MARATHON man Jonny Mellor has his eyes on the prize ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

Mellor, 35, was selected to compete for Team England at the Games after achieving the qualifying time at April’s Manchester Marathon with his place confirmed this week after the 72 strong squad was confirmed.

But the Birkenhead-born athlete wants do more than just make up the numbers once he gets to the start line in July. 

“I want to be in the mix,” said Mellor. “I’d love to try and compete for a medal depending on how the race pans out on the day.  

“If I can get myself into the best possible shape, then I’ve done everything I can do and what will be will be, but I’d love to try and shoot for a medal. 

“You’ve got to get to the start line, and in marathon running that’s part of the battle. You get to the start line, you’re in with half a chance. 

“If I can close as fast as I closed in Manchester, hopefully I’ll be in with a good shot of a medal.  

“Obviously you don’t know what will happen on the day but it has definitely given me the confidence that I can compete for a medal in Birmingham.” 

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Mellor hopes sharing his story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.  

Mellor only started running the marathon seven years ago having competed at various other distances during his career and has been on a steep learning curve since then. 

“I ran my first marathon in 2015, and then I’ve done 10 marathons now,” added Mellor. “I’ve had some good ones, some bad ones but I guess that’s the marathon. I’ve always wanted to do a marathon, I don’t know what it is about it that sort of intrigued me. 

“You can put all the preparation in the world, you can go into the marathon in the best shape of your life and it just doesn’t quite work on the day for whatever reason.  

“It’s very easy to get carried away early on, not get enough fuel on. It’s a tough distance but it’s a distance that I love and keep coming back for more. 

“I feel like I learn from every marathon I do, even my tenth marathon I felt like I learned from it and came away learning more about the distance. 

“Fuel was the big one, I was very naïve. I stepped up as a track runner, had maybe done a couple of half marathons and I was like I’ll just casually run a marathon – it’s not casual to go run a marathon, you need to respect the distance.” 

This summer, Team England, supported by National Lottery funding, will comprise of over 400 athletes in total, and having secured his place on the squad, Mellor is looking to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity for medal success in his home country. 

“Marathon running takes over your life, you run a lot of miles, you’re training hard, it’s a big mental effort,” said Mellor.  

“It’s something I relish and look forward to but you have to go into it with that mindset of here we go again, another marathon. 

“It’s a massive honour, a real privilege to be selected. Being at a home games is an added bonus, the first home games since London 2012 and the buzz and the excitement around it will build.  

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a chance for friends and family to come down and watch as well and hopefully the opportunity to see the course beforehand will be an important advantage for us.” 

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