It’s been another busy weekend of racing, although perhaps not quite as busy following the postponement of the English XC Championships. There’s been lots of exciting races, however, and James Rhodes brings you the highlights from the road, cross country and track.

Excellent Emile

Over the past couple of years, Emile Cairess has become acustomed to producing impressively fast performances. This weekend was no different, as he stepped out on Sunday morning for the Napoli City Half Marathon. A goal was mentioned in the pre-race commentary, to target Mo Farah’s British Record.

That would be a tall order, with Mo the only British athlete to run inside one-hour (59:07). Emile gave it a good go, however, reaching the 10k point in 27:58. It wasn’t quite to be, but he still recorded an excellent time of 60:01. Only Mo and Callum Hawkins (60:00) have ever run faster; it bodes well for what is to come later in the year, which hopefully includes the marathon at the Olympic Games.

Photo: Roberta Colongo, who ran 1:29:39 herself.

In her first race since October, Tracy Barlow ran 77:30.

A National XC Championships!

The English XC Championships may have been postponed on Friday due to flooding, with many athletes finding out once already en-route to Telford. However, the Lindsays Scottish XC Championships did not suffer such a fate!

Callendar Park in Falkirk played host to a number of competitive races, with Jamie Crowe and Alice Goodall taking the respective senior titles.

Representing Central AC, Jamie Crowe improved on his second place finish at this event twelve months prior. He finished with an eighteen second gap to Falkirk Victoria Harriers’ Scott Stirling. Ben Potrykus of Inverclyde took bronze. Jamie played his role also in helping to secure the team title for Central AC, alongside Cameron Milne, Calum Phillip and Alastair Marshall who all finished inside the top-25. Luca Fanottoli and Joel Lange completed the scoring squad.

European U23 Champion for 10000m Alice Goodall was a clear winner in the senior women’s race, finishing over half a minute clear of Edinburgh clumbate Nancy Scott. Scout Adkin of Moorfoot Runners completed the podium with bronze a further nine seconds back. Edinburgh were commanding winners of the team title. Alice and Nancy joined by Kirsty Walker, Beth Ansell, Rose Penfold and Doireann Hughes.

Alice Goodall last summer. Photo: James Rhodes

Natasha Phillips and Andrew McGill won the respective U20 races. Meanwhile, the U17 individual titles went to Millie McClelland-Brooks and Craig Shennan.

On the Roads

It’s eight weeks until the London Marathon, seven weeks until Manchester. It is a popular time, therefore, for athletes to try out their racing over half the distance.

At the Wokingham Half Marathon, Alex Teuten improved his PB to 64:48 in his first race over the distance since 2021. It is an impressive first outing on the road in 2024 for the Southampton athlete. Alexander Miell-ingram (67:22) finished second ahead of George Phillips (67:29). Lauren Reed (73:38) took victory in a strong women’s field, bettering her 2023 PB by over half a minute. Rebecca Murray (74:47) and Sarah Holt (77:36) completed the top-three. Wokingham always delivers a fast course, even with a last-minute change to avoid flooding!

Second placer Rebecca Murray at the Workingham Half Marathon (plus, your author, just ahead in yellow). Photo: Richard Rhodes

Cassie Thorp (75:34) recorded a significant improvement whilst winning the Brighton Half Marathon. Her half marathon PB was set back in 2011, but this time was over four minutes faster. Marshall Smith (67:17) set the quickest time overall, in his second race over 13.1 miles of the year.

Across the border and to the Llanelli Half Marathon. It provided Kadar Omar (65:27) with his third victory of the year, having won the Waterstons Hale 10k last week. Kadar finished over three minutes clear of the rest of the field. Caryl Edwards (76:21) recorded an even greater margin of victory, finishing an impressive near-eight minutes before Steph Gibson (84:16).

Mathew Horrocks (71:33) and Molly Uren (84:58) won the Leicestershire Half Marathon, organised by RunThrough. Rob Jewell (1:24:39) and Emma Smith (1:42:17) were victorious at the Greenham Common Half Marathon. Finally, the Settle Half Marathon provided Donna Edmonson (93:26) and Laurie Corbel (78:54) with wins.

Shorter Distances

The London Winter Run 10k is sponsored by Hoka, and as a result sees many of Hoka’s British athletes turn out to race (or pace). This year’s edition was no different, with Jonathan Davies (28:46) taking victory in the men’s field ahead of Tom Anderson (28:49) and Mark Pearce (29:38). Emma Pallant made a welcome return to racing with victory in the women’s field in 32:33. According to her Power of 10 profile, it is Emma’s first race since 2020 and a considerable 10k PB. Mhairi Maclennan (33:18) and Sarah Astin (33:36) completed the top-three.

Local athlete Wegahta Zerom took a commanding win at the Ashford & District 10k, crossing the line in 31:37. That time is a 26 second PB for the U23 athlete. Gemma Carter Collins (40:09) was the fastest woman racing. At the Bourton 10k, Gemma Kersey (34:27) improved on the time she set at the Valencia 10k at the start of the year. Ed Banks (31:31) was quickest overall.

The ever-fast Battersea Park delivered impressive performances once more this weekend. This time, there were winning debuts over 10k at RunThrough’s Battersea Park 10k for Liam Stone (30:07) and Eliza Nicholson (34:16). Eliza won the U20 race at the Southern XC Championships in January and has followed that up well. The associated 5k was won by Holly Dixon (16:21) and Thomas Chadwick (15:25). A day later and on the other side of the River Thames, Harriet Blaikie (38:25) and George Painter (35:50) secured victories at RunThrough’s Regent’s Park 10k.

Lauren Heyes had an excellent outing at the Standish Hall Trail 10k. Her time of 37:05 saw her finish over two and a half minutes clear of the second placed James McLeod (39:47). Staying with events beginning with an ‘s’, Martin Klavon (35:56) and Molly Ralphson (41:04) won the Stanley Park 10k.

Back across the border to Wales, where Nicola Jukes (41:13) and Michael Lewis (34:15) won the Pontypool 10k.

Ollie Garrod continued his busy racing calendar with a win at the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k. He recorded 15:29 over the two-lap Hyde Park course and finished 39 seconds ahead of Chris Mullin (16:08). Another Fast Running regular Melissah Gibson (17:25) was the fastest female.

Imperial Distances

World Championships representative Andrew Davies was a clear winner of the Rhyl 10. He completed the course in 50:28, finishing five minutes before anyone else. Ruth Jones (65:27) joined him with a first place finish. Wins in the Rhyl 5 went to Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (31:24) and Antonio Conradie (28:35). A good day in the Conradie household!

Jack Nixon improved the course record at the Tarpley 10, recording 52:27. He was joined on the winner’s podium by Sara Bird (63:53). Over the same distance, Ricky Lightfoot (53:30) and Susan Holliday (71:04) took victories at the Netherhall 10. Katie King (2:10:47) and Stuart Haynes (1:54:14) set the fastest times in the Tarpley 20.

Johnpaul Williamson (25:26) and Mary Keenan (34:09) won the Mountfield 5. Meanwhile, the Knype Pools 5 saw Kirsty Gill (36:59) and Harry Bond (28:57) cross the finish line quickest.

Indoor Racing

The Indoor highlight of the weekend has been the BUCS Championships in Sheffield. Loughborough’s Alex Millard broke the Championship Record for 3000m with an impressive 9:06.33 clocking. Almi Nerurkar (9:20.48) and Jasmine Wood (9:26.76) joined her on the podium. The men’s race saw 800m specialist Ethan Hussey step up in distance to take a close victory ahead of Tom Bridger. The pair clocked 8:05.22 and 8:05.26 respectively, both setting PBs. Ben Macmillan (8:08.31) took bronze for Stirling.

The 1500m races went to Alex Shipley (4:19.72) for Oxford and Birmingham’s Tyler Davies (3:55.72). Tyler just got the better of British Championship 800m bronze medallist Justin Davies (3:55.99). Indienne King (2:06.92) and Jacob Smith (1:51.52) won the 800m.

With the NCAA Championships getting closer, a number of athletes took to regional meetings Stateside seeking qualification. At the ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championship in Florida, Kristian Imroth (14:31.09) was less than two seconds shy of his 5000m PB. Lucy Thornton raced over both 3000m (10:05.65) and 5000m (17:41.99).

Harry Ross-Hughes (1:48.87) and Lewis Cotterill (1:50.15) both raced over 800m at the Great Midwest Championships in Ohio. Harry’s Blackheath & Bromley teammate Angus Harrington raced over the same distance (1:48.66) at the Ken Shannon Last Chance Invitational in Seattle.

Daniel Joyce (1:50.04) joined the fun too at the SEC Championships in Arkansas. India Weir (9:16.96) improved her PB for 3000m at the same event, whilst steeplechase specialist Elise Thorner stepped down to the mile (4:39.61). Ed Bird improved his 5000m PB to 14:07.69 and also ran over 3000m (8:01.39). Hattie Reynolds also improved her 5000m PB (16:55.66), doing so at the CAA Indoor Championships in New York.

& Finally

It is always nice being able to end with a result from a member of the Fast Running team. Editor Robbie Britton won the Andersen Trail 46 km in Italy, which takes in 2,400m of elevation gain. Despite stomach issues in the closing 10k, he completed the race in 4:31:15.