25 Lap Fever
There are no other events quite like Highgate Harriers’ Night of the 10000m PB’s. A carnival atmosphere, plentiful amounts of beer and world class racing (even if it’s not the most conducive layout to view the races unfold!). The tenth anniversary of the first edition lived up to the high expectations.
The highlight of the evening came from Ethiopian Mizan Alen Adane, who ran 29:59.03 to become the twelfth woman to break the 30 minute barrier; it was also the fastest time ever run in the United Kingdom.
Jess Warner-Judd was the fastest Brit, crossing the line in 31:09.28. Her time from the World Championships in Eugene last summer was a Budapest World Champs standard, and her top-two Brit placing secured her spot for August.
Behind were PBs for Sam Harrison (31:11.40) and Amy-Eloise Markovc (31:17.81). Both impressive for different reasons, the former on the back of the London Marathon and the latter returning from injury.
Abbie Donnelly (32:10.16) improved her best by ten seconds as her excellent 2023 continued. Rebecca Murray, Lucy Reid and Sarah Astin all set lifetime bests in the result.
Two-time Olympic medallist Paul Chelimo took a commanding victory in only his third track 10,000m. A blistering 58 second last lap saw him finish in 27:12.73, agonisingly just shy of the 27:10.00 World Championship standard.
Finishing tenth overall, Andy Butchart (27:47.43) was the fastest Brit, even with time to down a beer in the home straight. Zak Mahamed (27:56.70) rewrote his PB, with Ellis Cross (28:27.01) completing the British podium.
Exceptional performances throughout the evening, long may the 25-lap fun continue.
Marvellous in Manchester
Highgate was not hosting the only high-quality race over 10 kilometres this weekend. A host of fast athletes headed to the Great Manchester Run in search of a fast time. A fantastic women’s field saw Hellen Obiri (31:14) take a commanding win as she becomes a Great Run regular. Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir (31:59) finished second.
Calli Thackery continued her impressive progression by taking 40 seconds off her lifetime best with a 32:51 clocking.
Top 3 AJ Bell #GreatManchesterRun Womens 10K⁰🥇Hellen Obiri – 31:14⁰🥈Peres Jepchirchir – 31:59⁰🥉Calli Thackery – 32:51 pic.twitter.com/tgI5THGcVo
— Great Run (@Great_Run) May 21, 2023
Only eight seconds separated the top three in the men’s race. Italian Eyob Faniel (28:27) just got the better of Marc Scott (28:31), who is making an encouraging return from injury that has meant a few planned race appearances had to be shelved. Australian track specialist Stewart McSweyn (28:35) finished third.
The associated half marathon took place earlier on Sunday morning. Caroline Brenchley continued her winning ways over 13.1 miles, having won the Liverpool Half Marathon in March. She crossed the line in 78:44, over three minutes ahead of Nichola Sheridan (81:52) and Sophie Pyke (83:43).
The men’s race saw a clear victory for Michael Jensen (66:20) ahead of Simon Crawford (68:27) and Thomas Charles (68:50).
Midweek Track Racing
There were some encouraging performances during the week on the track. The BMC Gold Standard Races at Trafford on Tuesday saw the continued return of Sarah McDonald (2:04.24) and Lynsey Sharp (2:04.71) over 800m, the former in her first since August 2019.
In her first 800m since 13 August 2019, @SarahAMcDonald clocks 2:04.24 at the BMC in Trafford. Lynsey Sharp second also 2:04.
— James Rhodes (@James_Athletics) May 16, 2023
Seumas MacKay (1:49.50) and Alex Botterill (3:42.04 PB) were the fastest men in the 800m and 1500m respectively.
The races were integrated into the Trafford Open Meeting. The open races saw Lewis Carr (1:55.43) and Olivia Clarke (2:11.46 PB) go fastest over 800m, with Jessica Lark (4:24.29 PB) and Matthew Clark (3:58.57 PB) quickest in the 1500m.
The longest race of the evening, 3000m, saw Eloise Walker (8:52.08 PB) improve her best by four seconds, with Sam Charlton (8:18.05) first across the line. It was a good race for Alex Millard (8:58.93 PB) also, who ran inside nine minutes for the first time.
A day later were BMC Gold Standard Races in Watford. Phoebe Gill (2:03.10 PB) recorded the third fastest time by a British U17 athlete, whilst Sam Reardon (1:47.82) was quickest male. Ian Crowe-Wright (3:41.20) and Alice Wright (4:22.53) won the 1500m.
Not Enough 10ks
Eyes may have been on the distance in Highgate and Manchester, but there were plenty of other 10k races this weekend.
They provided wins for Elliott Stones (32:16) and Amanda Spencer (40:36) at the The Big Green 10k, whilst Martyna Snopek (34:27) and Ben Short (34:07) won the Run Gatwick 10k.
The Compton 10k went to Kate Amies (44:46) and Leo Maliphant (36:38), the Godalming 10k to Zebedee Stome (39:40) and Yoko Inoue (45:06), with the associated 5k went to Yoyo McCrohan (20:41) and Patrick Crump (18:50).
Jacob James (35:31) and Heather Hann (40:16) were first across the line at the Wheathampstead 10k, with Rebecca Friar (43:31) and Daniel Smith (36:23) doing the same at the Dearne Valley 10k.
Not content with racing 25 laps of the track in Highgate, Ollie Garrod won the Hampton Court Palace 10k a day later (32:44). Lizzie Broughton (39:47) was the fastest female.
Rob Samuel (30:57) and Donna Morris (37:01) won the Newtown 10k, Gaby Reynolds (37:14) and Brogan McCawley (33:33) the Sutton 10k, and Daniel Nichols (37:14) and Serena Patel (44:06) the One in the Park Regents Park 10k.
We aren’t done yet. At the Trevornick 10k it was the turn of Sam Goodchild (36:15) and Emma Paull (40:27). Sally Russell (41:01) and Tony Farnsworth (33:50) were victorious at the Worcester 10k.
First across the line at the Piling 10k were Peter Merritt (32:22) and Jenny Evans-Hill (43:09); Sophie Wood (36:30) and David Taylor (36:10) did the same at the Worden Park 10k.
Tom Shaw (33:17) and Becky Hansen (38:48) took the honours at the Dronfield 10k, the Deeping 10k went to Josie Knight (41:30) and Thomas Preston (35:02). Shane Boxall (34:55) and Eleanor Johnson (41:58) were quickest at the South Woodham Runners 10k, with Tamsin Anderson (37:34) and Chris Powner (32:50) the same at the Netley 10k.
Laura Whittle (39:48) and Matthew King (36:35) won the William Grant Hook 10k. The associated ten-mile race went to Tom Harding (57:49) and Ruth Briggs (70:31).
On Saturday, Melissah Gibson (40:42) and Alistair Mcmaster (35:50) won the Ealing Eagles 10k in London, and Chris Holdsworth (37:36) and Rebecca Flaherty (43:00) the Up the Odda 10k.
Finally, the Skelly 10k went to Charlie Hanson (38:17) and Wayne Lathwell (35:51).
With so many 10k races, you could be forgiven for thinking that was all happening on the roads. Fear not! Longer race opportunities still exist.
The best of these came at the Essar Chester Half Marathon. Over half a minute separated Andrew Heyes from the rest of the field, as he took victory in 65:54. The top-three was completed by London Olympic marathoner Scott Overall (66:29) and Ed Shepherd (67:01).
The women’s field saw an even more impressive margin of victory, with Tracey Barlow clocking 75:20 and finishing over four minutes ahead of Abigail Howarth (79:41) and Kelly Edwards (80:07).
Other half marathons this weekend included the Colchester Half Marathon, which went to Kurtis Swan (70:40) and Katie King (82:22). Andrea Clement (81:04) and Barry Stephenson (74:37) crossed the line first at the Chislehurst Half Marathon with the Worcester Half Marathon going to Lydia Mann (87:55) and Mark Fritchley (79:30).
Morven Goodrum (1:27:08) and Rory McStay (1:32:33) took wins at the challenging The Ridge Off Roader. The Birmingham Festival of Running Half Marathon went to Maliha Abdul-Hakim (95:14) and Ryan Deakin (78:28).
Finally, doubling the distance were Jim Hickinbottom (2:43:09) and Lindsay Judge (3:28:23) at the Worcester Marathon.