With the World Champs in Doha coming to a close and an abundance of 10k’s, half’s, and marathons across the country, there was some very fast running in a very busy weekend of racing.

Hawkins bounces back

In a stunning display Callum Hawkins was a GB endurance highlight in Doha in the marathon. After bitter disappointment at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, where Hawkins’ collapsed at 40km Hawkins found sweet redemption, again in tough conditions to finish in 2:10:57 to finish 4th matching his place at London 2017 missing out on a medal by just six seconds.

With the struggles in the tough conditions experienced by other British endurance athletes Hawkins’ run should be considered one of the performances of the championships and makes him a serious contender for a medal in the Olympics next year.

Dina dominates in Doha

Despite the powerful air conditioning, the heat Dina Asher-Smith brought to the track, blew everyone off their seats. The 23-year-old and recent silver medallist in the World Championships 100m, stormed her way to a world title in the 200m in 21.88 seconds.

Asher-Smith proved she is in the form of her life by becoming the first ever British woman to win a world sprint title. This performance proved to not only Dina Asher-Smith herself, but the rest of the athletics world, that she is in strong contention to also become the first British woman to win an Olympic world title in Tokyo 2020.

An emotional and tired Asher-Smith was lost for words as she said she knew she could do it, but ‘it’s a different thing actually going and doing it’. A phenomenal, world-class performance!

Adding to the success on the world stage was the extraordinary Katarina Johnson-Thompson. After years of not quite fulfilling her goals, KJT secured her position on top of the podium in the women’s Heptathlon. Johnson-Thompson gave phenomenal performances in the 100m hurdles, high jump, and 200m with PB’s in all three. After years of competing at a world level, KJT proved her strength by setting a British-record of 6,981, aligning herself with the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Denise Lewis.

Credit: IAAF

McColgan and Weightman PB in the 5000m

Over the longer distance, there were other Brits who didn’t fail to make their nation proud. In the women’s 5,000m final, both Eilish McColgan and Laura Weightman took to the track to show the world what they could do. Continuing on her mother’s success, Eilish set a PB of 14:46, crossing the line in 10th place.

Just ahead of McColgan, with another PB and earning herself 3rd place on the UK all-time list, was Laura Weightman. Weightman stormed down the finishing straight to a rapid time of 14:44 in her first world championship race since deciding to up her race distance. Both girls gave the races of their lives, but left feeling they could do more, a reassuring position to be in heading into 2020.

Also adding to the strength of the British women’s team, was Laura Muir in the final of the 1500m. After 74 days off of the track whilst battling with injury, Muir proved in her heat that she wasn’t going to be giving any rusty performances at the World Champs.

History was made as Sifan Hassan, the Alberto Salazer coached athlete, set a new championship record and climbed her way to 6th on the all-time list in 3:51.95. The level of the field in this final was of such a high standard that the top 8 dipped under the previous championship record of 3:58.52, and the top 6 claimed either a personal or seasons’ best, or a national or area record. Very fast running!! Laura Muir herself ran a seasons best of 3:55.76 to earn a 5th place finish.

More results to come from Doha…

Aadan and Spink the leading Brits in Cardiff

In the Cardiff Half Marathon conditions were excellent and these were reflected in some quick times from the international field. Whilst it was Leonard Lagat who took the win in 59:29, there were some impressive times from the Brits. Mo Aadan was the first British male running 64:15 to finish 11th just ahead of Peter Le Grice in 12th with a speedy 64:20. Just one place behind Le Grice was Charlie Hulson in 64:28 and in 14th was Aaron Scott with a time of 66:25.

Kenya’s Lucy Cheruiyot claimed first place in 68:20 after a strong sprint to the finish. First Brit through the finish was Manchester Marathon winner Jenny Spink (7th) of Bristol & West in a spectacular 73:26, just 25 seconds outside of her lifetime best set back in 2015. In 10th position in 77:41, was Rebecca Hilland of Bath followed by Carys Hughes in 78:20 in 11th place.

The RunThrough Battersea 10k and 5k kickstarted the weekend on a cool, but sunny, Saturday morning. Daniel Cliffe took the 10km win in 31:19. The Liverpool runner completed his 8th 10k of the year and was just 7 seconds of his seasons best.

Cliffe secured himself a clear lead, followed by Henry Hart of Thames Valley. Hart set himself an impressive 1 minute 27 second PB of 32:12. Completing the podium in the men’s race was V45 athlete Bradley Hoyland in a cracking 32:37.

The times in the women’s race were of a similarly high standard. The fastest female time of the event was set by Southampton’s Jennifer Beckingham, who proved the course to be of PB setting standard. Beckingham crossed the line in 36:50, achieving a PB by 37 seconds!

Just 30 seconds behind her in 37:10 was Harriet Freeman with yet another lifetime best. The London City AC athlete beat her previous best over 10k by 1 minute 33 seconds. Next woman across the line was Sarah McDonald in an impressive 36:37.

The 5k race in Battersea Park also provided the space for some speedy runners. The men’s race was won by South London’s Joe croft in 15:15, a 19 second road 5k PB. In the women’s race, it was Saskia Matthews who claimed the gold title in 19:52.

Bland on form in Bournemouth

As always, this year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival proved that running and excitement can always be in the same sentence. The festival weekend commenced with the Supernsonic 10k on Saturday afternoon. The course sees athletes run between the piers, with some testing dead turns.

The overall win went to Bristol & West’s Andrew Chambers in 31:29, just 7 seconds outside of his best ever over this distance. Chambers was followed by Callum Gillett of Reading AC in 34:09 and Olly Sheppard a fellow Bristol & West athlete of Chambers in 34:30.

The title of the women’s 10k went to Avon Valley’s Bethan Francis in a season’s best time of 38:37 to back up her win in 2018. Francis again achieved a clear lead and was followed by Fiona Blagg (41:12) and Agnieszka Loeff (42:29).

In the Supernova 5k, athletes set off just as the sun began to set. It was the Cambridge Harrier, Bayley Massey, who took gold in the men’s race and was the overall winner. There was a battle to the line, but it was Massey who won in 15:51. Only 1 second behind was William Stockley of Belgrave and St Mary’s University. Stockley beat his road 5k PB set back in 2014 by 12 seconds.

Leamington’s Wendy Daniels took home the women’s title in 19:27 followed by Holly Wilkinson (20:01) and Victoria Wella (20:26).

On a day supposedly destined for rain, the sun shone for the runner’s in Bournemouth. In the half marathon, James Hoad was the first male finisher in a time of 1:09:45 followed by Sean Hogan of Poole Runners in 1:10:43. In his home town, Robert Spencer rounded up the podium, securing himself a bronze medal in 1:11:06.

The women’s race was won by Sophie Delderfield in 1:21:17, running her best time this year by over a minute. Delderfield was closely followed by Alexa King of Hart Road Runners (1:21:40) and Farnham Runners Sarah Hill (1:23:43).

Doing Fast Running proud, our very own Gill Bland took home the gold medal in the Bournemouth Marathon women’s race!! The Harrow runner fought all the way to the finish but was too strong for second place to compete with and crossed the line in 2:59:41. A strong sub 3-hour performance. It was Jen Granger who hung on for second place, finishing just outside of the 3-hour mark in 3:00:34. Rounding off the women’s top three was Juliet Champion of Poole AC in 3:02:58.

In the men’s marathon Lloyd Biddell of Mercia Fell Runners ran himself across the line to a first-place finish. Biddell finished in a time of 2:25:48 followed by Phil Wyle of Cheltenham in 2:33:27. Securing himself the bronze medal was Steven Yates in a strong 2:41:08.

Lancashire on course in Aintree

The Run Aintree 5k, 10k and half marathon saw plenty of runners gallop their way to speedy times. The 5k title went to Alfie Crockett in 16:02 and the women’s winner was V35 runner Carmel Edwards in an incredible 18:46.

It was Tom Lancashire that dominated the 10k race in Aintree. The Bolton Harriers athlete and previous 7th place finisher in the 1500m at the 2008 Olympic Games, clocked 31:22, securing his position on top of the podium. Elfyn Owen was the winning woman in 40:31.

Chris Millington took home the half marathon title in 1:18:27 for West Lancashire, but it was Anna Bracegirdle who won the women’s title as well as finishing second overall in 1:21:18, that stole the show.

Quality racing at Baxters Loch Ness 10km & Marathon

Over the 10k distance at the Baxters River Ness 10k some incredible times were ran with the top 3 male finishers all dipping under 31 minutes. Cameron Strachan of Metro Aberdeen Running Club climbed to the top of the podium, crossing the line in 30:31.

Following some very strong performances this year, it seems sub 30 minutes may not be too far away for the athlete. The battle for second and third position was a close one, with strong performances by both runners. The silver medal position was claimed by Inverness Harriers’ Sean Chalmers, who clocked a personal best of 30:40, followed by James Donald in 30:41.

The women’s race included some similarly strong results with Inverness Harriers acquiring the top two places on the podium. Megan Keith gave an outstanding performance for her 10k debut. The U20 athlete clocked a time of 34:42, placing herself third in the UK U20 rankings for the event. Shortly behind Keith in 35:11 was Jenny Bannerman with a strong performance. Third place went to Ginnie Barrand with a 43 second PB of 35:46.

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon was the main event of the festival. Isaiah Kosgei of Metro Aberdeen Running Club ran through the line in first place, a huge success after a third-place finish last year. Kosgei stopped at 2:29:31 on the clock. Second place went to Nick Harris-Fry in 2:36:30, his second best time this year. Ed Rees was the third man to cross the line in 2:37:09.

Katie White stormed to the front of the women’s race, gaining a huge 10-minute lead. White of Garscube Harriers ran a seasons best of 2:42:03 over the tough, hilly course. Following White in 2:52:31 was Kerry Prise ahead of Sheena Logan of Fife AC in 2:54:23.

Loch Ness Marathon winner Katie White

Rounding up the roads

Also over the 42.2k distance, was the Chester Marathon. Tom Charles of Trafford AC ran his way to glory in a time of 2:29:28 in the men’s race coming out on top of an exciting battle with Tristan Windley who finished in 2:29:36. Edinburgh AC legend and 2:18 marathon man Neil Renault finished 3rd in 2:32:59.

Abbey Van Dyke took home the women’s gold medal in 3:01:38 ahead of Halifax Harrier Johanna Sutcliffe in 3:04:38. Camilla Hermsen rounded off the podium running 3:04:58 .

In the Plymouth 10k, Steve Gallienne ran a strong 31:57 for first place for the men. Kairn Stone followed in a best for 2019 in 33:21, ahead of Adam Holland (34:15).

In the women’s race Ruby Orchard of Cornwall AC claimed first place in a rapid 37:20. Next woman to cross the line was Rebecca Ezra in 37:37, an eight second personal best. Third place went to V40 runner, Serane Stone, in a speedy 37:42.

At the Southend 10k Springfield Striders were out in mass, proving their strength across the board. The win in the men’s race went to Southend’s own Thomas Frith in 32:03. It was Springfield Striders that completed the rest of the podium, with Pete Robinson in 32:17 and Mark Newton in 33:02.

The club’s success continued into the women’s race, where Liz Davies took home the women’s title in 35:40. The next woman into the finish was Rachel Wiseman with a time of 36:24, followed by Alexa Joel of Billericay Striders in 36:41.

Back over the half marathon distance, The Royal Borough of Kingston Half Marathon took place. South London Harriers athlete Gary Laybourne hung on for first place in 1:09:11, a huge 3 minute 9 second PB! Second place’s Andrius Jaksevicius of Belgrave was just 18 seconds behind Laybourne in 1:09:29. The bronze medal was taken by Alex Dunbar in 1:12:43.

For the senior women, it was U23 athlete Morven Goodrum who came out on top of the podium with a powerful 1:17:06 in her first ever half marathon. Goodrum was followed by April James-Welsh in 1:24:51 and Chloe Binley in 1:29:00.

Photo: Shrewsbury Half

Adding to the list of half marathon results was the Shrewsbury Half Marathon. Tom Roberts of Meirionnydd Running Club took home gold for the men, clocking 1:09:54 ahead of Jack Pickett (1:11:56). The first-place women’s finisher was Fulham’s Jackie Skinner in 1:21:29, followed by Rachel Sweatt of Witham RC in a strong 1:22:50.

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