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Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:39 UK

US stint boosts Turnbull fitness

Gareth Turnbull
Turnbull has not been able to compete in June over the last five years

Gareth Turnbull is retaining hopes of challenging for European Championship and Commonwealth Games places after an injury-free three months in the US.

Turnbull's career has been ravaged by injury and illness in recent seasons which included contracting deep vein thrombosis on a flight last year.

But Turnbull, who will be 31 on Friday, is aiming to compete at next month's Northern Ireland Championships.

"It's five years since I've been able to run in June," Turnbull told the BBC.

The athlete returned home from the US this week after training stints in Tennessee and Auburn.

"I'm still way behind on what would be ideal but the three months were about laying a base and then hopefully working myself into some kind of shape over the coming weeks.

"It's going to be a very late season to me but hopefully I can get myself into shape for late July and August."

With the Commonwealth Games not until early October and the 1500 metres qualifying time a relatively modest 3 minutes and 40 seconds, Turnbull has a realistic target to aim for.

The European Championship standard is an even slower 3.41 although Turnbull would face a race against time to be in shape to challenge the likes of Dave Campbell and Thomas Chamney at the Irish Championships on 10/11 July.

"I will run the Northern Ireland Championships on 12 June although I don't expect to be in great shape at that stage.

"It will be a case of building it up in training and hopefully maybe getting in a few low-key races over the next few weeks."

Turnbull trained alongside Irish European Championship hopefuls Mark Christie and Mark Kenneally in America with coach Mark Carroll directing affairs.

The Belfast man paced Christie for six laps during a 5,000m in the US and Turnbull trained with the Mullingar man in Dublin on Wednesday.

Kenneally was holding the stopwatch at Wednesday's training session in Santry as his asthma condition has reared up over the past fortnight.

see also
Runner Turnbull hit by DVT shock
26 May 09 |  Athletics
Virus hits Turnbull Olympic hopes
09 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Turnbull training in Algarve camp
02 May 08 |  Athletics
McKee gears up for Portugal trip
16 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Turnbull claims 1500m win in US
15 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Turnbull second in Florida 1500m
31 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Turnbull doping saga finally over
19 Mar 08 |  Athletics

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