01 JUL 2002 General News 3000 m Steeplechase

3000 m Steeplechase - Is it for me?

Allegro for the first two laps. Staccato before the jump. Crescendo splash into the water. Pianissimo footsteps on track. Leggero in a rehearsed technique. Forte- forte for more applause. Capriccio, finissimo and score, encore.

All great steeplechasers share qualities with those who run shorter or longer distances - strength and endurance, backed up by a speed born of training. But here, in addition, 28 obstacles must be cleared. So specialists must have a good hurdling technique, but also a special suppleness and power of muscle to enable effortless flight and obstacle clearance. The hurdles and the water jump have to be mastered rather than suffered.