The London Marathon may be dominating athletics headlines but there were scores of other exciting races taking place at the British Universities and Colleges Sports track championships, the Shakespeare Marathon, the Highland Fling, the Three Peaks and many more!
Charlotte Purdue and Callum Hawkins were the stars of the British running show in the Virgin London Marathon, alongside truly gutsy performances from Tish Jones, Lily Partridge, Hayley Carruthers, Dewi Griffiths and of course, Mo Farah!
Click here to read our full London Marathon report.
Friday night (April 26) saw the latest edition of the Mid-Cheshire 5k take place at Kingsley, with men’s victory taken once again by Aldershot, Farnham & District’s Richard Allen and the women’s title clinched by City of Lisburn’s Ciara Mageean.
Allen’s winning time of 14:15 was significantly slower than his 13:51 PB from last year’s Ipswich 5k, but considering Storm Hannah was already building up pace it is still a good time for the consistent AFD athlete.
Second place went to Sale Harriers’ Nigel Martin who was just two seconds back in 14:17. Martin recently chatted with Fast Running about his training and how he ran a fantastic 65:26 half marathon best at Wilmslow.
Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies’ Ed Shepherd also ran well to clock 14:20 for third.
Mageean’s time in victory was a dominant 16:08 to win by a huge 15 second margin. The Irish International also clocked a big 12 second PB to top off her best ever road race.
Welsh International and Swansea Harrier Elinor Kirk was a fine second in 16:23 to make it a one-two for the Team New Balance Manchester duo.
Liverpool Harriers’ Rachael Burns ran a superb 16:51 to finish third, the V35 four seconds clear of Ribble Valley’s Eleanor Bolton.
While tens of thousands of hardy endurance runners were pounding the streets of London, slightly fewer but perhaps even hardier athletes were tackling the Highland Fling and the Three Peaks fell race.
The Highland Fling titles went to John Hammond in 7:30:29 and Beth Pascall in 8:02:46.
Sam Humphrey was second in 7:32:08 while Toby Chapman took third in 7:32:57.
Nicola Duncan took the runner’s up spot in the women’s race in 8:19:43, with Morgan Windram in third in 8:45:02.
The Three Peaks traverses the famous Yorkshire Dales mountains of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.
Keswick AC’s Brennan Townshend was an exciting winner of the men’s race on Saturday (April 27) in a superb 2:50:22, with Ellenborough’s superstar Ricky Lightfoot second in 2:52:05.
Keswick’s Carl Bell, another hugely well known name in fell running circles, took third place in 2:55:44.
An absolute giant of the fell world, Bingley Harriers’ Victoria Wilkinson, won the women’s race by an incredible 21 minutes, taking victory in 3:20:01.
The V40 annihilated the rest of the field – as she so often does – but Todmorden’s Annie Roberts still did well to run 3:41:02 for second.
Third place went to Keswick’s Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn in 3:45:07.
Special mention must go to Victoria Park City of Glasgow’s James Stewart, with the GB ultra running international running a 2:39:32 PB at the Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Marathon to finish 15th.
The ‘fast runners: class of 2018’ member will now continue building his training towards the West Highland Way Ultra, a mere 95 miles taking in 14,000ft across the Scottish mountains. Stewart won the race in 2016, so will be aiming to retake the title when it starts at 1am on June 22.
Central AC’s Matthew Sutherland was an overwhelming victor at the Great Stirling Half Marathon in 69:59, more than three minutes ahead of his nearest rival on Sunday (April 28).
Club mate Lewis Millar took consolation in second with a 73:36 clocking, while Kilmarnock’s Martin Brown also made the podium in 73:52.
Falkirk’s incredible V55 ace Fiona Matheson was an even more dominant winner of the women’s race, taking the win in 82:50.
The Scottish wonder beat Sarah Stephen by more than four minutes, the runner up clocking 87:38, while Anya McNicol finished in third in 88:14.
The Great Stirling Marathon victories went to Central AC’s Jennifer Wetton and Michael Wright.
Wetton crossed the line gloriously happy with her win in a strong 2:56:06, well ahead of Inverness’s Lesley Hansen’s 3:04:50. Fife AC’s Rhona Van Rensburg also made the podium in 3:09:55 to complete a very spread out top three finish.
Wright took the men’s win in a much tighter fight for the title in 2:29:32 ahead of Fife’s Kevin Wood’s 2:30:52. Third place went to Inverness’s Donnie MacDonald in 2:34:19.
The Blackpool Festival of Running once again saw runners take on distances ranging from 5k to the marathon over the course of the weekend.
The Blackpool 5k was won by Wigan & District’s Jonathan Kearsley in 18:14 and Lytham St Annes’ Maddy Markham in 20:47, while the Blackpool 10k saw victories for Ludlow Runners’ Jamie Shingler in 36:59 and Vegan Runners’ Jo Armitage in 41:36.
The results of the Blackpool Half Marathon and Blackpool Marathon were still pending but we will update as soon as the brilliant race organisers Fylde Coast Runners have published them.
Bushfield Joggers’ Scott Meadows ran well to take the win at Leicester’s Big 10k on Sunday (April 28) in 35:14, while a certain GB international comeback kid, Gemma Steel, was third overall when she won the women’s race in 35:24.
Steel is coming back to fitness once again after going through a very difficult period in her life, so it is a joy to see her back to winning ways, and on home turf too. Well done Gemma!
Steel was more the 80 seconds ahead of Notts AC’s Sam Harrison, who nevertheless ran a good race to clock 36:47. Third place went to Kayleigh Budd in 41:06.
The men’s runner up place was claimed by Rushcliffe AC’s Stephen Dickens in 35:22, while Steel’s club mate Michael Kingsbury was pushed back into fourth overall and third man in 36:39.
There was yet more marathon action at the Shakespeare Marathon on Sunday (April 28), with victories going to Birchfield Harriers’ Orlando Corea in 2:36:55 and Rachel Davies in 3:15:39.
Morgane Satge was never far behind to take second place behind Davies in 3:18:16, with North Cotswold’s Claire Harrison third in 3:20:57.
Andrew Mcque was second in the men’s race in 2:39:59, with Herne Hill Harriers’ Angus Butler third in 2:41:18.
The women’s fight for the title in the Shakespeare Half Marathon was a very exciting and competitive one, with Birchfield’s Chloe Richardson ultimately taking the win in 77:46 and also finish 7th overall.
Sale Harriers’ Katherine Wood was second in 78:02. Wood recently wrote a blog for Fast Running about her struggles with an eating disorder, so hopefully this result shows she’s getting stronger with every month that goes by.
Leamington’s Natalie Bhangal regularly appears in these weekend round-ups, and here she is once again finishing third in a fine 84:07.
The BUCS Open track races always promise an exciting set of results, and this year’s were no different when the UK’s top university athletes took on events including 3000m and 10,000m.
Although the results are still pending for the women’s races, we do know that Lincoln Wellington’s Abbie Donnelly won the BUCS women’s 10,000m from Kingston & Poly’s Phoebe Law and Rotherham Harriers’ Sophie Cowper.
The BUCS men’s 10,000m was won by St Mary’s Petros Surafel in 29:26.58, ahead of Cardiff’s Jake Smith’s 29:30.64. Third place went to the Uni of Southampton’s Alex Teuten in 30:18.01.
The BUCS 3000m title went to LSAC’s William Fuller, who won in 8:29.34 from Hallamshire’s James McCrae (8:38.74) with George Watson from LSAC third in exactly the same time as McCrae.
41 year-old veteran superstar Ali Watson from Notts AC was a fine sixth in 8:40.36, although with the results still pending he is unsure whether he was actually fifth. We will confirm when the results are confirmed.
Cambuslang’s Ryan Thomson and Tonbridge’s Nicole Taylor were the fastest at UK parkruns this weekend, check out the top ten here.