Top Ad
I DIG Radio
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Sam Atkin’s unconventional path to success

Written by 
Published in Athletics
Monday, 01 August 2022 05:08

Grimsby-born Sam Atkin came from relative obscurity to run 27:26.58 for 10,000m in California in December 2020. Despite racing himself to sixth on the British all-time list, he’d be the first to admit he’s still largely unknown.

Based in Idaho since 2011, Atkin studied at Lewis-Clark State College, where, after an unassuming start (he was advised to try it out for one semester initially), he fell in love with it. It’s fair to say he didn’t choose one of America’s more renowned running destinations. 

“Most people don’t even know where it is,” he laughs. “It wasn’t necessarily the best school in terms of profile or training partners, but it worked for me.” 

It’s coincidental, of course, that this low-key athlete has worked towards such significant performances from such an anonymous location, but his set-up – including the fact that he lives with his college coach and his family – has enabled him to continue to train and compete, even when times have been tough.

In February, the 29-year-old ran a 5000m best of 13:03.64 (indoors) to go fourth on the UK all-time lists, and he backed that up with a British Championship-winning 27:31.98 at the Night of the 10,000m PBs in May. He also signed a professional contract with Puma – a significant step towards competing on the level playing field he so craves.

Yeman Crippa and Sam Atkin (Mark Shearman)

“I think the biggest thing for me is that I now have the support to go to training camps, it gives me the opportunity to work harder in training and to travel to races,” he says.

“The last few years I’ve had to really pinpoint which races I could go to because I couldn’t really afford to go to them, but now I can. It’s opening up new opportunities. I hope that in the next year or two I’ll be able to show how a supported background is going to help me go on to the next level.”

Atkin’s professional contract offers stability and an extended support group, including his Norwegian agent. 

“I think I stunned him with some of the work I do. He was like, ‘okay, how are you running that fast off that work?’” says Atkin.

“I’m still only on around 80 miles per week and I only do three doubles per week, but that’s something that I need to improve on. I still feel so new to the 10km. I don’t train for it, so it’s something I’m going to work towards. He’s on board with my coach and we’re going to slowly move up. I want to see what happens.”

That his contract has also enabled him to continue working with his college coach, Mike Collins, is hugely important. 

“I know what works with him,” adds Atkin. “It’s not that there wouldn’t be other options that would work, but we have a great relationship and I’m excited about the future.

Sam Atkin chases Fernando Carro in Gateshead (Mark Shearman)

“I never thought I’d be in this position. I thought after college I’d be done – which technically I kind of was because I didn’t even race for a year – but I guess going away from the sport for a while made me a little anxious to get back into it. I felt that void. I took 2016/17 off then came back to the sport in late 2017 and I guess I just wanted to get faster and faster.

“I can still see a lot of room for improvement. I don’t just want to be a participant at championships, I want to be up there with the best in the world. That’s obviously easy to say, but with even more progression over the next couple of years I can hopefully back that up.” 

Read 7 times


Sources: Werner to rejoin Leipzig from Chelsea

Sources: Werner to rejoin Leipzig from Chelsea

Timo Werner is on the brink of leaving Chelsea to rejoin RB Leipzig, sources have told ESPN.The 26-y...

Giggs arrives at court to stand trial for assault

Giggs arrives at court to stand trial for assault

Former Wales manager Ryan Giggs arrived at court in Manchester on Monday ahead of his domestic viole...

Sources: Man United contact Juve about Rabiot

Sources: Man United contact Juve about Rabiot

Manchester United have made contact with Juventus about signing midfielder Adrien Rabiot, sources to...


Lakers, LeBron hold 'productive' contract talks

Lakers, LeBron hold 'productive' contract talks

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James and the Lakers had a "productive" discussion about their future together...

Thunder retain sharpshooting big man Muscala

Thunder retain sharpshooting big man Muscala

The Oklahoma City Thunder have re-signed forward/center Mike Muscala, the team announced on Thursday...


Padres 'not at all' concerned by Dodgers' sweep

Padres 'not at all' concerned by Dodgers' sweep

LOS ANGELES -- Manny Machado expressed utter shock when reporters approached him in the wake of the...

Eckersley to leave BoSox booth after '22 season

Eckersley to leave BoSox booth after '22 season

BOSTON -- Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley said Monday he will be leaving the Boston Red Sox br...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation
  • NFL

    Nactional Football Leagues
  • FISB

    Federation Internationale de Speedball

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.


Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.