Name: Joseph Reid
Interesting fact: Guinness World Record Holder for double Dutch skipping
Describe yourself in three words: Positive, ambitious, powerful
For a young Port Erin lad being the fastest for his age was never going to be enough. Joe Reid has always had his sights set far higher and in the last 2 years a transition to a new event has begun to bear fruits for Joe as this weekend he pulls on his first Senior Vest, representing England at the Vienna Indoor Classic.
Joe Reid has been no stranger to success over the course of his short career in Track & Field but following a change up from his preferred 400m to the longer 800m race in 2017, Manx athlete Joe has stepped up to the next echelon of his sport. In April 2018 Joe proudly represented the Isle of Man in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and his first England call up shows that he is in no mood to slow his roll in 2019.
From Island Games Gold in 2013 to the Gold Coast in 2018, the reigning U23 British Champion has built up an impressive CV, including multiple Isle of Man records and an illustrious string of National age group medals. Often delivering his fastest times in his biggest races, Joe has the unteachable knack for performing when it matters most.
To try and get in to the head of one of the Islands most exciting talents we sent our most Active Soul, Michael Haslett to sit down with Joe before he hit the start line in Vienna.
Talking of start lines Joe, how did you get in to Athletics in the first place?
Dad took me and Catherine (Joe’s equally outrageously talented younger sister) down to the Wednesday night Manx Harriers League, we met some friends and really enjoyed all of the events, it really laid the foundations for me in the sport and from there, I just carried on, specialising as I got older, faster and stronger. I really loved 400m as a Junior and had some great success through the age groups before switching up to the 800m at the back end of 2017.
It has to be said that both yourself and Catherine have consistently delivered your best races on the biggest days, what is going through your head on that start line?
As I am lining up I am just trying to be as positive as I can, going over the race in my head and imagining the best possible outcome happening over and over again. I normally choose a few words to focus on like; “brave, committed, strong, rhythm” etc.
…and what is it in that Reid blood that makes you both such supreme athletes and fierce competitors?
Catherine and I have always been competitive…in every sport we did actually! I feel like physically a lot of athletes have the talent to be elite but mentally Catherine and I stand out from the rest. Being as positive as possible, believing positively and being confident in your ability. Over the last 10 months I feel that I have really tried to build further on my mental strength and so far, I am seeing the benefits.
Athletics has clearly been good to you over the years, but what are the stand out moments for you?
My first Island Games in Bermuda 2013 was great, easily one of the nicest places I have ever been to and my first taste of International competition, but nothing will compare to walking out at the Gold Coast representing the Isle of Man! I genuinely believe that that single experience from start to finish will be the making of me as the Athlete that I want to become.
At the tender age of 22, you have clearly already dedicated a lot of time to your craft but what impact has that had on your social life?
Mixing training and competition with a social life is difficult but I have always found a way to manage. There is no getting around the fact that you have to be committed and willing to sacrifice things. For me this meant that I missed a few parties when I was younger, not drinking a whole load, early nights and often being DES (designated driver) but luckily my friends and family have always been very supportive and understanding which has made things a lot easier. When I found times hard, I would have to remind myself why I was sacrificing so much but I am proud that I made brave decisions from such a young age, I have done things my way and I have no regrets.
The Vienna Classic is really just an opening round in your 2019 season but in 2019 and beyond what does the future look like for Joe Reid?
The future is going to be great for me. I envisage medals at major championships, fast times whilst making memories and enjoying all of the amazing experiences that come with this amazing sport. Creating a legacy would be awesome too but just being able to take my family to an Olympics and other major games would be epic!
What would you be if you weren’t a Track & Field Athlete?
If I wasn’t an 800m runner I would probably be bagging for the Spaniards (Port Erin’s very own Rushen FC) every weekend or just the worlds keenest football fan!
We want to wish a supremely confident Joe all the best in his debut this weekend and for the coming 2019 season we are stoked to see the heights that Joe will reach in 2019 and beyond.
If you want to get the inside scoop on Joe’s weekend, he is taking over the Gef Instagram story documenting everything from cold runs to messy bedrooms. Catch his takeover in the highlight reel.