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Behind the Scenes with Martyn and Kate

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Martyn Rooney and Kate Dennison at UKA awards dinner 2006
Celebrating success, the athletics couple take time to enjoy the UKA Awards dinner

 

 

26 November 2008

 

 

 

Olympic 400m finalist Martyn Rooney and his girlfriend, British pole vault No.1 Kate Dennison, face the twin demands of training as full-time athletes and maintaining their partnership. Read more below about the difficulties about being in an athletics relationship.

 

What are the main advantages to having a partner into track and field?

 

KD: It’s an understanding of the time and effort you put into athletics. People often ask my mum, ‘oh what’s Kate doing now.’ And my mum replies, ‘she’s an athlete.’ Then they ask ‘what does she do?’ People sometimes struggle to get their head around what a full-time athlete does? Being in a relationship with someone in the same boat I think is positive because we understand each other passions.

 

MR: Yes, it is kind of hard, though if one of us gets injured. We have just got to be supportive. I get quite self-centered a lot of the time, so it is probably harder for Kate than for me.

 

Who is the more competitive of the two?

 

MR: Er, I’m not very good at losing on the track but I’m not very good (at losing other things) either. We try to play (card games like) poker together and, maybe, Monopoly on the same team.

 

KD: I just would say I’m not a very good loser. I struggle sometimes to separate myself from the track and I want to compete at everything.

 

Do you get as nervous watching each other as you do when you compete yourself?

 

MR: I doubt it. It’s not comparable but we do both get nervous. I watched Kate at the European Indoors and I could not sleep the night before.

 

KD: I got very nervous in his (Olympic) semi. After watching Andrew Steele run well in the heats and then not so well in the semi I thought has everyone stepped it up and then Martyn obviously left it so late (to win his semi-final) as well.

 

Follow this link to read the full interview with Martyn and Kate