The Great North Run delivers a win for Scott and a brilliant debut for McColgan. Hodgkinson rounds out her Diamond season, Wightman and Reekie win in NY and there’s a touch of controversy on the roads. What a week!
Win for Scott as McColgan flies on debut
The Great North Run was the big ticket event this weekend and a sign that things are almost ‘normal’, though not quite, with an altered route this year to try to minimise crowds on public transport. That meant an out and back with some really nasty inclines and a double gateshead bridge moment which meant times were a touch slower. Normally the event is the Mo-show, but with Farah out of the running and the fields stacked with a good mix of experienced athletes and debutants it was going to be an interesting race.
Eight men led in the early stages but Marc Scott and Edward Cheserek broke away, putting distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. Scott looked comfortable and put in a surge up one of the inclines leaving Cheserek unable to close the gap with the Brit winning in 61:22, nine seconds clear.
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The battle for third place was a good one too, with Jake Smith giving a pained looking Galen Rupp a lot to worry about, but in the end Rupp edged it taking the final podium spot in 61:52 and leaving Smith fourth in 61:54. Emile Cairess ran a great debut of 51:57 for fifth and Calum Johnson was tenth in 64:36.
In the women’s race, there was another battle between two athletes, but perhaps not the two we expected. Hellen Obiri was always going to be a favourite, but it was Eilish McColgan not the other more experienced ladies who went with her. Every time Obiri pushed on uphill McColgan ground it out and then gained back once the incline was over. Towards the end the mental grind started to show but she held on for 67:48, just six seconds behind Obiri’s winning time of 67:48 and put herself third on the British all time rankings.
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Charlotte Purdue, who we would imagine is about at the peak of marathon training right now, ran 68:49 for third and looked stronger as the race went on. Charlotte Arter was sixth in 71:11, Verity Ockenden eight in 72:56, Natasha Cockram ninth in 72:59 and Clara Evans was tenth in 73:22.
Keely caps her stunning season
We’ll skip back in time a little before we look at the rest of the weekends results because the final of the Diamond League series finale took place in Zurich midweek. It felt like a real celebration of making it through a full season on the track. On Wednesday the city centre played host to a very interesting track setup for the 5000m races. With tight banked turns this wasn’t expected to be a fast course and was ineligible for any records but that didn’t stop some fierce fights. Hellen Obiri tried to make a breakaway move in the last lap but DSD athlete Francine Niyonsaba showed that if she’s going to have to run the longer distances then she’s going all in, convincingly holding off Obiri and Ejgayehu Taye to win in 14:28.98. Obiri is due to race at the Great North Run at the weekend.
Berihu Aregawi ran what would have been a significant PB to win his 5000m in 12:58.65. He did comment that the corners were a bit tricky but it doesn’t seem to have slowed him down! Andy Butchart came home eighth in 4:03.13.
There was of course also a raft of field events, including a fantastic women’s high jump competition set against the backdrop of the Opera house which is well worth a re-watch.
On Thursday the action moved to the Letzigrund stadium. Keely Hodgkinson rounded off an incredible season by securing her place at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon and winning the 800m in 1:57.98 to be crown Diamond League Champion. Kate Grace (1:58.34) and Natoya Goule (1:58.34) held off Jemma Reekie who finished in fourth with 1:58.61 on the clock. Elliot Giles was fifth in his race with a time of 1:45.25.
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Faith Kipyegon repeated her victory over Sifan Hassan in the 1500m but without Muir in the mix and less racing in Hassan’s legs it was by a tighter margin. Kipyegon ran 3:58.33 and Hassan 3:58:55 with the USA’s Josette Norris taking third in 4:00.41. GB’s only athlete in the race was Katie Snowden who ran 4:06.46 for ninth place. In the men’s race a reversal of fortunes saw Timothy Cheruiyot run 3:31.37, beating Olympic champion Jakob Ingebritsen who was just behind in 3:31.45.
Right, back to the weekend’s action!
Alex Bell took seven seconds off her 1500m PB at ISATF Berlin, running 4:07.06 for tenth place. Erin Wallace was 11th in 4:12.67.
Meanwhile in the USA Jemma Reekie won the Fifth Avenue Mile in 4:21.6 and Jake Wightman took his second crown there in 3:49.6 – a good day for the Scots!
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Masters take centre stage at Kew
The Kew 10k included the England Masters Championships and kicked off a weekend of brilliant racing on home soil.Tracy Barlow took the overall win in 35:52 with Carla Davies second in 35:52 and Rebecca Winter running 36:56 for third. All three ladies on the podium fell into the 35-39 category but there were some brilliant performances from older participants, in particular Sara Avery who is in the 55-59 category and finished in a blistering 37:23. April James-Welsh topped the V40 ladies in a time of 36:57.
It was reported to be a pretty twisty course so times are not necessarily reflective, but James Bellward still managed to smash out a 32:30 win, keeping Sam Coombes (32:41) and Jonathan Carter (32:47) at bay. Coombes also won the v40 category and Anthony O’Brien the V50 in 33:49 but it’s V70 Derek Jackson’s time of 39:20 that is arguable most impressive. And if one win wasn’t enough, Tracy Barlow went on to win the Sundown 5k as well after her 10km win in the morning, cruising around in 18:12 and more than two minutes ahead of the next runner. Daniel Cliff won with the same margin of victory in the men’s field, finishing in 15:28.
The Richmond Marathon victory went to Dan Nash in2:23.29 – ten minutes clear fo Jospeh Kopka (2:39:08). Jemima Farley took the women’s win in 2:46:35 with prolific racer Melissah Gibson running 2:50:09 for second. In the Richmond Half Marathon there was a fight for the line in the women’s race with Rebecca Winter (who was third in the 10k) edging it in 1:20:37, leaving Claire Grima in second (1:20:40) and Hannah Roberts third (1:20:48). The men’s race had a little more clear air between the results. Craig Ruddy was first in 1:08:54, Lloyd Kempson second in 1:09:20 and V40 athlete Robert Elmore third in 1:09:32. Again England masters athletes were in action with some fine performances from the likes of V60 Koji Miyazaki (80:27), V70 Peter Young (96:42), V60 Christine McCarthy (93:51) and V65 Lynda Hembury (1:42:08).
There was a little bit of controversy to keep things spicy this weekend with a long course in Brighton and illegal shoes in Vienna. Neil McClements sprinted past Ollie Garrod on the home straight of Brighton Marathon to snaffle the win in 2:33:34. The course was later announced to be 568m too long, so whether Garrod would have been winning at the actual finish point is an interesting question. However, he goes home with second in 2:34:01 and Mark Innocenti third in 2:35:45. Verity Hopkins had none of those worries, taking her win in 2:52:11 with Amy Harris second in 3:04:27.
Congratulations to Neil McClements, our men’s marathon winner with a time of 2:33:44.34.
— Brighton Marathon Weekend (@BrightonMarathn) September 12, 2021
Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa thought he had won the Vienna City Marathon in 2:09:22 this morning, but he ran it in Adidas Prime X shoes which are illegal due to their stack height and multiple carbon plates, so Leonard Langart got upgraded to top spot after running 2:09:25… in Adidas Adios Pro 2. Which are their legal racing carbon plate shoe. Talking of Adidas (no this isn’t sponsored they just happen to have done a good job of generating headlines this weekend), the company ran a small-field elite only multi lap event at their HQ in Herzogenaurach to push their new shoes. Over 5k, 10k and 21.1k there were multiple PBs and Agnes Jebet Tirop (30:01) and Senbere Teferi (14:29) broke the women’s only 10k and 5k world records.
Alice Wright has been quite quiet when it comes to racing recently, so it was good to see her winning Athens Half Marathon and placing seventh overall in 74:53. Kirsteen Welch is normally found in the mountains these days but today she won the Torbay Half Marathon in 78:27, beating Megan Davis, sister of GB mountain runner Elsey Davis and 2:39 marathon Julia Davis who ran 78:41. Phil Wylie was first man home in 69:07 ahead of Tom Merson (69:19)
Phil Sesemann can be seen on instagram looking pretty casual about his win at Wilmslow Running Festival Half Marathon. He raced home in 65:18, holding off Joe Sagar (66:38) and Ben Fish (66:45). Heather Townsend goes home with the women’s trophy after running 76:09 ahead of Claire Martin (82:44) and Diance Mcvey (83:30).
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The athletes and the Great North Run might have been complaining about the elevation on the temporary course, but maybe they should speak to those taking part in Ultra Trail Snowdonia. Over the 165mile (32,800ft) option it was Josh Bakker-Dyos who battled the course for 28:51:43 to be first back round. Alice Sheldon and Becky Wightman were the only two female finishers in 45:09:55 and 47:41:06. Stepping down to the 100mile (22,000ft)loop, it was Mark Darbyshire who won in 14:25:47 and Sarah Staveley in 21:41:03. Finally, in the positively short 50 mile (10,800ft) race, Lauren Woodwiss was first lady in 7:54:18 and Harry Jones first man in 6:13:22.
Now, let’s rattle through some other results from the week. Apologies to any we’ve missed – it’s been a monster week of racing and next week promises to be just as good.
Ashford AC Open Meeting – In the 5000m U20 Wegahta Zerom won in a PB of 15:20.43. Melanie Christodoulou was the only woman in the race and finished in a PB of 24:56.67.
Blast at the Meadows 5K – won by Cameron Smith (Cambuslang Harriers) in 14:52 and Katie Johnson (Edinburgh AC) in 17:28
The 5000m at the Gloucester September Open went to Marc Barnett in 16:52.3 and Gemma Collier in 18:24.6, both new bests.
Gosport 5K Summer Series – won by James Baker, 15:51 and Aleksandra Vargin, 21:58
Granite Way 10 / 20 – Hayden Bond ran 58:19 and Alison Thorn 1:03:45 to top the 10, while Alison McEwing (2:11:42) and Jonny Colaco (2:01:22) won the 20 mile option.
Trafford Grand Prix – Over 1500m, Telford AC’s Dan Galloway ran a PB to win in 3:51.51 and Hannah Nuttall also ran a new best to take her first place in 4:12.30. In the 3000m it was India Barwell (10:11.66)and Jacob Cann (8:28.74) who crossed the line first.
Charnwood AC Open -U15 Robert Price ran a PB of 8:49.06 to win the 3000m with Jess Judd showing in second place in 8:53.40
Great North Run 5K – A clear win for Sam Charlton in 15:13 and Alexandra Sneddon won the women’s race in 18:32