British record broken twice in 8 days!
Allan Williams, the UK’s leading pole Master’s vaulter in the 55-60 year age group has broken his own British record twice in a week!
The first success came at the British Masters Championships held at Birmingham on the 4th July. Improvements in training sessions over the last few weeks heralded a return to top form. The clearance at 3.85m was very comfortable on the day and improved the British record set by Allan only a few weeks back by 3cm.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Allan went off to Hastings in Sussex on 11th July to compete in the Southern Men’s League for Blackheath and Bromley. Again he hit top form and pushed the British record for 55- 60 year olds to a very impressive 3.90m
Allan, a sporting icon among Masters Athletics in the UK was determined to improve upon the men’s 55 to 60 years British pole vault record this season after mediocre performances in 2008.
“Training had been going really well over the winter and I knew that my strength and technique was in good shape as we entered the outdoor season for track and field. It was just a case of putting it all together on the day.
Allan, like most 56 year olds had acquired age related long sight (presbyopia) and for someone who had enjoyed good sight all his life, it became a frustration and annoyance to have to wear glasses.
“I coach a great group of pole vaulters during the week in addition to my own training. I was forever putting on glasses to check the camera or writing notes and then having to take them off to watch the squad vault. I knew I couldn’t carry on like this as the glasses were getting in the way of the thing I was passionate about – pole vaulting.” Allan visited the Accuvision laser eye surgery clinic in Fulham, London after visiting www.accuvision.co.uk He was told that a treatment called Monovision would correct one eye for short-sight, leaving the other longsighted. The Monovision procedure reduced the need to wear glasses for close up work like writing, reading or operating the camera during a coaching session.
“Surgery day was also as relaxing as it could be. Again I met the same team members from Accuvision and they checked and double checked everything. I had trans-epithelial lasik on one eye. The procedure smoothes the surface of the cornea before treating the prescription itself. Unlike normal LASIK, it leaves ‘no flap’ on the cornea. I was recommended this treatment because of the impact of landing in the pole vault.”
“The first two days of recovery were uncomfortable but this soon diminished and I have not worn glasses at anytime since!”
“The training has continued to improve and I am looking forward to pushing the British pole vault record for 55’s even higher during the season.”
Allan is hoping his freedom from glasses will help him push the British record for 55 year olds up to around 4.00m by the end of the season. The last two competitions have made that vision very realistic!
Good Luck Allan!