and decided I would really like to take up the challenge.
"I was lucky to have some great tips about hurdling from Nigel Rowland, the hurdles' coach at the Harriers, who is still eager to give me advice about my technique when I need it.
"My PB then was 5'29" and since then I've cut it down to 5'4" as proof of the fact that I'm on the right road. It has been hard going because at my age I have to race in the Youth Development League, where the majority of runners are a year older than I am but next season will see me being in that position and I will be more experienced then, and hopefully have built up my fitness and strength."

Rugby as a second sport

David enjoys rugby for Haverfordwest, playing on the wing and using his pace to good effect in a team coached by his father Al, John Williams and Brennan Lay.
"We have quite a good side and finished runners-up in the county finals to Crymych and Milford. But our best performances came at the end of last season when we went to Butlins, Minehead, and took part in the Leicester Tigers Challenge Cup, where we won all our games to win the competition and we had a great time in the camp as well."
"I also used to play football for Haverfordwest Cricket Club but they stopped having a team for my age group, and the rugby and football training sessions often clashed with athletics and I decided it was time to focus on my running."

Aiming high next year

Ask David about ambitions and he might list a determination to reduce his personal best in the steeplechase to under five minutes and to achieve a time of 4 minutes 35 seconds for the 1,500 metres flat.
"I would also like to do well in the Welsh Championships next year and like all other athletes at our club I would love to win a Welsh vest. I know it will be hard work but I am ready to train hard and listen to advice from the likes of Peter Freeman and Nigel Rowland.
“Mr Med Richards has also given me every encouragement in school and I couldn't have done anything without my parents.

Pete’s proud of his protégé

When we asked Peter Freeman about his young protégée he told us,
"David is an example to younger athletes with his commitment to hard work. He rarely misses a training session and is ever-ready to listen to good advice, which are good reasons why he is regarded as a young athlete of genuine potential - and next year should be a good one for him."
David added that he loved being a member of the Pembrokeshire Harriers.
In response, David said,
"The coaches and athletes have great fun as well as aiming for improvement and I am proud to be part of it. We are encouraged to try events and get points for participation in competitions and I have taken part in high jump, javelin, 1,000 metres walk, 400 and 300 metres running.
Chat to David Evans for a short while about his participation at Pembrokeshire Harriers and it is clear how much he is enjoying it and although he is highly committed he is very modest about his achievements - and we wish him every success in his athletics future!