Fe­lix Vaughan (3218)

THE NA­TIONAL CHAM­PION AT 1500m IS AL­MOST AS FAST AS MO FARAH WAS AT THE SAME AGE

Athletics Weekly - - News -

WITH his long hair flow­ing in the wind, Fe­lix Vaughan is a dis­tinc­tive fig­ure on the teenage mid­dle-dis­tance scene. It’s also im­pos­si­ble to miss him as he’s in­vari­ably at the front by the time his race reaches the fin­ish line, writes Ja­son Hen­der­son.

In July he won the English Schools ju­nior boys’ 1500m ti­tle af­ter out-kick­ing Sur­rey team-mate Ed­ward Hen­der­son at a sun-parched Alexan­der Sta­dium.

Af­ter a 61-sec­ond last lap he im­proved his PB by five sec­onds with 4:11.63 to go top of the un­der-15 boys UK rank­ings for 2018.

Then, the fol­low­ing month, in wet and cool con­di­tions at Bed­ford he took the Eng­land Ath­let­ics ti­tle in sim­i­lar style with a strong sprint to clock 4:19.59.

Both races saw him win by a clear mar­gin and he cel­e­brated by spread­ing his arms wide in the fi­nal me­tres.

In Septem­ber he im­proved his best to 4:07.15 at Couls­don – a time that places him 40th on the UK all-time rank­ings for un­der-15 boys and less than one sec­ond be­hind a cer­tain Mo Farah, who sits in 28th place with 4:06.41.

“I’m very happy with my sea­son and it went bet­ter than ex­pected,” Fe­lix says, pick­ing out his English Schools 1500m win as his favourite per­for­mance.

He hasn’t run many poor races but when asked if there were any dis­ap­point­ments this year, he says there was a low point at an early-sea­son 1500m in Wat­ford when he clocked ‘only’ 4:16.47 af­ter a trip in the race.

Sport­ing tal­ent runs in Fe­lix’s fam­ily. His dad was a keen cy­clist and his brother, Ja­cob, won the Bri­tish ju­nior road race cy­cling ti­tle last year and was signed by Bel­gian club Lotto Soudal to ride for their un­der-23 de­vel­op­ment team this year.

Fe­lix does a lit­tle cy­cling him­self and he’s en­joyed play­ing foot­ball in the past as a cen­tre mid­fielder.

But he’s cur­rently hav­ing most suc­cess as a run­ner and says: “In the near fu­ture I’d def­i­nitely like to run for Eng­land. Af­ter that, ideally it’d be great to go to the Olympics one day.”

Coached by Guy Holden, he is part of a squad of ath­letes at South Lon­don Har­ri­ers and en­joys tough work­outs with the group on Tues­days and Thurs­days. “My favourite ses­sions are prob­a­bly the hard long runs,” he adds.

Ath­let­ics aside, he’s get­ting to grips with his GCSE stud­ies right now. His­tory and maths are among his favourite sub­jects. “I like prob­lem solv­ing,” he says.

Look out for him this win­ter, too, as he has al­ready hit the cross-coun­try and road re­lays cir­cuit this au­tumn and looks set to pick up where he left off this sum­mer.

Fe­lix Vaughan: the UK’s No.1 1500m run­ner in the un­der-15 age group in 2018

Ta­lented fam­ily: Fe­lix (right) with brother and cy­cling cham­pion Ja­cob

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