Gill Bland is on duty this week bringing all the action from home and abroad

Finishing a recent run of top notch athletics events, the European Championships in Munich delivered plenty of interest this week. As the final races take place tonight, here’s a look back over the week’s racing.

Kicking the event off, the women’s marathon saw Poland’s Aleksandra Lisowska run 2:29:36 to win. Alice Wright was first Brit home in 2:35:33 and 22nd place having been on the front of the pack in the early stages. The other British women running were Naomi Mitchell who ran a disciplined performance in her first major champs with 2:36:44 (25th), Becky Briggs 2:39:02 (31st) and Rosie Edwards 2:40:47 (35th).

However, it was the later and hotter men’s marathon that went a bit viral thanks to an astonishing sprint finish by Germany’s Richard Ringer who won in 2:10:21, pipping Israel’s Maru Teferi in the closing moments. There had been a campaign to move the start time later due to the predicted conditions but it was unsuccessful, leaving times much less important than placings. Phil Sesemann had been training for the heat but said was unhappy with his 2:15:17, despite being the highest ranking GB marathoner on the day with his 17th place. Mohamud Aadan ran 2:17:34 (30th) and Andrew Davies 2:18:23 (35th) and Andrew Heyes 2:19:47 (44th) completed the GB&NI finishers, Luke Caldwell was a DNF.

Two medals in McColgan’s epic summer

After a stunning few weeks and over 30 hours of racing in her legs, Eilish McColgan was still the one to watch in the women’s 10,000m. She took silver in 30:41.05 behind Turkey’s Yasemin Can (30:32.57). Sam Harrison had another great run, finishing 6th in 30:46.87 while Jess Judd clocked 32:23.98 for 10th.

In the 5000m McColgan was back for more, this time a bronze clocking 14:59.34 behind Can (14:56.91) and the winner Konstanze Klosterhalfen 14:50.47. Stronger performances from Amy-Eloise Markovc (15:08.75) and Calli Thackery (15:08.79) saw them finish 5ht and 6th respectively.

The GB men’s 5000m saw three Brits in action – Andy Butchart 13:31.47 (7th), Sam Atkin 13:32.35 (9th), Patrick Dever 13:45.89 (21st). Meanwhile in the 400m some brilliant camaraderie was on show as Matthew Hudson Smith took the win in 44.53, with Alex Haydock-Wilson third in  45.17. In the women’s 400m Victoria Ohorugu narrowly missed out on a medal, running 50.51 for fourth.

On to the men’s 1500m and a certain Jakob Ingebritsen was always going to be the favourite. He lived up to that with a 3:32.76 Championship Record, leaving Jake Heyward visibly disappointed at his silver 3:34.44. In fifth, Matthew Stonier’s 3:35.97 backed up his status as on-to-watch for the future. Eighth place went to Neil Gourley in 3:38.40.

Muir & Hodgkinson showcase Britain’s golden generation of middle distance talent

It might have been “the hardest race [she’s] ever run” but Laura Muir did the business with a 4:01.08 win over 1500m. Ireland’s Ciara Mageean got close but couldn’t quite hang on, taking silver in 4:02.56. Fourth was Katie Snowden in 4:04.97 and eight Ellie Baker in 4:05.83. In the men’s 3000m Steeplechase Phil Norman was ninth in 8:33.05.

On Saturday evening the big ticket event was the women’s 800m. Keely Hodgkinson tried a different tactic (we’ll call it ‘the Laura’) sitting at the back for a while at the start of the race before putting a burst in to take gold in 1:59.04. Jemma Reekie was fifth in 2:00.31 and Alex Bell was sixth in 2:00.68. In the women’s 3000m Steeplechase Lizzie Bird earned herself bronze in 9:23.18 while her home-rival Aimee Pratt ran 9:35:31 for seventh.

Photo: James Rhodes

As the event came to a close on Sunday night all eyes were on the men’s 800m to see what Jake Wightman had in him over a shorter distance. In the end, Mariano Garcia of Spain had just a touch more in his legs, taking victory in 1:44.85 and leaving Wightman to with silver in 1:44.91. Ireland’s Mark English ran and excellent 1:45.19 for bronze. Ben Pattison  finished sixth in 1:45.63.

Photo: James Rhodes

And finally, in the men’s 10,000m Marc Scott said he was showing up to get some hardware. But, with over 1500m to go it looked like that was not going to be an option, leaving Emile Cairess as our best hope. However, Cairess dropped off the lead pack shortly after dropping back to behind Scott only to put in a sprint to the line as they finished leaving their final placings as 11th for Cairess in and 12th for Scott in . Sam Atkin DNF’d after seeming to get pushed into the infield early on in the race.

Inaugural Home Nations 5k Race

Bute Park, Cardiff played host to the inaugural Home Nations 5k. The women’s field was particularly fast with a reem of runners able to run sub 16. Scotland’s Annabel Simpson went out with intent and never let the lead go until she broke the thape in 15:51. Jenny Nesbitt (Wales)  looked in contention for much of her regular training route, but in the had to settle for runner up with 15:53. Third place went to a non-nations runner – Georgie Grgec who clocked 15:54, while Ellie Wallace took fourth for England in 16:01. A full report can be seen here.

Photo: Tom Craggs

The men’s race was even clearer in it’s dominance by one runner – that being Jake Smith, who logged 14:05 as his winning time.  Richard Allen was next home in 14:09 and Callum Elson in 14:10. However, none of those gents were in the nations race, so the top three for that were: Daniel Nash (Wales) 14:19, Jonathan Cornish (England) 14:20 and Angus McMillan (Scotland) 14:28.

Trail Trials over Scafell

The Scafell Trail Marathon was a selection race for the World Mountain and Trail Running Champs 40km trail race, hosting the GB&NI trial within the race. Kristian Jones put himself top of that list, winning in 03:27:25 to beat Billy Cartwright (03:31:34) and Tom Adams (03:31:56). In the women’s race, the top three places went to Nichola Jackson (04:08:19), Catriona Graves (04:15:33) and Kirsteen Welch (04:22:22).

On tracks around the UK

Early on in the week, the BMC Regional Races in Leeds saw Fintan Stewart a massive eight seconds clear of in his race, running 8:20.94 for the fastest 3000m of the night and a new best. Steph Pennycook was fastest woman in 9:26.09. Wednesday’s edition in Eltham resultsed in another massive winning margin – this time over 1500m where James McMurray was ten seconds clear, clocking 3:40.83. Brogan Wallace topped the women’s times with 4:27.32. In the 3000m competition Tewelde Menges PB’d for the win in 14:47.18, as did Georgia Bell with 15:59.70.

Elsewhere Jersey Spartan AC Summer Series 3000m wins went to George Price in 9:03.00 and Isla Hall in 10:57.43. The youngsters were in action at the Welsh Althletics U20 International 3000m, where Corey Campbell (8:18.40) and Hannah Ryding (9:46.33) topped the rankings.  At the Ladywell 10000, Norman Shreeve (30:42.60) and Lara Bromilow(35:46.76) were fastest. Over at the Sutcliffe Park Track & Field Night the 1500m wins went to 4:11.20 Daniel Pettitt and 4th went to V55 legend Clare Elms with 4:58.34 on the clock.

A little bit of road action

As if the track win wasn’t enough Clare Elms was soon back in action at Run Through Battersea Park where she was fastest woman over 5k in 18:21. Joe Fellows was first in the men’s race in 16:11. Over 10k Josh Grace clocked 30:50 and Elle Clements 35:32 for their victories.

Earlier on in the week Run Through Chase The Sun Olympic Park resulted in some first-place glory for Tom Brookes (15:42) and Fiona English (21:31) over 5k Ollie Garrod (32:10) and Emily Clarke (39:33) over 10k.

Birchwood 10k was host to a convincing win for Matthew Crehan, who was nearly three minutes clear with his 30:52 clocking. Lucy Fairclough ran a brilliant 35:13 to keep Claire Clancy just far enough off, running 35:43 for the runner up position. Another dominant win took place at Fleetwood Half Marathon  where Luke Mason logged 72:20 ahead of Dan Hopwood’s 77:15. Hannah Cairns was first lady over the line in 85:23.