Thursday, September 5, 2013

Q&A: Jager Ready for Brussels 5000

Sixth in London, fifth in Moscow, Evan Jager is a medal contender whenever he contests a championship steeplechase — but Friday in Brussels he’ll take the line in his third 5000 of the 2013 season at the conclusion of this year’s Diamond League. Previously, he ran a new personal best of 13:14 back in April at Stanford, and will face a slew of sub-13 and “13-oh” runners Friday. It’s an uber-competitive field but Jager sounds excited to face the challenge, as he gave us an update from the lobby of his hotel in Brussels…

1. Your performance at Worlds seemed to be a step forward from London but in post-race interviews you were obviously still disappointed not to medal. How did you feel about the race, when you left Moscow?

I would say that initially, after the Final in Moscow I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get a medal because I had built the idea up in my head that I had the chance to. When I came away empty handed again, I was pretty bummed. But after having some time to step away and think about the race I am very happy with how much I have improved since last summer.

2. Do you feel like the steeple (hurdling) or the 5000 (longer distance) is a tougher event?

I feel like, so far in my career, the 5k has been a harder event for me physically. Its harder because you are running a longer distance at a faster pace than the Steeple. In the 5k you have to learn to deal with pain for a longer period of time, whereas in the Steeple, it hits you really hard all at once and you have to figure out how to hurdle while you’re really tired. This is why I feel like the tactics of racing the Steeple are harder than in the 5k. It is a completely different experience trying to kick, hurdle smoothly, navigate a water jump and put yourself in good position in the Steeple.

3. What are you most excited about for this 5000 tomorrow?

In this 5000, I’m excited to step out of my event/comfort zone and race some of the best athletes in the world. I’m excited to try and show that I am not ONLY a Steeplechaser (even though I do love the Steeple and it is my favorite event) and that I can still he competitive in the 5000. I’m also, of course, hoping I can better my PB of 13:14.

4. What sort of performance would you consider a success in this race?

I think that if I’m able to be in the mix with most of the field for most of the race and finish well I will be happy with my performance. I believe that if I’m able to do that a good time will follow that performance.

5. What comes after Brussels for you?

After Brussels I will be heading to the States, back home to Algonquin, IL to see family and friends. I will keep up some lighter training for the following 2 weeks and will be capping off the season in NYC with the 5th Ave mile.

Jager’s race will go off at 3:30pm EST; streaming/TV info can be found here, courtesy our friends at LetsRun.com.

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