Gill Bland brings you this week’s roundup of fast running action

After the last few years racers and race organisers have got used to navigating situations that they never imagined would happen, but this week has added another one to the list. As the week began, races were perhaps a welcome distraction from the ever-present political and domestic issues. By the end of it, there was the familiar dilemma of where to place the value of running amidst the feelings of the country and also the logistical challenges that some locations presented as they were suddenly required for other uses.

With that in mind, lets to a bit of hopping around the world to cover the events which happened in the running world this week

Diamond League draws to a close

The final Diamond League meeting of the year was help in Zurich as events unfolded in the UK. Many athletes were doubling up with races in Switzerland before heading to other countries for the weekend. On day 1 in the women’s 5000m Beatrice Chebet smashed out a 14:31:03 to take her gold medal, while Amy-Eloise Markovc ran the first of her two races this week, finishing eight in 15:28.24. 

On day 2, Jake Wightman was running the 800m before jetting off to NY to defend his road mile title. He came third in 1:44.10, with Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Kenya taking the win in 1:43.26. Also doing the double was Laura Muir who finished fifth over 1500m in 4:02.31. It was Ciara Mageeag who really shone on Day 2 though, taking silver in another Irish record of 4:01.68 – second only to Faith Kipyegon (4:00.44).

Josh Kerr and Jake Heyward placed sixth (3:31.85) and ninth (3:34.27) respectively in the 1500m. Keely Hodgkinson was fifth over 800m in 1:59.06

Scott and Purdue lead British challenge at the Great North

Onwards to the next item in the calendar for some busy athletes this year and over to the Tyne were The Great North Run happened on Sunday morning. Marc Scott and Hellen Obiri were back to defend their titles, but this time on the original route. Unfortunately, it was not to be for Scott. Jacob Kiplimo was a class apart as he raced through the tape in 59:33 – the first Ugandan to in the race – with no competitors anywhere close. That’s not to say that Barega (60:39) and Bekele (61:01) were shirking either! Scott came home in 62:28 and sixth place. Callum Johnson ran 63:16 for ninth. Also in the top 15 were Ben Connor 64:05, Ian Butler 64:20, Jonny Mellor 64:38 and Alex Monroe 64:44.

Hellen Obiri successfully retained her crown in 67:05. Charlotte Purdue was first Brit home in 70:11 for fifth followed by Amy-Eloise Markovc who made her half marathon debut to take sixth place in 71:12. Lily Partridge was ninth in 74:13 and Verity Ockenden tenth in 74:30. Also in the top 15 were Rachel Hodgkinson 76:11, Chelsea Baker 77:25, Hannah Robinson 77:57, Deborah Bruce 78:06, and Emma Navesy 78:53.

Sensational Muir takes course record in NYC

Over the pond, something rather shorter and sharper was taking place – the 5th Avenue Mile in New York. Laura Muir was the headline of the day as she made a decisive move early on in the race and held her lead to win in 4:14.8 – a new course record. Jemma Reekie ran 4:18.3 for fourth and Adelle Tracy 4:19.2 for fifth. A hat tip goes to Lizzie Bird for her 4:22 and it’s worth nothing that Ciara Mageean also ran, but understandably her storming run in Zurich had taken it out of her legs, leaving her to run 4:30 (only – ha!).

In the men’s race, Jake Wightman stepped up to retain his crown in 3.49.6 though he was held to close finish by another diamond-leaguer, Jake Heyward, who finished second in 3:49.9. Matt Stonier was fifth (3:51.1) and Josh Kerr 10th in 3:52.


Back in the UK… 

On the slopes of Hartfell Jacob Adkin (44:44) and Phillipa Williams (52:36) won the British Athletics Uphill Trial Race for the World Mountain & Trail Running Championships. Runner up spots went to Joe Steward (45:04), Daniel Haworth 45:25), Holly Page (52:41) and Ruth Jones (52:55).

In the British Athletics Up-and-Down Trial Race Phillipa Williams returned to win again in 51:01 with Holly Page again second in 51:20 with Kate Avery third in 51:23. For the men Andrew Douglas took victory in 43:18 from Alexander Chepelin (43:22) and Chris Richards (43:47).


Battersea Park Half saw some fast times on a humid morning in the city. Gary Laybourne clocked 68:35 as he grabbed the top spot, holding off Joe Morwood (68:57) with Paul Martelletti third in 70:42. Louise Small ran dominant victory, storming home in 75:29, with Josie Hinton logging 80:27 for second and Katie Lysons 82:58 third.. At Run Through’s other half marathon in Cheshire 66:50 earned Thomas Charles the top step of the podium, with Joe Rainsford (70:53) and Nicholas Barry (71:23) in his wake.  Anna Klucnika’s 83:01 was the winning women’s time. Earlier in the week, Battersea Park Chase The Sun 10k was won by Rocio Mendoza (F35) in a rapid 35:43 and Henry Hart in 30:56. The 5k went to Tom Moran (14:58) and Karen Xiang (18:30)

Pleshy Half presents a rolling course, but that did not stop the top three men running under 70 minutes, with John Eves first in 68:47, Scott Cousins 69:29 and Pete Robinson 69:49. Rebecca Bunting’s winning time of 78:40 was impressive and not far off her PB. Juliette Watkinson was next home in 83:16 and Heidi Hogan-Steele in 83:36. Full details can be found in Scott’s report here.

Rebecca Bunting

Third time was a charm for Gemma Steel at the Bassingham Bash 5 mile in Lincolnshire where she ran a PB and new course record of 26:28.0 for first woman. Local lady Sophie Wellington was runner up in 27:42.8 and Rebecca Gallop third in 28:35.4. For the men, it was Jordan Skelling who earned the host club a first place finish in 24:37.5. Elliot Smith-Rasmussen was next in 25:07.2 followed by Matthew Williams in 25:20.0.

At the wonderfully named PODfather 10k in Stirling, Adam Craig and Sean Chalmers dipped under 30, running 29:24 and 29:56 respectively. Frasers Stewart was bang on the nose with his third place in 30 flat. Jennifer Wetton and Millie Nicholl look to have been in a battle for the line, with Wetton getting the better and crossing the line in 34:48 and Nicholl four seconds later. Third place went to Eilidh Bell in 36:06.

Nuneaton 10k winners were Jason Bennett (32:53) and (I can say this) a rather lower key women’s winning time this year from er… Gill Bland in 39:09. Not a patch on previous year’s winners.