It’s been a bumper weekend on the track and roads. James Rhodes brings you the highlights.

Belfast Brilliance

Belfast was blessed with perfect weather conditions for the Irish Milers Meeting on Saturday at the Mary Peters Track. The highlight of the afternoon came in the women’s 800m where Abbie Ives became the 30th British woman to break the two minute barrier, with 1:59.92 to finish second.

It was a perfectly executed race that moves her to fourth on the U20 all-time list. It was just 0.12s shy of a World Championships qualifying standard! University of Birmingham teammate Issy Boffey was third, with a PB of 2:00.18. It is only a matter of time before her PB also starts with a 1.

Ireland’s Cambridge-based Louise Shanahan took her second consecutive win at the event, with an impressive 1:59.53 – just outside her own Irish Record set at this event last year.

What a sub-2:00 800m looks like. Photo: James Rhodes

The men’s a race was equally as exciting. World Junior medalist Ethan Hussey took almost half a second off his 800m PB with 1:46.18, with Tom Randolph (1:46.83) and Angus Harrington (1:46.98) completing the top three. That is Tom’s fastest time in almost two years after long spells of injury, whilst Angus improved by over 1.5 seconds from his previous 1:48.58 best.

A large British contingent took part in the men’s 3000m, including James West (7:53.25), Will Battershill (7:53.29 PB) and Mark Pearce (7:59.88) who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively. Another Luke Gunn coached athlete, Tom Dodd, finished second in the men’s 1500m.

Photo: James Rhodes

Cheers in Copenhagen

A strong England Athletics team headed to Denmark for Sunday’s Copenhagen Marathon. The star of the show was Philippa Bowden, who delivered metronomic pacing to finish third in 2:29:16. She is the 33rd British woman to better 2:30 and improved her PB, set in Seville last year, by over five minutes doing so.

Behind was a PB for Anya Culling (2:34:45), finishing eighth, with Sally O’Gorman twelfth in 2:41:58. The British men competing were led by Alex Lawrence (2:19:38) and Matt Crehan (2:20:21). The pair crossed the line in 15th and 17th respectively. Wondiye Firke (2:26:10) finished in 26th.

England Athletics Team at the Copenhagen Marathon. Photo: Andy Jones

10k Fun

Gateshead Harrier Calum Johnson clocked the only sub-30 mark at the Babcock Shettleston 10k, with 29:45. The event incorporated the Scottish Championships, in which John Bell (30:29) took top spot ahead of Alastair Hay (30:33) and Ryan Thomson (30:43).

In the women’s field there was a clear winner in Natasha Phillips (33:00). The podium was completed by Kirsty Walker (33:52) and Naomi Lang (34:50).

This weekend also saw the Welsh Championships, which were incorporated into the Caerphilly 10k. Lauren Cooper was a clear winner in the women’s field (35:40) ahead of Alaw Evans (36:13) and Olivia Tsim (36:30). A good race from Dewi Griffiths after the London Marathon saw him clock 30:23, with Jonathan Butler (30:41) and Alex Jackson (30:59) also finishing inside 31 minutes.

There were numerous other 10k opportunities this weekend. Perhaps the largest was the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run 10k. Gemma Steel (34:09) and Chris Thompson (29:45), the latter also on his return from the London Marathon, recorded good wins. Charlie Arnell (77:00) and Alex Milne (68:55) took the associated half marathon.

There was a close battle between Paul Navesey and Patrick Martin at the Bognor 10k. Paul just got the better, finishing in 31:54 to Patrick’s 32:00. It was clearer in the women’s field, with Kate Drew (34:43) almost a minute clear of Cassie Thorp (35:37).

Another sub-30 clocking came at the Staines 10k via Blake Moore (29:55), with Kylara Hassall (39:00) the fastest woman. Elizabeth Apsley (35:16) and Robbie Brown (31:50) ran well to win the Oxford Town & Gown 10k.

Marathon Season Continues

The traditional ‘spring’ marathon season may be drawing to a close, but there are still opportunities for athletes to test themselves over 26.2 miles. The biggest of the weekend was Sunday’s Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon. Eleanor Baker (2:41:01) took a commanding victory, finishing fourth overall. The first to cross the finish line was Nathan Edmondson (2:29:14).

There were also wins for James Pugsley (2:38:12) and Jessica Bruce (3:08:29) at the Exeter Marathon, and Ellie Baverstock (2:53:22) and Conor Culham (2:39:41) at the Halstead Marathon. Tim Alford (4:10:38) and Gemma Chope (4:24:34), finishing third overall, recorded wins at the Tempo Trail Marathon. Emma Bexson (1:56:16) and Adam Notley (1:47:23) won the associated half marathon.

Halved Distance

If you fancied 13.1 miles this weekend, you were also in luck. Given the plethora of results, this is a rapid fire summary. There were wins for Sam Dear (84:06) and Johanna Dear (85:40) at the Buckinghamshire Half Marathon, Dawn Godwin (87:47) and Neil Kevern (72:57) at the Lexicon Bracknell Half Marathon, and Tom McCarthy (77:52) and Joanna Eddy (94:37) at the Run Hereford Half Marathon.

At the Heaton Park Half Marathon, Ben Akin (73:16) finished over ten minutes before anyone else. Rachel Theobald (90:38) was the fastest female. Exactly five minutes separated Cameron Milne (67:28) from the rest of the field at the Loch Leven Half Marathon. Annabel Simpson (78:23), finishing fifth overall had a similar margin of victory.

A race that puts large warning signs for its difficulty on its homepage is the Snowdonia Half Marathon. It proved no challenge for Steffan Sayer (83:26) and Rosanna Andrews (94:18) who were quickest to finish. Tom White (78:04) and Faye Jeacocke (93:09) were victorious at the Saxon Shore Half Marathon.

Midweek Action

Time for a quick-fire run the many midweek 10ks. They provided wins for Ben Robinson (31:34) and Kate Telford (39:35) at the Berkeley 10k, organised by Dursley Running Club, and Emily Baines (37:57) and Jake Shannon (33:42) at the Pocklington 10k.

The Clayton 10k went to Emily Nott (39:40) and Carl Moulton (33:52), whilst David Holmes (34:46) and Fiona Todd (40:39) were fastest at the Carlisle City Urban Trail 10k. On Monday, the aptly named King Charles Coronation 10k in Leominster was won by Luke Mason (34:00) and Jennifer Cashmore (37:12). The associated 5k went to Sophie Cook (19:41) and Sam Juson (17:19).

Sam Peppiette (37:22) and Carike Moolman (44:56) won the Dinton Summer Series 10k.

Halving the distance, Joseph Wilson (15:03) and Jasmine Wood (16:40) took the Even Splits York 5k, Jenny Featherstone (20:31) and Steven Cahill (17:15) the Loxley Lash 5k, Michael Roderick (16:12) and Ashleigh Willis (17:59) the Swansea Bay Summer 5k Series, and Zoe Chapman (22:06) and Ross Macdonald (17:39) the Armada 5k.

Crispian Bloomfield (17:33) and Joanna Bolton (22:26) won the Crown to Crown 5k, with the Westbury 5k honours going to Jacqueline Rockliffe (18:25) and William Ewens (15:38). Finally, Barney Reed (15:47) and Carrie Miller (18:33) crossed the line first at the Gosport 5k.

In lesser-raced distances, the Walton Park 5 went to Darren Stewart (26:27) and Fay Hughes (30:08). Sharon Bulman (31:46) and Paul Darroch (27:07) were quickest at the Locke Park Pie & Peas 5. It was the turn of Jordan Street (22:15) and Lauren Crossland (26:51) to record victories at the Maltby Memorial 7k. The Pocklington fixture of the York & District Road Race League provided victories for Emily Baines (37:57) and Jake Shannon (33:42).

Busy at Battersea

On Wednesday, Battersea Park played host to the CSAA 10k which was won by Natasha Sheel (38:13) and Jack Millar (31:02). Also in Battersea Park midweek was the Vets AC 5 Mile Championships. V35 Kay Sheedy (29:49) and V45 Andy Bond (26:08) took race wins. It’s been a busy week in Battersea Park, as Javier Rodriguez Zaurin (72:11) and Alice Cox-Rusbridge (85:19) won the Battersea Park Half Marathon on Saturday.

Back on Track

The first BMC Gold Standard Races of the year took place on Wednesday at the University of Birmingham. Standout 3000m races saw lifetime bests for Megan Keith (9:00.11) and James Heneghan (8:02.91) in taking victories.

Behind Megan, Sarah Astin (9:05.39), Poppy Tank (9:07.16 PB) and Innes Fitzgerald (9:07.54) all ran inside 9:10.

The men’s race saw excellent depth with 13 of the 19-strong field setting PBs. They included juniors Ed Bird (8:03.52), James Dargan (8:04.53), Thomas Patrick (8:04.62), Corey Campbell (8:06.46) and Conan Harper (8:07.35). Blake Moore also revised his best with 8:04.53 in fourth.

Tom Mortimer (3:43.22) and Bethan Borley (4:18.06) won the 1500m, with Indienne King (2:06.30 PB) and Sam Reardon (1:47.97) the 800m.

The event was integrated into the University of Birmingham Open Meeting. Hannah Seagar (9:38.86) and David Sheldon (8:32.42) set the fastest 3000m times, with Charlotte Vaughan (2:21.61) and George Rowland (1:53.65) doing the same over 800m.

Also on Wednesday, Max Price (3:52.72) led twelve men inside four minutes in the 1500m at the BMC Regional Races hosted by Thames Valley Harriers. Nine set PBs in the process, whilst Isla McGowan (4:24.89) also revised her PB as the fastest female. Emma Howsham (2:15.36) and Gus Tomlinson Smith (1:53.92) were fastest in the 800m.

The TVH Open Meeting integrated into the event saw Ryan Keane (9:24.45 PB) and Katie Hughes (10:01.86) quickest over 3000m.

At Tuesday’s Linwood Open Graded Meeting, the fastest 1500m were run by Matthew Holden (4:11.47 PB) and Lesley Bell (4:44.07). Both Eilidh Dallas (10:15.39) and Angus Wilkinson (8:40.87) set PBs recording the quickest 3000m times. Alba Escobar Barfoot (6:34.0) and Stanley Wyatt (4:25.5) recorded the fastest times at the Natasha Lewis Open in Bath, which was open to juniors only.

More 10ks

There remain ten races to bring you results from over the same distance. Ready? Here it goes. Jordan Skelly (30:12) and Della Hatfield (34:24) won the Beverley 10k, with the Blackpool 10k going to Caroline Betmead (41:04) and Luke Minns (32:36). Sticking to ‘b’, wins at the Brett Jones 10k in Hoylake were taken by Siobhan Hanlon (46:32) and Sam Stott (37:29).

Iain Whitaker (36:27) and Mel Zobel (47:19) crossed the line first at the Bluebell Trail 10k. Victoria Bailie (22:04) and Josh Cooper (19:39) were quickest in the associated 5k.

In Sutton Hall, Sebastian Hallett (38:06) and Emanuelle Lafitte (47:10) won the Focus 10k. The Colchester Stampede 10k went to Cripsian Bloomfield (33:03) and Lauren Knight (41:39), with Nicole Allan (37:05) and Bryan Brett (34:15) winning the Horsham 10k. Oliver Knowles (34:58) and Sarah Brushett (41:31) took the Darent Valley 10k, organised by Swanley & District AC.

The Tatton Park 10k went to Cal Townsend (34:46) and Elinor Yates (40:24). Rebecca Shorrock (21:20) and William Pareja Melling (17:58) won the associated 5k. Finally, it was Carlos Wilson (37:40) and Kelly Hamilton (42:01) victorious at the Wigan Trail 10k.

Other Distances

Another jump, this time to those longer than 26.2 miles, with three races to cover. Sophie Carter (4:33:39) and Ben Selwood (3:53:42) won the Goring Gap Run 50K. The associated half marathon went to James Suarez (1:26:45) and Lisa Kay (1:41:30). Jacob Snochowski (5:49:30) and Jay Hairsine Wilson (7:45:32) took the honours at the Moray Coastal Trail 50. Third up is the Kintyre Way Ultra which went to Nicola Duncan (5:23:46) and Stuart Oates (5:12:43).

Happy Ending

It’s always nice to end the round up with news of a race win for one of the team! Editor (and British 24 Hour Record Holder) Robbie Britton won the Maratona Della Battaglia in Italy in 2:31:28. Not a bad effort for a training run!

Fast Running’s Robbie Britton