Gill Bland brings you up to speed on a busy weekend with stars on show at the UK Champs

Windy conditions put paid to fast times, but the racing was no less exciting at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester. 

The men’s 1500m was a stormer of a race with top names all in the mix right to the end. Jake Wightman just turned it up and up, powering to the finish in 3:40.26. 2019 champion, Neil Gourley clocked 3:40.38 for silver, ahead of  Josh Kerr with 3:40.63.

After finishing second in 2021, Amy-Eloise Markovc finally took her first outdoor title, adding 5000m gold to her European indoor 3,000m champion crown – running 15:37.23 for the win. Markovc already has had the qualifying time for Eugene, which means that Jess Judd. who was runner-up in 15:38.39, will also go out to Oregon. Sarah Inglis took the bronze medal in  15:39.55. 

Marc Scott had a confident outing ahead of his return to the states for the World’s winning the men’s 5000m in 13:42.82, with James West PBing for second (after being in the 1500m final the day before) in 13:44.47 and Jack Rowe third in 13:45.30.

Credit: James Rhodes

After being a little unsure of herself lately, Laura Muir was back and looking at ease. After dropping a 2:03 800m in the middle of her heat, she ratcheted up the pace in the last 500m of the women’s 1500m, taking the title of British Champion in 4:12.91. Melissa Courtney went home with silver in 4:17.72 and Sabrina Sinha earned her first senior medal in 4:19.76.

Credit: James Rhodes

Max Burgin’s winning 1:44.54 over 800m was an astonishing run and a world lead, though he has shown plenty of promise in the past. He goes to the worlds alongside Daniel Rowden who was runner up in 1:45:58. Bronze went to Kyle Langford in 1:46.34. 

Jemma Reekie booked her ticket to Oregon, with an 800m win in 2:06.03 ahead of Ellie Baker (2:06.26) and Issy Boffey (2:06.59). The U20 3000m races were won by Pippa Roesseler in 9:33.13 and Thomas Bridger in 8:18.10.

Credit: James Rhodes

Albon claims Mont Blanc crown

Britain’s Jonathan Albon won the prestigious 42km race at the Marathon du Mont Blanc claiming victory in 3:35:20 ahead of Davide Magnini (3:39:41) and Ruy Ueda (3:40:42). The women’s race saw Sara Alonso win in 4:14:49 from Caitlin Fielder of New Zealand (4:20:21) and Moreno Dani (4:21:52).

Albon approaches the finish of the 42km. Credit: Tom Craggs

There were no other Brits on the podium across the other races at the Marathon du Mont Blanc but in the vertical km race Hannah Russell of Helm Hill finished an impressive 4th in 49:29 and Nick Swinburn finished 8th in 44:06. In the 10km race Charlie Sandison and Alison McDonald both finished 6th in 39:58 and 49:17 respectively.

Charlie Sandison in action in the 10km. Credit: Tom Craggs

Tracks Around the Country

Worthing Track Night 3000m saw a brilliant PB from U23 Ned Potter, who ran 8:20.92 to top the podium. Josh Burgess was second in 8:41.30 and Kieran Barnes third in 8:43.26. 

Brighton Phoenix U20 Alice Wright also PB’d for the win, clocking 9:51.37    to beat Emma Navesy (9:58.28) and Eadie Yelling (10:21.22). Thames Valley Harriers Open 3000m race was won by Harry Wells in 9:00.25, with Chloe Baker fastest woman in 10:15.47. Over 1500m at the Loughborough Outdoor Open victory went to Toby Emm in 3:54.86 and Abigal Hancock in 4:29.87. Devon County 10000m honours went to Ollie Thorogood in a PB of 32:24.44 and V50 Emma Stepto in 38:40.55.

BMC Regional Races took place at Wormwood Scrubs and Eltham on Wednesday evening. Luke Birdseye topped the tables at Scrubs with a 3:54.49 for 1500m and Alexandra Brown the women’s in 4:29.47. Eltham 1500m wins went to John Travers in 3:50.94 and Annabel Hobday in 4:36.87. There was one, mixed 5000m race – a race to the line saw Philip Nelson pip it in 14:55.16 ahead of Jack Ramm in 14:55.16. First female was Megan Marchant in16:44.02   

League Races Aplenty

There are plenty of leagues and regional champs doing the rounds over the summer and this week had plenty of them. The Essex League 5 Mile Championships was won by Dean Williamson in 24:21, with Joshua Entwistle four seconds behind and Peter Coates third in 25:50. Madeline Barker topped the women’s podium in 30:32, with Samantha Bilbie (30:52) and Tracy English (30:58) filling the remaining places.

James Johnson ducked under 33 at the EHH Summer League Coniston 10K, clocking 32:59 for the win with Steve Bateson (33:13) in second and Ben Sadowyj third (34:48). Venika Moverley was way ahead of her competitors with her winning time of 39:25 over 3 minutes clear.

The East Midlands Grand Prix continued with Weedon 10k.  Despite the notoriously tricky course, Dominic Jones ran a swift 31:21 to top the rankings, confidently holding off Jack Channel (33:46) and Alistair McDonnell (34:04). Wellingborough’s Alice Belcher kept up her EMGP undefeated run, racing home in 36:13 – a new best. Amy Sarkies was second in 40:11.

Part of the York and District Summer League, the Yorkshire Wolds 10k was won by Jordan Howe of York Postal Harriers in 32:59. Dan Tate followed him over the line, running 33:54 and James Eaton was shortly after in 34:12. 10th overall, in a storming time of 36:44 was Becky Penty of York Knavesmire Harriers, two places behind on the overall list and second female was Charlotte Mason (City of York) in 37:08. Making it a Knavesmire 1-3 sandwich, Helen Cross was third woman in 37:54.   

A windy Prestwold 10k was the latest race in the Leicester Road Running League and there were standout winners in both fields -Gemma Steel was over four minutes clear, running 34:05 and Mohammed Hussein of Roadhogs was 50 seconds clear, running 32:03.

10ks and more

V40 Mark Innocenti set a new best and a big lead at the St Alban’s Summer Solstice 10k, winning in 33:06 with Matthew Cooper (33:43) and James French (34:04) in his wake.    Neringa Cobb was first woman in 41:16. Topping the podium at the Penny Lane Striders 10k were Harry Blackburn (33:40) and Ellie Fielding (40:52). 

Heather Fell won the Chippenham Longest Day 10k 39:23.38, with Johnny Suttle overall winner in 33:12.57. At the Burrator 10k Jim Cole was first home in 32:57 and Niki Morgan in 40:13.

Ranelagh Harriers Richmond 10k had its podium filled by Ollie Garrod (31:26), Alex Kilby (31:45), Thomas Almond (32:20). The women’s medal winners were Kate Brown (37:09), Sarah Holt (37:18) and Niki Densley (37:40).

Ross Broomfield took top honours at the Leamington Spa Half Marathon, clocking 70:40 and Olivia Harris was first female in 85:29. The obviously tricky Hitchin Hard Half saw Sasha Birkin triumph for the women in 1:32:20 and James Fox for the men in 76:26.

Back up the Mountains 

268 miles of ‘fun’ face those taking part in the Summer Spine Race. Anna Troup was in fine form as she defended her title and set a new course record, reaching Kirk Yetholm in 78:56:49 and was second overall for the second year running. Overall winner Tiaan Erwee obliterated the men’s course record by seven hours, making it home in 70:46:50.