We had a foreigner in our midst during yesterday's training. The individual concerned was one Juan Luis Barrios. I can't say that this is a name that meant anything to me although perhaps it should have. After all I still participate in athletics and he is an athlete. It is however a matter of standard. Juan Luis is a full time international athlete almost at the height of his powers. I on the other hand am the club athlete who is trying desperately to hang on to youth or even middle age as I slide inexorably through the age categories of masters' athletics.
In so far as one can judge someone from a few minutes conversation he seemed both affable and modest. He has already competed for his native Mexico in the 5,000m at two Olympic Games and his aim is qualify for the next two Olympics. I suspect that he will move up in distance to the marathon. His first outing over that distance was in 2011 when he ran 2hr 14min. 20sec.
On Friday night he competed at the Morton Games in Dublin running 7.44.21 to win the 3000m. In less than another hour he will be toeing the line in a mile race in Letterkenny which is likely to be won in under four minutes. Several of the competitors (including him) already have a, "sub 4," on their CV. Thereafter he heads to Belgium for a 5k race. He regards this weekend's efforts as his, "sharpeners."