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Training with the gods

We knew it wouldn't be long before the cult of Warren Weir spread beyond Jamaica. And this month, his cheeky face will adorn the cover of UK magazine Forever Sports. In an exclusive extract for SPIKES, Weir talks Racers Track Club, big brother Bolt, and the importance of Coach Mills. 

Jamaica’s Racers Track Club is the Hogwarts of sprinting. Those who attend arrive as talented runners and more often than not, go on to perform magic.

The school’s most famous student is Usain Bolt: the fastest man who has ever lived. Weir is working his way through the grades. He describes schooling with the two fastest men on the planet as “training with the gods of track and field”.

“When you’re training with the best, every day is a learning lesson. No matter how much you think you know there’s always room for improvement out there.”

The team are based at the Usain Bolt Track at the University of West Indies, set among lush green mountains. Boards around the track read: ‘training ground for legends’.

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Weir gets his #SeriousFace on before winning a local 100m race.

The coach in charge at Racers Track Club is Glen Mills.

“Coach Mills is not just a coach,” says Weir. “He’s a father figure to us, he’s a friend to us, and he’s a brother to us. He plays a dominant role in our lives. We believe in Coach Mills. He knows his stuff. Trust me.”

It was Coach Mills who sat down with him in 2011 to discuss the future. Weir was originally a sprint-hurdler, but after a stress fracture in 2010, he noticed he was getting pain in his knees. It was decided that he should stop hurdling and try the 200m.

“It was the best decision I ever made. Coach Mills is a guru, he knows what he’s doing.

“If he can get this long, tall guy to run 9.69 seconds, and he tells you to go and run a certain event: you don’t question it. You go and run that event.”

The other gurus in his life are Blake and Bolt, who are also his biggest rivals on the track. There’s no slipping up in the company of the best in the business.

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Say what? Warren Weir, cover star.

Whether it’s his coach or his classmates, there’s always someone telling him when he needs to “fix-up that, or fix-up this”.

“It’s a wonderful feeling, and it’s a wonderful place to train,” says Weir.

Bolt’s help isn’t just confined to the training track, either.

“Seeing as he [Bolt] has been around longer than me, when I go to certain meets he’ll say to me: ‘Right, listen. This is the plan. This track has a deep corner. Take this lane, don’t take that lane’. He shows me the ropes. 

“He gives me a lot of advice. He’s my bigger brother.”

Read the full interview in the May issue of Forever Sports, out now. Photographs by Andrew Shaylor.