10 athletes have been selected by British Athletics to represent the country at the IAU 50km World Championships in Brasov, Romania later this year.
The Championships, taking place on the 1 September 2019, will be the first edition of the event since 2016, when Great Britain & Northern Ireland won women’s team gold and men’s team silver on that occasion.
Hannah Oldroyd (Ribble Valley Harriers) was a member of that gold medal winning team three years ago, and returns to the fold in 2019, joined by four women seeking to recreate the success of 2016.
Oldroyd will be joined by Olympian Aly Dixon who makes her first international appearance over the distance. After representing her country at World, European and Commonwealth level, this will be her first outing over the 50km distance compared to the marathon [42km].
Wakefield’s Julie Briscoe, Danielle Nimmock (City of Norwich), Helen Davies (Ipswich Jaffa) – the latter revised her marathon personal best to 2:34.08 in Brighton last month – complete the women’s quintet.
The men’s team includes Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) and Lee Grantham (East Cheshire) who have previously competed in British squads.
Dan Nash (Cardiff) and Alex Milne (Enfield & Haringey) are both selected after lowering their career bests over the marathon distance in recent weeks, posting times of 2:18.51 and 2:20.08 respectively. Kevin Rojas (Brighton & Hove) will also receive his first British vest after the call-up.
The step up
The team has a good mix of experienced ultra runners who have competed over the 100km distance and promising new comers to the discipline like Dixon.
“It may only be a handful of extra miles,” says Fast Running ultra running expert Robbie Britton, “but how you approach the race can be quite difference. Fuelling takes on a much larger role and the risk of totally running out of energy is there for the final section.
“It’s really exciting to see athletes like Aly Dixon and the standard of ultra running worldwide is rising. Even Des Linden, last year’s Boston Marathon winner, was talking in a podcast about stepping up. Maybe we’ll see some British stars with great marathon speed doing excellent things in the ultra world. It’s happening already.”