Wightman and Bird run records in Monaco, Scottish athletes compete in Aberdeen and there’s a smattering of road and track racing around the UK.
After the excitement of the World Championships and Commonwealth Games it would be easy to have something of a track-spectator-come-down but we needn’t fear because the Monaco Diamond League was there to give us our fix. It certainly delivered. A rarely contested distance, the 1000m is always an interesting race as it’s a bit of a no-man’s land.
In general though it would be fair to say that it favours the endurance of 1500m runners who are in good form more than the go-hard-and-hang-on option for 800m runners. This proved the case for Jake Wightman who is stepped down in preparation for racing 800m at the European Champs.
Wightman refused to go out with a very tasty pace at the start and ran a sterling race to come home in gold and a time of 2:13.88 which beat is own Scottish record, but him No.3 on the UK all-time rankings and No.9 on the world all-time lists.
Bird claims British record
As fellow fast-running writer James has noted, the battle between Lizzie Bird and Aimee Pratt in the 3000m steeplechase has led to a thrilling last 13 months where the national record (previously untouched since 2012) has been upgraded six times.
The most recent of those was thanks to a stunning run from Bird who came 3rd in Monaco in 9:07.87 – an eight-second improvement on Pratt’s previous mark.
Home nations excitement aside, the 1500m women’s race is won worth watching again as Faith Kipyego came within three-tenths of a second of the World Record and put herself 2nd on all-time list. Somewhat underplayed though was a great run by Jemma Reekie who set a new best of 1:58.68, implying that her recovery from glandular fever earlier in the season is progressing nicely.
Scottish Athletics Championships
At the Scottish Athletics Senior/U17 Championships the senior women’s 5000m crown went to Fife AC’s Annabel Simpson.She ran a commanding lead, finishing in 16:06.95, well ahead of Meredith Reid (Inverclyde AC, 17:02.83) and Hannah Anderson (Edinburgh Uni, 17:19.20).
The Senior Men’s 3000m Steeple saw all medallists run under the 10 minute mark. Aidan Thompson (Central AC) timed his finishing push perfectly and took the win in 9:19.44, edging out Michael Cameron (Edinburgh AC) in 9:29.90 and Fearghas Thomson (Aberdeen AAC) in 9:42.97. A day later, a small field competed in the women’s event, but despite that Sarah Tait ran a brilliant 10:05.21, with Emily McNicol (11:06.55) and Becky Dunphy (11:33.49) completing the finishers list.
The Senior Men’s 5000m was split into two races on Sunday. In the first one, Conan Harper came from behind with a sprint finish to take the win 15.37.90. Peter Bradshaw (15:38.22) and Andrew Thomson (15:39.73) will also wait to see how they rank after the second race has taken place. Race two (in reality the ‘A’ race) was won by Tom Graham-Marr of Central AC in 14:18.0 from Scott Stirling (14:18.27) in a tight finish and Christian Graham (14:24.88).
Also on UK tracks
Tues night meant the track fun headed to Stretford and the Trafford Grand Prix. Hannah Nuttal was fastest woman over 1500m, running 4:08.15. Two men ducked under 4 minutes with James Tucker (3:57.93) edging out Alex Durant (3:58.40). Over 3000m it was Emma McColm who won in 9:33.45 but the two runners-up both set new bests – Libby Huxley (9:35.43) and Samantha Mason (9:39.48). For the gents, under 17 Oscar Schofield (8:33.02) held of a Ryan Worland (PB of 8:39.86) and Carl Hardman (8:40.87)
Wednesday was BMC night, with two meets happening. At the BMC Gold Standard in Watford. Elliott Giles ran 3:36.26 over 1500m to take the win. While Thomas Keen was second, he can be very happy with his performance after running a PB of 3:37.70. Over from the US, Morgan Beadlescomb took bronze in 3:39.61. In the women’s race, Khahisa Mhlanga set a new best to win in 4:15.94 – a convincing victory over Maisy O’Sullivan (4:17.37) and Megan Davies (4:17.38).
In Loughborough, at the BMC Regional races it was Remi Adebiyi who led the 1500m field with 3:46.25. Again, silver was a PB, as Thomas Patrick ran 3:47.88. Lewis Jagger was third in 3:49.45. For the women, under 17 Phoebe Gill PB’d for the win in 4:19.29. Jessica Norkett (4:27.79) was second and Katy Wood third (4:28.11)
Hot tarmac won’t stop us racing on the roads
On the roads, David Bishop broke the tape at Newark Half Marathon with 68:10 on the clock. William Strangeway (69:11) and Simon Birch (70:45) completed the podium. After two 10k wins in May, Sonia Samuels kept the first place-run going by running 74:23. Emma Styles was second in 75:43 and Gemma Hiller-Moses third in 78:21.
Sri Chinmoy Hasty Hare 5k in Battersea Park on Monday saw Highgate’s Alexander Lepretre and Heathside’s Seyfu Jamaal dip under 15, running 14:21 and 14:55 respectively. Will Woodcock of Hercules Wimbledon was third in 15:44. Leading home a strong women’s field, Heathside’s Rebecca Bunting clocked 17:01 to beat Helen Gaunt (Tonbridge AC) with 17:09. Jessica Saunders (Belgrave) completed the podium in 17:18
The City of Preston 5 Mile race saw four gents cover the course in under 30 minutes, with Ben Riddell (26:07) topping the podium alongside Sarah Louise Cumber (32:24). Over 10 Miles the top honours went to Mark Emmerson (56:04) and Keely Smith (65:33)
Run Through Kempton Park saw Stephen Blake take a one-minute clear win in a fast, running 15:43 and Holly Dixon third over all and top woman in 16:56. In the 10k race, James Tugwell (36:10) and Federica De Caria (41:39) were fastest. Ben Howard (71:45) and Katie Lysons (87:26) didn’t let the heat stop them being first over the line in the half marathon option. In Tatton Park 10k wins went to James Wooten (33:33) and Jo Irvin (42:29). On Sunday the Run Solihull winning times were: 10k – Jason Bennet 33:46 and Laura Porter (38:48), half Marathon – Jim Hickinbottom 75:01 and Olivia Harris 89:27.
First home at Doncaster’s, Askern 10k was Thomas Shaw in 31:48, followed but Robert Byers in 32:55 and David McKinnin in 33:08. Sophie Wallis led home a quality women’s field in 34:46. Which placed her fifth overall. The top three women all ran within the top 15 overall times – 10th overall was Julie Briscoe in 36:48 and 14th was Nicola Devine in 37:20. At the Ealing Eagles 10k, wins went to Luke Parker (36:31) and Yvette Burton (44:17).
The Run Northumberland Stamfordham 10K was won by Clark Scott in a new best of 33:55. The women’s winner is listed as Chris Currie in 35:05 but I can’t find any information about her, so if you’re Chris and you came second over all. Get in touch!
More sun, more miles…
Over 24 hours GB’s Kelsey Price ran 513 laps at the Gloucester Track Ultra, becoming outright winner and covering 205.2km. Second place went to Endymion Kasanardjo of the Netherlands who ran the full time and covered 189.6km, just a smidge more than Sweden’s Linda Pilerud, who logged 187.6km and Chris Maher with 181.2km.
I make no apology for including results down to fifth place in this instance so that I can give a shout out to Fast Running’s own Robbie Britton, who despite ‘only’ running for 16 hours, covered enough ground in that time to put him fifth in the rankings at the end of the day – 177.2km and running a 100 mile PB on the way in 13:55.
So dry were the conditions as the SVP 100k that the organisers removed the rain jacket from the mandatory kit! Fastest lady from Newmarket to Cattawade was Mary Scott 13:54:55. For the men it was Daniel Kyne 10:20:44. In the 50k option Rosie Lindsay was first women home in 5:41:26 and Chris Kelly first man in 4:14:31
In other news
In all the excitement of last week, we ran out of time to cover the World Athletics U20 Championships which took place in Cali, Columbia. Over 1500m Ethan Hussey ran a PB of 3:39.60 for sixth place, but then later in the week got Britain’s second individual medal by running 1:47.65 over 800m for bronze. Yemi Mary John won gold in the 400m, clocking a PB of 51.50.
Rumours of former health secretary Jeremy Hunt doing the Shere Trail half marathon in 2:33:44 cannot be confirmed (winning time was 1:19:39).