It may be the middle of summer, but you might not know it looking out the window. Despite the weather, it has been another busy weekend for racing. James Rhodes brings you a flurry of results on the track, trails and road.

NAL Concludes

The National Athletics League drew to its conclusion on Saturday, with teams heading to Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bournemouth and Milton Keynes.

Premiership fixtures took place in Glasgow and Birmingham, with Thames Valley Harriers winning the premiership title for a third consecutive season.

In Glasgow, Alfie Manthorpe (8:29.00) and Bea Wood (9:30.95) were quickest over 3000m. The 1500m races went to Emily Simpson (4:26.73) and Jamie Mackinnon (3:51.62), and the 800m to Beth Ansell (2:07.21) and Dominic Walton (1:55.02).

Amelia Willis (6:55.32) and Magnus Tait (5:57.31) won the steeplechases, over 1500m and 2000m respectively.

Thames Valley Harriers with the NAL Premiership Trophy.

In Birmingham, Niamh Bridson Hubbard completed an impressive double, winning both the 1500m (4:29.64) and 3000m (9:42.92). Kadar Omar (8:20.83) and Andrew Milligan (3:56.92) won the respective men’s events. Jessica Spilsbury (2:08.34) and Max Wharton (1:51.44) won the 800m, with Alex Barbour (6:52.05) and Terry Fawden (6:00.39) taking the steeplechase.

The Championship division fixtures were held in a rainy Liverpool and Bournemouth. At Wavertree, it was the turn of Kieran Reilly (8:26.21) and Katie Goodge (10:20.20) to win the 3000m, both for Tonbridge. Gemma Kersey (4:39.84) and Ben Murphy (3:52.52) took the 1500m, with Gemma also winning the 800m (2:13.46). Charles Crick won the men’s event (1:55.48) for Tonbridge. Daniel Eckersley (6:02.07) finished an impressive 24 seconds clear of the field in the 2000m steeplechase, with Natalie Sewell (5:13.27) taking the women’s 1500m chase.

Tonbridge secured the Championship division and promotion to the Premiership.

NAL Championship victors, Tonbridge. Photo: Mark Hookway

Bournemouth hosted wins for Poppaea Bramwell Reeks (9:45.98) Samual Charig (8:23.71) in the 3000m, and Oscar Bell (3:58.02) and Maddie Deadman (4:36.12) over 1500m. Harriet Tuson (2:09.98) and Benjamin Reynolds (1:55.36) were quickest for 800m.

Terrific Tens

It appears to have been a good week if you wanted to race over 10k. With so many races, it is almost hard to know where to start! How about the fastest.

London’s Battersea Park is well known for hosting fast times, and the Sri Chinmoy 10k on Saturday was no different. Seyfu Jamaal (29:13) had possibly the best race of his career, running inside 30 minutes for the first time – and by some margin! His previous best dated back to 2019, at 30:14. It is also significantly faster than his track best from Highgate in May (30:06.79). Behind him, there were good runs for Jack Millar (30:41) and Nick Bowker (31:25), the latter just two seconds shy of his PB.

Eliza Hawthorn improved by fifteen seconds (35:59), finishing comfortably ahead of Sarah Forbes-Smith (36:21) and Annie Birch (36:30). In her first 10k of the year, Sarah took over 80 second off her PB.

Also running well this weekend was Lily Partridge (34:32) at the Barry Island 10k. In her fourth 10k of the year she finished over two and a half minutes ahead of Olivia Tsim (37:18) and Donna Morris (37:42).

It was closer in the men’s field, with Shaun Antell (30:46) taking the win ahead of Dan Hamilton (30:52) and Adam Bowden (31:03).

Another fast one was the York 10k, with victories for Joshua Dickinson (30:31) and Charlotte Mason (35:19). That is Charlotte’s fastest 10k of the year by over two minutes.

Plenty More

Sometimes, the best way to bring results of multiple races of the same distance is just to power through them. Back in London, there were wins for Ben Whyte (35:06), by almost two and a half minutes, and Minnie Folland (43:44) at the Richmond Summer 10k.

Kate Maltby (35:37) and Blain Rooney (34:11) won the undulating Netherhall 10k, with Remi Adebiyi (33:24) and Courtney Hyde (39:24) taking the Bearbrook 10k.

The Piggs Trophy 10k in Derby and Castle Rock 10k in Nottingham took place less than 30km apart. The former went to Andy MacEwan (37:07) and Hannah Lilley (42:24), whilst Natalie Bunce (41:10) and William Lunn-Pigula (33:51) crossed the line first at the latter.

Ross Brocklehurst (34:50) and Grace Baker (37:12) won the Rye Summer 10k, Ian Bailey (32:38) and Sam Peppiette (36:01) the Yateley 10k, and Amy Clarke (41:42) and Simon Cook (35:34) the Reepham Summer 10k.

Crossing the border to Scotland, where Kenneth Neill (33:49) and Jennifer Brown (43:03) won the Dundonald 10k. Victory was the word of the day also for Laura Gibson (37:46) and Dylan Crawford (34:28) at the Dunoon 10k.

Still Going!

A handful of venues hosted both 10k and 5k races this weekend. Simon Taylor (35:54) and Susan Holliday (42:16) crossed the line first at the Workington 10k.The associated 5k went to Gary Pala (17:55) and Hailey Fletcher (20:15).

U20 athlete Lizzie Wellsted (34:46) and Martyn Bath (33:48) won the Run Snetterton 10k. Victoria Coe (19:03) and Cameron Messenger (16:29) recorded victories over half the distance. It was a similar story for David McKinnon (35:29) and Venika Moverley (40:52) at the Howden Ashes 10k. Elizabeth Nairn (19:39) and David Gossip (18:43) won the 5k.

Carl French (35:53) and Anna Domville (37:17) won the Dorney Lake 10k, and Katie Harbon (36:38) and Sam Pedley (33:39) the St Albans Summer 10k.

Ending with two ‘T’s, Carl Moulton (33:44) and Isabella Shaw (39:23) took the Trentham 10k, with the Chase the Sun Tatton Park 10k going to Nicola Reece (38:45) and Aidan McIlroy (34:58).

Longer Distances

It doesn’t get much longer than 100 miles. That is the distance several athletes set out to cover at Centurion Running’s North Downs Way 100.

Despite the extensive length of the race, less than 90 seconds separated the top two finishers! Ryan Whelan (17:07:20) finished less than 200m ahead of Joe Ackerley (17:08:47), with Mason Willis (18:17:56) third overall.

It was perhaps less close in the women’s field, with Charlotte Fisher (22:38:49) finishing over twenty minutes before Rachel Gillings (23:00:57) and Lydia Thomson (23:06:19).

It was a good weekend for Matthew Statham and Rebecca Till. The pair recorded victories at the Peak Skyline in Buxton. The race incorporates 29.5 miles and over 2000m of elevation gain, and the pair finished in 5:01:55 and 6:29:48 respectively.

The Half-Skyline takes in 900m elevation over 14.5 miles. Rebecca Martin (2:45:21) was the fastest female, with Harry Bond (1:58:24) quickest overall. He finished an impressive almost fifteen minutes clear of second placed Tom Dale (2:13:00).

Slightly shorter is the Mhor Marathon. Billy Gibson (2:54:52) and David Shaw (2:59:51) ran inside three hours, with Sean Curran (3:05:52) third. Just three minutes separated Lily McCarthy (3:52:17), Jennifer Holden (3:55:22) and Chloe Wishart (3:55:25) on the women’s podium.

It was a good weekend for Fast Running’s Robbie Britton as he finished sixth at the KAT100 in the Kitzbuhel Alps in Austria. He covered the 100 miles with approximately 9000m elevation (!) in 23:35.


Rio Olympian Sonia Samuels improved her five-mile PB to 26:54 in winning the Joy Cann 5. The race is organised by Leicestershire Running and Athletics Network with Mo Hussein (24:58) the fastest male. It is Samuels’ first race over the distance in six years.

Over the same distance, Jordan Skelly (23:28) and Gemma Steel (26:05) won the Bassingham Bash 5 from Edward Buck (23:55) and Sophie Wallis (26:16) respectively. Arun Dight (25:34) and Holly Weedall (28:35) crossed the line first in the Pie & Peas 5 (hungry now?). Gillian McCrory (30:35) and Finn Diver (27:19) did the same at the Mallusk 5.

Shorter Races

For those looking for a speed test over 5k, opportunities included the Sale Sizzler 5k. It was a hotly contested race with just three seconds separating the top three. Nicholas Barry (15:01) finished just ahead of Thomas Charles (15:02) and Rhodri Owen (15:05). Jen Walsh (17:03) finished clear of Emilia Platt (17:25) and Elizabeth Renondeau (17:53).

Kris Jones (14:21) broke the Course Record at the QA 5k in Dunfermline. Annabel Simpson (16:18) was the fastest female. The top twelve finished inside 15 minutes.

Over the same distance, Hallam Girardet (15:42) and Amy Griffiths (19:09) won the Cardiff Summer Sizzler 5k, and Chi Ngan Chow (19:55) and Tom Watson (16:44) the Rainbow 5k in Brighton.

Ending on Track

There may be less track action as the World Championships approach ever closer, but there remains results to bring.

Midweek racing included the BMC Regional Races at Wormwood Scrubs on Wednesday. Led by Samuel Charig (1:49.04), the top three in the men’s 800m set lifetime bests, with Rachel McClay (2:05.33) the fastest female. Belgrave’s Sam Gebreselassie improved his 1500m lifetime best to 3:54.80 in a well-timed sprint finish. Katie Lowey’s 4:22.74 was fastest female, set in the mixed ‘c’ race.

On the same day, Jailan Sohna (1:54.94) and Georgia Morgan (2:22.32) were fastest over 800m at the Birchfield Midweek Open Meeting at the Alexander Stadium.

On Saturday, Rebecca Johnson (15:46.71) improved her lifetime bests at set a track record at the Hercules Wimbledon 5000m Festival Night. With ten races in total, a number included close finishes. None more so than the fastest race of the night, where Kurt Taylor (14:05.64) just got the better of Andrew Fyfe (14:05.78 PB) and Ben Alcock (14:05.92). Less than 0.3s between the top-three!

Rebecca Johnson. Photo: James Rhodes