Another busy weekend, with the road season in full swing and the last dances on the track. James Rhodes takes you through some of the highlights of the racing action.
Swift in Swansea
With the autumn road season in full swing, there have been plenty of noteworthy performances over the weekend. One of those was by Calli Thackery at the Swansea Bay 10k. She improved her PB by over half a minute to 32:19, winning by well over a minute in the process. That time moves her into the top thirty on the UK all-time list, slotting between Alyson Dixon and Zola Budd. Not bad company!
🏆Welsh 10K Road Race Series 2023 – Race 5⃣ / Ras 5⃣ #AdmiralSwanseaBay10K
MEN / DYNION 🏴
1⃣ Dewi Griffiths – (29:53)
2⃣ Jonathan Butler – (30:35)
3⃣ Adam Bowden – (30:48)
WOMEN / MENYWOD 🏴
1⃣ Jenny Nesbitt – (33:40)
2⃣ Caryl Edwards – (34:52)
3⃣ Olivia Tsim – (35:45) pic.twitter.com/hXo0SDuyqq
— Welsh Athletics (@WelshAthletics) September 17, 2023
The top-three in the women’s field was completed by Jenny Nesbitt (33:41) on her return from injury and Caryl Edwards (34:52). After a quiet period from 2019 through to this year, it’s great to see Caryl returning to racing.
It was considerably closer in the men’s field, with the top three separated by just ten seconds. Kadar Omar (29:44) got the better of Dylan Evans (29:49) and Dewi Griffiths (29:54), with Dylan improving his PB by two seconds.
Danish Racing, Not Pastry
The Copenhagen Half Marathon is well known for being fast, and plenty of Brits headed to the Danish capital in search of a good race. Most eyes were on Emile Cairess, with a potential sub-one hour attempt touted beforehand. It was not to be, however, with Cairess clocking 60:52 – twenty seconds shy of his PB set in Valencia.
There were some excellent performances from a British female perspective. They included by Lily Partridge (70:36), her fastest time in eight and a half years and just five seconds shy of her PB. Behind, Mhairi Maclennan ran well in her second ever half marathon. The Scot clocked 71:18, eight seconds faster than she ran in Antrim three weeks ago. Philippa Bowden (72:39) also ran well, taking 50 seconds off her PB set in Reading in 2021. Another athlete with a good debut over the distance was Georgie Grgec (72:58).
70:36 for @LilyPartridge01 in Copenhagen – her fastest in eight and a half years and just 5 seconds shy of her PB.
— James Rhodes (@James_Athletics) September 17, 2023
Back to the men’s field, where Ellis Cross (61:48) improved his PB and Jamie Crowe (64:48) ran well also.
Swansea was not host to the only 10k of the weekend. Marco Parolin (32:23) and Naomi Kingston (36:17) won RunThrough’s Altrincham 10k, whilst Catherine Williamson (37:39) and Joe Gentry (32:47) took the Wetherby 10k.
Dominic Howarth (34:52) and Tabitha Woodhouse (40:43) ran well at the Stevenage 10k. Meanwhile, there were victories for Monica Petrosino (40:39) and Stephen Buckle (34:15) at the Leighton 10k, Cat Gillen (43:52) and Fergus Donnelly (36:56) at the Arrochar 10k, and Samuel Stapley (33:55) and Jo Vickers (40:36) at the Reigate 10k.
In more challenging courses, it was Michael Cottam (45:31) and April Stewart (52:39) who came out on top at the Stainland Trail 10k. Paula Downing (43:18) and Alex Jefferson (41:21) did the same at the Caythorpe Dash 10k.
In London, there were plenty of options to chose from. Quinn Ballbach (36:24) and Sarah Heath (45:35) headed to Regent’s Park and won the The One in the Park 10k. Further east, the Pride Pride 10k in Victoria Park went to Jen Baird (39:26) and Cameron Hutton (34:13).
Sadly the alcoholic beverages do not come mid-race at the Phantom Brewing Co 10k Beer Run. Running along the Thames Path in London, Adam Dart (34:56) and Nicola Lee (40:09) crossed the finish line first. Not far away, Eoin O’Brien (39:23) and Caroline Mclellan (42:21) won the Richmond Park 10k.
Bryan Brett (34:30) and Sarah Morris (43:26) won the John Faulds Hellingly 10k. The Beck Busters 10k went to Lucy Matthews (41:35) and James Ireland (37:16). Finally, Lee Stopford (33:00) and Kate Jacobs (40:32) won the Angels 10k.
As athletes took towards the October marathon flurry, many are taking to half the distance to fine tune their race preparation. Amongst them were Alex Carter (69:42) and Steph McCall (77:45) who recorded wins at the Battersea Park Half Marathon on Saturday. It was Alex’s second half of the year, having raced in Poznan in Poland in April, whilst Steph was almost three minutes quicker than at last month’s The Big Half.
Shaun Antell (68:25) and Rachel Felton (80:27) won the Chippenham Half Marathon, with the Reigate Half Marathon going to Katie Lysons (87:03) and Charles Pearson (75:17). In Wales, Emma Taylor (77:45) and Jim Hickinbottom (70:10) crossed the line first at the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon.
With a margin of over 90 seconds, Lee Milburn (68:33) won the ABP Humber Coastal Half Marathon. Emily Smith (79:22) enjoyed an even greater winning margin of over four minutes! Over In Guernsey, the Butterfield Half Marathon went to Ulrike Maisch (84:35) and Steve Dawes (71:42).
Speaking of Battersea Park, the ever-popular Friday Night Under the Lights 5k returned this week. It was the turn of Adam Clarke (14:12) and Maddie Jordan-Lee (16:15) to take victories. In all, 23 men ran inside 15 minutes. As its name suggests, also in the week, Lizzie Parry (18:39) and Daniel Pudner (16:16) won the Hatfield Midweek 5k.
With the Diamond League drawing to its conclusion tonight, the (very long) track season is coming to a close. Some of the best have headed to Eugene and Hayward Field for two days of action. On Saturday, there were British interests in both the men’s mile and women’s 1500m.
George Mills has certainly ended his season on a high. Having improved to 3:49 for the mile, winning the 1500m at the ISTAF in Berlin and joining the 3:30 club all in the past couple of weeks, it’s been rather impressive. He improved further in the mile in Eugene, finishing third in 3:47.65. That moves him to third on the UK all-time list, sitting behind Steve Cram and Sebastian Coe. It’s exciting times to see him slot in with the trio (ahead of Steve Ovett) that are seen by many to define middle distance racing in Britain. There was also a PB for Elliot Giles (3:51.63), a Birchfield Harriers club record.
The race was won by Jakob Ingebrigtsen, his 3:43.73 the third fastest in history and just shy of the World Record. That time is a European Record. Yared Nuguse broke the longstanding American Record, Reynold Cheruiyot the World U20 Record and Niels Laros the European U20 Record. There were also Spanish, Dutch and French records. Quite a race!
The women’s 1500m was equally as impressive. Faith Kipyegon closed off the most spectacular track season in 3:50.72. It was a masterclass, and she now owns five of the top ten fastest times in history. Laura Muir ran the second fastest of her career (3:55.16), finishing third. Melissa Courtney-Bryant ran inside four minutes once more, with 3:59.57.