Design dresses in Glasgow?

Design dresses in Glasgow? Want to showcase your handiwork to an audience of millions? Opportunity knocks. Jo Pavey is bound for the city this Sunday with the European 10000 metres champion serving as the sentimentalist??s candidate to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year. As yet, she reveals, the outfit for this most glamorous of occasions, is TBC. ??I??ve bought a couple of dresses just in case,?? comes the confirmation. ??I have heard there??s a possibility of me getting a dress loaned; I don??t really how this all works.??

Parades down the red carpet, feted in front of her peers, a major championship victory, it all seemed so improbable 12 months ago when Pavey, having given birth to her second child just a fortnight before her 40th birthday, was consumed by the perils of nappy changing and sleep deprivation.

The priority, without hesitation, was motherhood. Even when she returned tentatively to her local track in Exeter, the times were, in her own judgement, terrible. Talking with her husband Gavin, who doubles as her coach, manager and on-call crutch, the ambition seemed only to get healthy enough to undertake a genteel farewell tour. ??It??s incredible to think what??s happened,?? she giggles. Commonwealth bronze. European gold. Christmas light switching on. Accolades of all sorts.

Pavey??s golden age has made her an unlikely totem for the middle-aged. ??I??ve been so flattered when people have said it??s inspired them to carry on past 40 and keep running,?? she recounts. ??Because I??d have thought I??d have been retired by now. Maybe people do retire too early and one benefit of being older is that experience, the things you know now that you didn??t know at the start. And that??s probably helped me train more consistently.??

It helps that her other half is aligned almost at the hip. Tea times for Emily, now 15 months, and five-year-old brother Jacob, are shuffled around the rigorous sessions required to run the 10,000 metres in as close to 30 minutes as possible. ??But the positive thing about us juggling our lives around our kids is that we can have flexibility in the training. I have to move around the times I go to the track to fit in with the kids. It would be quite hard if someone else was coaching me because I??d change it at the last minute and they??d be annoyed.??

If there is, you sense, one irritant amid this idyll, it is that Pavey should, by rights, have climbed a significant podium before and reaped the rewards. At the 2006 European Championships, she finished fourth. The victor, Marta Dominiquez of Spain, was placed under investigation for involvement in a doping ring although ultimately was not convicted. The runner-up, Liliya Shobukhova, is serving a ban for testing irregularities, just one in a potentially lengthy list of athletes implicated in the recent allegations of systematic employment of performance enhancements in Russia.

Pavey confesses to little surprise at the news. In 2001, at the world championships in Edmonton, she joined Paula Radcliffe in sporting a red ribbon in protest at the presence of Olga Yegorova despite her positive test for blood doping. The Englishwoman was 11th in the final there, as the Russian claimed a tarnished gold. The following year, she was second to her discredited rival at the European Cup.

With Yegorova eventually suspended, a rightful victory was surely denied. Other triumph, surely, have been lost. ??It??s something which has spoiled my career but I have to just work towards my goals,?? Pavey reflects. ??UK Athletics and UK Sport have done a lot over the past 10 years to educate against taking supplements. But other countries aren??t maybe as committed to improving things.

??We??re doing a lot to get cheats out of the sport so it??s disappointing that??s not the same everywhere. But things are improving. Going into the Europeans and Commonwealths this year, I felt they were cleaner championships than in the past. I try not to dwell on things. I just try to focus on the positives, the places I??ve gone and the lovely people I??ve met. But it is frustrating. Hopefully, Lord Coe ?? if he gets the IAAF presidency ?? will be able to come down harder on cheating.??

It will largely, inevitably, benefit her successors. Yet Pavey has refreshed her own goals. Qualifying for next year??s world championships in Beijing is the foremost aim. And ultimately, Rio 2016, where she would be just shy of turning 43. There is no complacency, she underlines. ??There are good younger girls coming through. It will be tough to make the team. But I??m still enjoying it and it??s working for us as a family which is great because my priority is being a mum.??

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