Gemma Steel, is a Great British long distance runner, specialising in cross country and road racing. Steel began her career as a member of Charnwood AC up in Loughborough, under the coaching supervision of John Nuthall. She competed locally for her club, running from 8km up to half marathon distances in both road events and also the county cross country league.
It was in 2009 that Gemma excelled in her running form and began to turn heads as a top level runner, where she gained a silver at the Sheffield half marathon and a third at the Brooks 10k.
In 2010 Steel finished eleventh at the National World Cross Country trials, but it was at the UK Cross Challenge in Liverpool that she came third and made the Great Britain team for the first time. Running at the 2010 European Cross Country Championships, she finished in 27th place and shared in the team silver medal with the British women.
Gemma’s Senior career started in 2011, where she competed at the International level Cross Country races, starting in Edinburgh where she place 9th overall. After a fourth place finish at the English championships, she made her world level debut at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, taking 54th place.
In 2013 Gemma Steel took the senior victory in the 127th English National Cross Country Championships in Wollaton Park.
Gemma Steel kindly agreed to take part in our Q&A interview:
Name: Gemma Steel
Occupation: Professional athlete and childrens illustrator
Favourite Events: 10k/half marathon/cross country
How did you first become in interested in athletics?
I was first encouraged to get involved with athletics at my school.
What is your best performance to date?
Finishing 2nd in 31.34 at the Beach to Beacon 10k in Maine.
This time put Gemma 4th on GB all time list and 5th in world last year!
What is your most important training session?
My most important training session is 1k reps off 1 minute recovery
What is the most impressive/craziest training session you have ever known somebody complete?
3x1k 5 x400m and 2x 1k in sleet with hail stones pelting us and track covered in sleet at Loughborough Paula Radcliffe Stadium with Eilish Mcolgan and Liz Mcolgan timing us. Heavens opened half way through but we weren't giving up! Insane! I was so numb afterwards......freezing!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Goal to set pbs at 10k half marathon and debut marathon
Gemma is hoping to run London or Berlin in 2015
What is the most memorable athletics event you have ever watched?
Mo Farah's double gold at The London 2012 Olympics
Which athlete do you most admire?
Where is your favourite venue that you have competed at?
Sheffield Don Valley Stadium
What is your favourite:
Book: ‘50 Shades Of Grey'
Film: ‘Black Swan'
TV Show: Dancing On Ice / X Factor
Shameless Plug – Is there anything going on in your life that you would like to mention?
I love singing anything from whitney celine or mariah! Also I have self published a trilogy of childrens books-titled ziggy the zebra chicken dog and spots vs stripes co written by my twin sis louise and illustrated by myself. I'm hoping to promote the new one 'spots vs stripes' soon!
I am sponsored by- Forever Nutrition and Whitwick Massage Centre and my kit is supplied by Nike. I'd like to thank them for their continued support.
You can also follow me on twitter at @GemmaSteel4
Question from previous person to complete Q&A (Olympian Bryan Steel) -
If you had had to give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Always follow your dreams and do what you want to do. Try and live up to my own expectations instead of other peoples.
What question would you like to ask our next athlete to complete our Q&A?
If you weren't a sportsperson what would you have been instead?
If your next race had to be done in fancy dress, what outfit would you choose?
I would go as super girl that would be appropriate - girl of steel! Lol
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