This weekend there were some fierce performances from British athletes. However, due to the ferocious conditions seen on Sunday, many races were cancelled.

Reekie makes it three in a row

Away from the challenges of Storm Ciara, the golden girl of the indoor season, Jemma Reekie, proved her newfound strength once again in New York at the Milrose Games. In the space of a week, Reekie added to her indoor 800m national record and set not only a British indoor record for the mile, but also a British record for the 1500m.

Finishing 3rd in the Wannamaker Women’s Mile, she stopped the clock on 4:17.88 just behind Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen and American record setter, Elle Purrier. In the women’s 1500m, Reekie set another British record and a PB of 4:00.5, improving on the best of her training partner Laura Muir. Astonishing running from the Scottish athlete!

Chris O’Hare featured in the Wannamaker men’s mile where he was first to cross the line in an impressive 3:55.61 ahead of the Australian athlete, Olli Hoare. In the women’s 800m race, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke finished fifth in a strong 2:06.22.

Copeland kicks again

At the PSD Bank Indoor Meeting in Dortmund once again Piers Copeland produced his stunning finishing kick to take victory in the 1500m in a high class field 3:40.25 kicking past Kenyan Kumari Taki (3:40.28) and Timo Benitz (3:40.33). Melissa Courtney-Bryant was a dominant winner of the 3000m running 8:49.78 beating Luiza Gega (8:52.59) and Roseline Chepngetich (8:53.63) into 2nd and 3rd.

Also indoors, at the International Gugl Meeting in Linz, some impressive times were run. In the men’s 3000m, GB’s Phil Seseman ran a cracking race to come in 4th place in 7:58.09. Just behind Seseman in 5th place was Adam Clarke in 8:05.34. In 10th place, in a solid 8:35.67 was Ricky Harvie of Aldershot & Farnham.

At the BMC Sheffield Open mid week Adam Craig put in a fine solo run to win the 3000m in 8:00.28 ahead of Rory Leonard (8:27.30) and Elliot Palmer (8:37.20). The women’s 1500m was won by Ejiro Okoro in 4:34.94 just edging out Mena Scatchard (4:34.96) with Isabel Rodriguez (4:37.31) in third.

Daniel Cheeseman won the men’s 1500m in 3:53.32 in a tight race with Mark Bostock (3:53.62) and John Ashcroft (3:53.75). Nicholas Landeau was a comfortable winner in the men’s 800m running 1:52.55 to beat Jack Benstead (1:55.55) and Ryan Elston (1:56.38) into 2nd and 3rd respectively. In the mixed 800m races under 17 Keira Brady-Jones was the fastest woman clocking 2:11.64 with Issy Cotham running 2:12.36 and Victoria Lightbody 2:14.93.

Holt wins Belgium Cross Cup

In Belgium, plenty of British athletes took part in the Belgium Cross Cup in marginally more enjoyable conditions. Kate Holt put in another fine displace to win the seniors women’s race in 22:41. British athletes inside the top 20 were Izzy Fry was 4th (22:56), Stephanie Barnes 5th (23:03), Eleanor Bolton 7th (23:09), Sarah Astin 9th (23:20), Lauren Hall 11th (23:28), Carlone Lambert 14th (23:49), Amelia Petit 18th (23:55) and Emily Wicks 20th (23:59).

In the men’s senior race Adam Hickey finished 2nd in 30:12, three seconds behind winner Lahsene Bouchikhi. Again there were more fine performances from British athletes running inside the top 20 – Ellis Cross 6th (30:53), Jack Millar 11th (31:15), Jonathan Escalante-Phillips 12th (31:19), Daniel Haworth 18th (31:49), Cameron Bell 19th (31:55) and Zak Mahamed 20th (31:59).

It was a British 1-2-3 in the junior women’s race which was won by Shannon Flockhart in 16:15 ahead of Alexandra Millard (16:21) and Phoebe Anderson (16:24), Lauren O’Neil was 7th. The junior men managed a 1-2-3-4! Matthew Stonier took the victory in 21:02 with Oliver Newman 2nd (21:04), Tomer Tarragano 3rd (21:05) and Charlie Brisley 4th (21:08).

In the Great British mud

In the Hampshire League, this year’s Southern Cross Country Champion, Jess Gibbon was in fine form once again. The Reading athlete pushed away from the rest of the field early on in the race. On a surprisingly dry yet deceptively challenging course, the athlete was able to put her fitness to the test. Gibbon finished with an impressive lead, setting up a dominant Reading victory. Teammate, Naomi Mitchell put her marathon strength to work over the 6k course and came in second. Mitchell was followed by Anna Boniface who gave a gutsy performance throughout as she continues her recent progress.

It was Southampton who came out on top in the men’s race with Jonathon Roberts securing the win. The second male to cross the finish line, just 20 seconds behind Roberts, was Alex Pointon of Aldershot. Reading AC fought to stay in the medal positions in the men’s event and it was Daniel Thorne who made it happen. Thorne secure himself third.

Before the storm set in on Sunday, plenty of athletes took to the British fields to take part in their league cross country races. England international athlete, Owen Hind, took home his first ever win in the highly competitive Surrey Cross Country League. The Kent athlete crossed the line 14 seconds ahead of fellow teammate Max Nicholls. The third male across the line was Hercules Wimbledon’s Jonathon Cornish with a strong performance.

For the women, it was Isabel Brinsden who secured herself a Surrey League victory, improving on her second and third place finishes before Christmas. The Epsom athlete had a strong 23 second lead on Jackie Skinner of Fulham. The third woman home was Thames Harrier, Natalie Seymour.

The Metropolitan League saw some high-quality runners taking part in the final race of the league season. Elizabeth Janes (Herts) earned herself the position at the top of the podium ahead of Nina Griffiths (Highgate). In third place was U20 athlete Khahisa Mhlanga (Herts Phoenix) with a strong run.

In the senior men’s race, Dylan Evans of Shaftesbury Barnet took home the gold medal. Just 7 seconds behind Evans was Alexander Lepretre (Highgate), closely followed by Seyfu Jamaal of London Heathside.

In the Midlands Women’s League, the victory title was taken by Loughborough athlete Sophie Tarver after a strong 17th place finish at BUCS XC last weekend. Just behind Tarver in second place was teammate Giorgia Chattwood, also a Loughborough student. Chattwood also competed in BUCS last weekend and secured the silver medal in the Women’s short race. Rounding off the women’s podium was Molly Browne (BRAT), improving on her sixth-place finish in the league race back in January.

The Mid Lancs League saw Emily Japp of Blackpool Wyre & Flyde AC take home the victory with an impressive win. In second place was Annabel Ralph (Blackburn Harriers) followed by Finty Royle of Chorley AC.

The men’s event was a much closer race. Alasdair Russell (Kendal AAC) was the first finisher with dominant margin of 20 seconds. Second and third place battled to the line with Rob Danson (Wesham RR) taking 2nd ahead of Ross Campbell of Barrow & Furness St.

The Manchester Area Cross Country League women’s event was won by Sale Harriers Manchester athlete, Sophie Wood. Wood took the win from Vicki Cronin (Trafford AC) who came in second followed by Ruth Jones in third. For the men, it was Salford Harrier, Chris Livesey in first place, Nicholas Barry (Sale Harriers Manchester) in second, and Livesey’s teammate Carl Hardman in third.

The Chiltern League men’s race winner was Ben Alcock (Bedford and County AC) followed by Richard Slade (Chiltern Harriers) and George Wheeler (MK Distance Project) was in third. In the women’s event, it was Melanie Wilkins (Wycombe Phoenix) who took the win ahead of teammate Alexandra Cook. Rounding off the women’s podium was Elle Roche of Marshall Milton Keynes AC.

The senior men’s race in the Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League was won by Omar Ahmed (Birchfield Harriers) in a relatively race with Joe Wilkinson was in second (Loughborough Students) and Thomas Mortimer (Loughborough Students) was in third.

Back on the road

In the Exeter Half Marathon, Chris Rimmer of the Tavistock Run Project was the first senior male home in 1:11:43. Finn Arentz was second home in 1:12.40 followed by Donald Brooks in 1:13.05.

For the women, Samantha Mare dominated in a strong time of 1:21.59. In second place was Victoria Hill (SWRR) in 1:25.45 and in third place was Amy Carey-Jones (SWRR) in 1:26.38.

Alassan Farah won Victoria Park 10km in 34:40 in a tight race with Thomas Lawson (34:48) and Chris Taylor (34:52). The winning woman was Joanna Furtado in 39:07 seeing off the challenge of Leah Ward-Bower (39:48) with Natalie Whitty third in 40:50. The Victoria Park Half Marathon saw Aaron Tomasz win by over 5 minutes in 70:46 with Rachel Humphrys the winning woman in 81:52.

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