About a week ago, a media buddy sent me a note, hey, can anyone challenge Jakob Ingebrigtsen? I thought long and hard and came up with two names, Josh Kerr and Yared Nuguse.
Deji Ogeyingbo reminds us that the Scottish star is healthy and fit and wants that gold medal in Budapest! Remember, dear readers, that this is the World Championships. If you make it to the final, you are in the position to medal, and perhaps, I dare say, go for the big one!
Garrett Heath, who trained with Josh Kerr, told me that Garrett inspires his teammates. During my time interviewing Josh via Zoom, I was impressed with his quiet self-confidence. Watch Josh in the Men’s 1,500m heats on Saturday, August 19, at 7:02 PM Local time!
Chasing a Medal in Budapest: Josh Kerr’s Odyssey to World Championships Glory
It felt surreal when Great Britain’s Josh Kerr became the only man to win a track medal for the country at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Very few persons had given him a chance to get on the podium, but as he has always done for most of his career, he braved the odds to come home with a Bronze medal and a new Personal Best of 3:29.05. Last summer, he finished in fifth position in the World Athletics Championships final (battling with Covid).
Josh Kerr, Olympic bronze medalist, 1,500m, World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
1500 meters, Kerr, Great Britain GBR, Brooks, photo by Kevin Morris
The 25-year-old is the British indoor record holder for 1500m (3:32.86) and the mile (3:48.87), both marks set in 2022, and he also broke the Scottish indoor record for 3000m early this year at the Millrose Games. His time of 7:33.47 was also the fourth fastest time in history – indoors or outdoors – by a Briton. As he heads to Budapest, he will be looking to claim his first world title.
The grind, Josh Kerr and Brooks Beasts TC teammates working out, photo courtesy of Brooks Running/Josh Kerr FB site
Draft Kings, the world’s leading daily fantasy sports brand, have given Kerr +5000 odds to win the title as he sits in 8th in his chances behind more established names like Olympic Champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and 2019 World Champion and four-time Diamond League winner Timothy Cheruiyot. Here we take a look at his chances in Budapest and how he rose from being an NCAA Champion to potentially being a world champion.
From Collegiate Heights to International Glory: Kerr’s Soaring Ascent
Kerr started his running journey in Scotland at the tender age of eight, aligning himself with Edinburgh Athletics Club. At a mere 17 years old, he decided to venture to the United States and chase his aspirations within the U.S. collegiate system. Without even a prior visit to the country, Kerr unveiled his innate trust in instinct, a quality that he echoed in an Instagram post shortly after securing the bronze, affirming his reliance on “intuition in pivotal life choices.”
TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 07: Bronze medalist Josh Kerr of Team Great Britain stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 1500m on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) for British Athletics
In 2018, he shattered the NCAA 1500m record, unveiling his immense potential to the world stage before transitioning into the realm of professionals and affiliating with the prestigious Brooks Beasts athletics club. Guided under the mentorship of Danny Mackey at Brooks, Beast Kerr exhibited a trajectory of perpetual growth, relentlessly trimming seconds off his 1500m time. Yet, his journey’s success has been augmented significantly by the psychological facet, an area that witnessed a remarkable evolution during his tenure in the States, abetted by the unwavering guidance of a mindfulness coach.
“It’s paramount not to allow oneself to be engulfed by apprehensions in these pivotal instances,” Kerr articulated to Runner’s World in March 2022. “I’m addressing profound vulnerabilities in my psyche.” His mindfulness endeavors culminated in a structured regimen that optimizes his acumen for the rigors of race day. This regimen entails daily meditation, journaling, and meticulous adherence to consistency in his day-to-day existence, reaping substantial dividends.
Coach Danny Mackey with Josh Kerr and Brooks Beasts TC teammates, photo by Paul Merca /@paulmerca70601
“I find solace in a morning routine devoid of alteration, enabling me to bask in the present and profoundly appreciate my current standing,” Kerr elaborated. Now, in the moments preceding races, the tide has turned. Negative emotions no longer assail him; instead, he immerses himself in a symphony of gratitude-laden mantras.
“Enveloping myself with affirmative recollections and phrases, pre-armed for the intrusion of negative ruminations, perpetually aids in quelling moments of trepidation.”
Eyes on the Prize: Kerr’s Quest for Budapest Glory
As the World Championships loom large on the horizon, Kerr stands on the precipice of an extraordinary milestone – his first world medal. The 1500m event beckons as a true test of versatility, demanding raw speed, strategic prowess, and mental fortitude. This year, Kerr has raced just twice in the event, with his season’s best coming at 3:29.64, a time that ranks him 11th in the world going into Budapest.
Josh Kerr setting North American all-comers record at 1,500m with his 3:31.55, on June 3, 2021, photo by How Lao Photography
The anticipation leading up to the Budapest showdown is tangible. The global stage is a battleground where contenders vie for supremacy. Yet, what sets Kerr apart is his unshakable spirit. We saw that at full force in Tokyo, where he was fifth at the bell but still emerged with a Bronze. His determination radiates as he stands on the starting line, creating an aura that transcends personal achievements. In Budapest, Kerr aims to craft a narrative of triumph that resonates not just with him but one that many after him will look for inspiration.
A Legacy Beyond Medals: Kerr’s Enduring Impact
Kerr’s journey, marked by triumphs and trials, is already a testament to his resilience. His shattered personal records and triumphant podium finishes are the markers of an athlete who refuses to settle. They are milestones on a path sculpted by unwavering dedication and a desire to make his mark on the world.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen battles Josh Kerr and Lamencha Girma over 1,500m! photo by Matthew Quine/Diamond League AG
As the world anticipates the World Championships, Kerr embodies the essence of sportsmanship – the courage to chase dreams despite the challenges. Beyond his remarkable athletic prowess, he embodies the intangible spirit that drives athletes to greatness. With the world as his witness, Josh Kerr steps onto the track in Budapest not merely to win a medal but to craft a legacy that stands as a beacon of inspiration for those who dare to dream.