Haverhill Running Club's Tony Bacon determined to deliver on promise to father after impressive return to action
After surprising himself with the strength of a road comeback appearance around London’s Olympic Park, Tony Bacon now has his sights set towards fulfilling a promise made to his late father.
The 38-year-old Haverhill Running Club Vets (over-35s) competitor had previously won bronze (two) and silver medals on the track in the Essex County Championships across his favoured 1500m and 3000m distances.
But the demands of working as a deputy manager in a care home during the pandemic meant the Haverhill-based athlete found himself dropping his running.
His comeback race came at the RunThrough VeloPark Series in Stratford the Saturday before last though. And he was pleasantly surprised to come home 12th overall in the 10 Mile Road Race and fourth in his Vets category with a time of 65 minutes and 43 seconds.
“Now things are easing up I thought I would get back into the running and see how things go with it,” he said.
“After the race in London, which I had not trained for, it showed I am not as unfit as I thought I was now and I was very happy with it.”
The reigning Eastern Masters Over-35s champion and former 2017 Saffron Striders club champion is now back training with fellow Haverhill members with one target top of his wishlist.
“My dad Michael was a keen supporter of my running and before he became unwell and died suddenly of a stroke I had conversations with him about become Essex champion as I had come so close,” he said. “If I can be bronze and silver I can do it.”
The Essex County Championships are set to take place this year on the weekend of July 31 at Chelmsford Stadium.
Bacon, who is currently still ranked 15th in Vets in the country for 1500m indoors and 23rd for 3000m indoors and 85th outdoors, will try again this summer in the 1500m, 3000m and 300m indoor sprint, if the latter goes ahead.
“Gold in both the 3,000m and 1500m is my target this summer, to be honest,” he said, having now switched coaches to Haverhill’s Kelly Mepham.
“I do these longer road runs to improve my fitness for the track season and I’ve got a month now where I am really focusing on my training.”