It was a great day for British half marathoning with events in Manchester, Peterborough and Birmingham seeing great racing. For the results and the action elsewhere here is the weekly Fast Running round up.

Andy Vernon beat off stiff competition from Luke Traynor and half marathon debutant Kieran Clements to take the win in the Manchester Half Marathon this morning (Sunday October 14).

Vernon’s winning time of 63:39 reflected the wet and windy conditions in the northern capital, but was a clear victory from in-form Traynor, who clocked 64:02 in second.

The Aldershot, Farnham & District international is steadily building up to his first marathon race, although has yet to confirm which event that will be in.

Traynor, running for Giffnock North, was some way short of his 61:55 best notched up at February’s Barcelona half, but the autumnal weather surely played its part.

Clements was making his much anticipated debut over the distance after notching up four PBs in the space of just a few months this year. His 64:32 result was a superb first half marathon outing and should give the Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier confidence going into the forthcoming Great South Run later this month.

RELATED: Kieran Clements is gunning for the top

Lauren Howarth has raced sparingly for Leigh Harriers this year, but her win here in Manchester in a big PB of 74:16 came off the back of a flurry of shorter race outings over the last few weeks.

Photo: Manchester Half

Howarth’s previous 76:12 best was set back in 2013 when she last contested the distance, so the future looks bright for the busy junior doctor.

US-based Hallamshire’s Calli Thackery was second in a superb 75:15 debut over the distance. She has also PB’d over 5000m, 5k and 10k this year, despite only racing five times before today’s event.

Prolific racer and Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Rachel Felton was third in her fifth half marathon this year in a season’s best 76:53, a great result for the V35 athlete.

Birchfield Harriers’ Kadar Abdullahi took the top honours at the Great Birmingham Half Marathon (Sunday October 14) in a time of 66:05. The Ethiopian-born runner has only been competing for two years, and this race was his first outing over the half marathon.

Bourneville Harriers’ consistently strong Nicola Sykes ran a big season’s best to win the women’s title in 79:56. The V35 is a class act on all surfaces, holds a 76:27 half PB and has won the notoriously challenging Man vs Horse in recent years too.

Birchfield had a one-two in the men’s race with Omar Ahmed finishing just eight seconds behind his club mate in a debut 66:14. Tipton Harriers’ Ian Williams was third in 69:40, his first half marathon of 2018.

Defending champion Chloe Richardson had to settle for second here today in 81:58, but still finished well clear of third placed Alison Taylor from Nuneaton Harriers, who posted a 82:53 result.

Photo: Great Run

Lincoln Wellington’s Lucian Allison sliced a huge margin off his PB with a 65:26 win in biblical rain in Peterborough at the Great Eastern half marathon (Sunday October 14).

Allison beat off competition from one of the best British elite fields compiled at a domestic half marathon in some time, thanks to the organisers working in partnership with local athletes such as Peterborough AC’s Steven Robinson to improve standards.

Ultra runner Tom Evans came in second in 66:18, while Allison’s club mate Shane Robinson was third in 66:32 and another Lincoln Wellington and England international marathon runner Aaron Scott was fifth in a training run 66:53, just behind Matt Bowser’s 66:50.

Overall, there were 13 athletes under 70 minutes.

Lucian Allison (centre) with fellow Team North athletes Ryan Page & James Straw

Kent AC’s super veteran Amy Clements smashed her PB to win the women’s race with a storming 74:07, slicing more than a minute off her two year old best.

Cardiff’s Clara Evans put in an equally impressive performance in second, running a strong 76:00 less than 24 hours after racing the first Cross Challenge race of the series, where she placed 23rd. Evans had also won the Cardiff half marathon the week before! RELATED: Cardiff Cross Challenge report

Ipswich Jaffa’s Laura Thomas was third lady in 80:47, which also represented a big PB for the Welsh athlete.

Prolific endurance runner Paul Martelletti and Katherine Wood took the titles in the Yorkshire marathon this morning (Sunday October 14).

Martelletti’s time in victory was 2:27:02, representing his fourth marathon this year so far, while Wood was a clear winner in 2:41:35 in what appears to have been a massive 25 minute PB! The full results were not yet available at the time of writing.

Rain affected play at the Cabbage Patch 10M in South West London with times down significantly from previous years (October 14). Leeds City’s Emile Cairess bucked that trend though, with a classy 51:14 result to win very convincingly from Blackheath & Bromley’s veteran Scott Overall, who clocked a below par 54:00, citing calf problems during the race.

Sale Harriers’ Christian Prior took the third prize in 55:04, a decent result for the V40 athlete.

Ultra runner and consistently podium topping athlete Sam Amend took the women’s honours for Belgrave Harriers in 60:58, ahead of Elmbridge RRC’s Zoe Cowell-Jones and London Heathside’s Leigh James, who clocked 66:42 and 66:49 respectively.

At the Slough Half Marathon (October 14), Scott Matthews of East Cheshire Harriers and Tameside AC was the clear winner in 74:47. The women’s race was won by Jill Collett of Dachet Dashers in 79:52, which was good enough for fourth overall.

The Great West Run Half Marathon in Exeter (October 14) saw some fast results despite the constant rain, with Bristol & West’s Peter Le Grice taking the men’s race in 66:22 and Cardiff’s Carys Hughes earning the top women’s prize with an 82:37 result.

Conan McCaughey was second behind Le Grice in 69:15 while Exmouth’s Tom Merson was consistent as ever with a strong 69:31 for third. Tiverton’s Serane Stone was second lady in 82:49 and Gloucester’s Jordan Evans was third in 83:43.

There were some fast times at parkruns across the UK on Saturday too (October 13), read all about the top ten fastest men’s and women’s performances here.

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