With all the focus on the London Marathon, you might have thought every runner was in the UK capital, but there was also top running in Southampton, Blackpool, Glasgow and elsewhere.
This weekend’s highlights included the Scottish 10,000m championships, the Ron Hill Accrington 10k, as well as marathons in Southampton and Blackpool, with a particularly interesting situation in the Blackpool involving chip and gun times.
Scottish 10,000m Championships
Friday night provided a speedy start to the weekend with sub 30 performances and 67% of the runners getting PBs at the Glasgow Athletics Association Miler Meet in Glasgow, that also incorporated the Scottish 10,000m championships.
Lachlan Oates of Shettleston ran a personal best 29:48 to take the men’s 10,000m national title and after finishing second at the Scottish Cross Country Championships earlier this year, will be happy to win a national title.
Not far behind in 29:59 was Logan Rees. The U23 athlete took 20 seconds off his PB to dip under the half hour for the first time. This also comes on the back of a solid fourth place at the National XC Champs.
In her first track race in years, Fionnuala Ross ran a personal best 34:05 to add the Scottish women’s 10,000m crown to her 10k road and half marathon titles.
Although it is eight seconds off her road 10k time, the Shettleston runner, who is from Northern Ireland, has been impressing this season with an appearance at the World Half Marathon Championships for Ireland where she ran 76:53 and a 9:28 run at the Armagh 3k.
ABP Southampton Marathon Festival
Rich Waldron and Orla Tuohy took the honours in the ABP Southampton Marathon clocking 2:40:46 and 2:58:55 respectively.
100 Marathon Club and Tavistock AC runner Adam Holland (2:46:19) shared the lead with Southampton AC’s Waldron in the early stages but it was the home town runner who came to the fore in the heat. Eventually, Sebastien Honeig overtook Holland as well to finish second in 2:43:58.
Orla Touhy of Grange-Fermoy AC ran a well paced marathon to finish nearly 15 minutes ahead of second placed Emma Risbey (3:13:29).
Third place was Steel City Striders’ Rachel Rutherford in a time 3:17:13.
Aiden Lennan won the half marathon in 73:45 and triathlete Simone Mitchell was the female victor in 80:38.
William Bryan was first across the line in the 10k in 34:12 and Serena O’Connor of Poole AC was first female in 41:05.
Run Balmoral 10k
British mountain runner Andrew Douglas was a clear winner in 32:14 at the Run Balmoral 10k. The Inverclyde AC athlete was followed by Owain Bristow (35:11) and Mark McCluskie (35:47).
The woman’s winner was Clare Bruce of Metro Aberdeen Running Club, running 38:33 ahead of Alison Mathews (41:13) and Kerry Prise (42:02).
Blackpool Festival of Running
There were further fast times in the north west with plenty of races at the Blackpool Festival of Running.
Richard Swindlehurst of Poole AC, seemingly travelled a long way from home to win the men’s title at the Blackpool Festival of Running marathon. Swindlehurst took the win in a chip time of 2:41:44.
Neil Wicks of Stratford upon Avon AC was second in 2:46:58 and third place was John MacDougall in 2:49:14.
Whilst the winning time for the women in the marathon wasn’t particularly fast for a winning time, it seems there was a very close finish between Penelope Atkinson and Katie Ellis. Just eight seconds separated the two athletes at the finish line with Atkinson crossing in 3:36:08 and Ellis in 3:36:16.
Interestingly Ellis actually posted a quicker chip time, but races are decided by first across the line. Just goes to show the importance of getting a good starting position for those in contention to win a race like this. The second place runner actually covered the 26.2 miles 20 seconds quicker on the day.
The half marathon saw a win for East Cheshire Harriers and Tameside AC’s Scott Matthews in 73:32.
Matthews has been aiming for a half marathon time quick enough to qualify for the championship start for London Marathon for the past 18 months so will be delighted to come away with a win and a sub 74 minute time.
Alex Whittem (74:38) and Ian Harkness (77:54) made up a strong podium for the half marathon.
The women’s winner, Jo Ermitage of Vegan Runners UK (1:29:07), also had a close run race with Helen King of Morpeth Harriers & AC (1:29.13).
Just seven seconds between the two athletes this time, but the chip timing was the same results as the gun time, unlike the marathon.
Ron Hill Accrington 10k
The Ron Hill Accrington 10k saw a win for David Rigby of Salford Harriers in 32:31. Ben Costello (35:19) and Nick Gaskell (36:03) completed the men’s podium.
Blackburn Harriers’ Pauline Powell was the clear female winner in 38:36, five minutes ahead of second place Claire Vincent in 43:39. Sophie Pilkington in 44:05 was third.
Terry O’Gara Memorial 5km
Sam Hancox took the men’s win in Wallsend running 15:29, while Robyn Bennett won the women’s race in 18:09.
Warsaw Marathon / 10k
Aldershot’s Louise Small clocked a 33:20 PB to win the women’s 10k race that forms part of the Warsaw Marathon events. Small’s winning time takes 40 seconds from her 10k road best.
Adam Hickey ran 14:42 to record the quickest time across the UK at parkrun, while Ruth Barnes ran the fastest women’s time in 17:09. This weekend’s top 10 men’s and women’s times can be found here.