Callum Hawkins stays clear of flu on road to Commonwealth Games
En route, the Scot can select his stopovers from a plethora of choices offered to his agent Malcolm Anderson, demand for his services among the most useful perks of coming fourth in the marathon at the IAAF world championships.
“It makes it easier when you can pick and choose what races you want,” the 25-year-old, pictured, reflects.
“I’ve already got it sorted with two halves before the Commonwealths – and then heading out there.”
In Australia, much will be expected, he knows. Top runners such as the omnipotent Eliud Kipchoge will not grace the Games with their presence, the true A-Listers capable of ducking inside two hours and five minutes solely interested in either global titles or raw enticing cash.
Hawkins, for all his progress, is still an aspirant despite his box office status as Europe’s No 1. “I’d love to be there where Kipchoge is but he’s at a completely different level from me,” he admits. “It’s difficult to see these guys go that quick. But I just need to set my own goals that work for me.”
Perhaps not under 60 minutes in Glasgow due to a paucity of hard training with possible challenges coming from his fellow Olympians Tsegai Tewelde and Andy Butchart, the latter taking on the half-marathon distance more for fun than serious intent. “I don’t want to lose to Andy,” Hawkins admits.
Or anyone, indeed. Yet the pursuit of an Antipodean triumph means sacrificing a crack at a possible Euro Cross gold in Bratislava in December. “If I was doing it, I’d want to be all in,” he maintains. “But it’s within the start of my prep for the Commies.”
Veteran Jo Pavey heads the women’s Great Scottish field while Sammi Kinghorn will use the wheelchair race as her final tune-up for her marathon debut in Chicago. “I’ll get a chance to train with some of the US athletes beforehand,” the world 100m champion revealed. “It will be interesting to see what a real marathon racer trains like.”