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I snubbed Moscow to run in Glasgow; HAWK'S FLYING ATHLETICS Derek turns down the chance of world glory.

Byline: Gary Ralston

MARATHON man Derek Hawkins has snubbed one of the most glamorous races in the world because his focus is already fixed on the Commonwealth Games.

Hawkins became the first Brit to cross the line in the London Marathon last Sunday in an impressive 2:16:51.

Amazingly, it was only the second time the former 10,000m specialist had run the distance and it won him entry to the World Championships

in Moscow in August.

However, the Kilbarchan athlete has turned down the invite because it does not fit in with his preparation for Glasgow, where he still dreams of racing Mo Farah through the city streets.

Hawkins, 23, was speaking at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery yesterday to mark the official opening of the selection period to qualify for Team Scotland next year.

He said: "It was a difficult decision not to go to Moscow but it would have been my third marathon in 10 months and that's too many in such a short period of time.

"My main aim is Glasgow and I'm focused on what can get me to the line in best shape. I now plan a bit of rest and will maybe hit another marathon in the autumn.

"These races take so much out of you. Over the last four miles it feels as if your body has been entirely emptied of every ounce of energy. You feel battered for weeks afterwards. They haven't decided on the marathon course for Glasgow yet, although it might be over two laps.

"It will be great to map it out beforehand, run the route so you know when to launch an attack.

"It would be great to compete against Mo, if he chooses to run. It would be an honour as he's the best distance runner in the world."

Hawkins is youthful for a marathon runner but the Commonwealth Games has been at the back of his mind since he flopped at last summer's Olympic trials for the 10,000m - and he has already hit the qualifying time for next summer.

He added: "I bombed at the trials and trying to qualify for the 10,000m is difficult because there aren't too many races. I was growing disillusioned by track running and the marathon has always been at the back of my mind."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Apr 26, 2013
Words:387
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