This weekend was yet again another astonishing one in the athletics world with records and PBs being broken across age groups. SOAR Running and Hannah Irwin bring you the details. 

Return of fast Friday

This week marked the fastest Friday in the UK for over five months. Athletes from all over the country took to Milton Keynes for the MK5K and Kent for the Bromley Twilight Invitational and battled it out, not only against one another, but also against the brutal wind brought by Storm Ellen.

In Milton Keynes, at the Results Base MK 5km PB Special some speedy British athletes took to the paths around Willen Lake to test themselves over the 5k distance. Despite the wind, they didn’t waiver and gave some gutsy performances nonetheless.

Owen battles conditions for a fine win

The UK Endurance Conference Elite women’s A wave race saw the return of recent 15:45 runner, Bronwen Owen. The athlete who trains alongside Beth Potter in Leeds, took to the front of the group from the outset.

After putting in a speedy first kilometre to get the upper hand on the wind, the tricky conditions meant times were slower than athletes had hoped.

Owen crossed the line just under 16-minutes in 15:55 with an eleven second lead on Eleanor Bolton. The Ribble Valley Harriers athlete was joined by Hoka Athlete, Claire Duck, for the majority of the race.

Duck clung onto Bolton and it was at the end that Bolton took second place with 16:06 followed by Duck in 16:09. Fourth place went to Izzy Fry in 16:17 after a very strong race. (Editors note – our humbled writer Hannah Irwin finished 5th with the only PB of her wave – 16:21).

Women’s Elite A Wave Credit: Brian Graves

Fast start for Ahmed secures victory

For the In the Fast Running Elite Men’s A Wave, the winner too was decided early on as Omar Ahmed went out hard in order to gain some time before being struck by the wind in the latter part of the race.

He stuck at the front, crossing over the finish line with an impressive time of 14:06. In second place was Bedford & County AC athlete, Dan Jarvis, who finished with a fine time of 14:14.

The third fastest time of the night was clocked by Henry McLuckie of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in 14:19. Thanks go to Elliot Hind, Paul Mizon and Mick Bromilow for organising such a safe, well-organised and exciting event for all the athletes who took part.

There were 28 waves in total with some fine performances throughout the full results can be found here.

Omar Ahmed. Credit: Brian Graves

Atkin sets PB in US as athletes fly ing Bromley

In America, at the Sunset Tour 5,000m, Sam Atkin competed on the track. Atkin came second in a fantastic new PB of 13:23.38, over 10 seconds off his previous best and moving him to 2nd on the UK rankings for 2020.

The speedy racing didn’t stop there. In Kent the Bromley Twilight Invitational saw the likes of Marc Scott and Jess Judd take to the track. Mark Hookway who organised the event and the night was definitely one filled with personal bests.

Marc Scott continued his winning streak in the 3000m on the track with a rapid time of 7:43.38. Whilst not a national record, this was Scott’s second fastest time ever. However, it wasn’t quite the clear-cut win Scott experienced at the Podium 5k as he was fighting to the line with James West, and only took the win by 0.41 seconds. West finished in 7:43.79 followed by Jonny Davies in 7:45.75, Alex Yee in 7:45.81 and Phil Sesemann in 7:52.42.

The winner of the men’s B race was James Gormley in a PB time of 7:57.77, with Tom Lancashire following in second in 8:03.27 and Frank Baddick third in 8:93.94.

Quirk wins as Ockenden maintains fine form

The women’s 3000m race was hot in competition as all top three finishers clocked personal bests. Amelia Quirk made her debut for the season in style with an impressive 17 second PB of 8:54.09 which earned her the win. Second place was secured by Verity Ockenden with a fine run of 8:56.72, also a PB by 14 seconds! It was Tonbridge’s Nicole Taylor who came in third in 9:12.18.

In the women’s B event, Almi Nerurkar ran herself to a lifetime best of 9:21.34, followed by the incredible Kate Avery in 9:22.43. Phoebe Barker finished third in 9:48.10.

The 1500m event was won with a clear margin by GB international, Jess Judd. It was Judd’s first outing over the distance, and she clocked 4:10.03 for the win. In second place was Beth Kidger of Brighton Phoenix in 4:15.22 followed by Sabrina Sinha (Cambridge Harriers) in third in a PB of 4:16.71.

For the men, the 1500m title was secured by Adam Clarke in a strong time of 3:41.57. In a tight race to the finish, it was Tom Dodd of Birchfield Harriers who knocked a second off his previous best time to finish second in 3:44.25. Ian Crowe-Wright took home third place in 3:44.69.

Credit: James Rhodes –

Lay and Mhalanga with fine displays in 800m

The 800m races at the Bromley event saw plenty of PB’s. The win in the men’s race went to Josh Lay (Rugby & Northampton) in a lifetime best time of 1:46.78, which is over a second faster than his previous time. Alex Botterill was second by a minute margin, also with a PB of 1:46.82. The third fastest time of the night was run by Yusuf Bizimana, which was also a PB. Bizimana crossed the line in 1:48.18.

In the women’s 800m A race, Issy Boffey of Enfield & Haringey took the win with an impressive PB of 2:02.10, however, it was B race winner, Khahisa Mhlanga, who ran the fastest time on the night was an incredible 2:01.91. Taking to the track to compete over the 800m distance for the first time in 2 years was Katie Snowden.

The Herne Hill athlete clocked 2:02.40 for second place in the A race. Third place finisher in the A event was Katie Kirk (Ulster Uni) in 2:02.98. Recent BMC winner, Georgie Hartigan, came second in the B race with a best time of 2:02.99 followed by Louise Shanahan (Cambridge) in 2:03.17, also a lifetime best!

Copeland breaks u/23 2000m record

This weekend at the Irena Szewińska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Great Britain’s elite were out in full force with some impressive performances. For the middle-distance runners, it was the women’s 1500m that got the evening off to a rapid start. One of GB’s golden girls of the track, Jemma Reekie, proved her strength once again.

Reekie, the double European U23 champion, who clocked 2:31.11 in the 1000m in Monaco on Friday, ran 4:09.01 in the 1500m to claim victory at the World Athletics Continental Bronze event in Poland. She claimed a convincing win, finishing over 2 seconds ahead of Germany’s Caterina Granz. Fellow Brits, Amy Griffiths and Erin Wallace were also competing in the race and finished fourth and fifth respectively. Griffiths crossed the line in 4:12.38 and Erin Wallace earned herself a new personal best of 4:12.57.

The next event of the night to have British athletes competing in, continued the winning streak. Elliot Giles set off with intent in the men’s 800m and crossed the line in an incredible first place with a rapid time of 1:45.18, not far off his PB time. It was his training partner, and fellow Phx Track athlete, Kyle Langford, who was the next Briton in sixth place with a time 1:46.45. Langford was then followed by Guy Learmoth in 10th place with a strong time of 1:47.21.

It was the women’s 800m event that had spectators sitting on the edge of their seats in what was an incredibly close race. The top seven athletes all finished under 2:01, but it was Benin’s Noélie Yarigo who took home the win in 2:00.11. For the British athletes, Laura Muir was first across the line in 2:00.34 for third place, just after setting her national 1000m record in Monaco. Alex Bell finished in fourth place, just behind Muir in 2:00.34! A very close race!

The last track event of the night, which saw records being broken was the men’s 2000m. Britain’s U23 athlete, Piers Copeland, finished fourth in 4:57.61. This time not only classifies as an U23 national record, but also places Copeland seventh on the UK all-time list. Sol Sweeney of Great Britain was eighth overall in a time of 5:06, which is also a PB!

World lead for Muir at Diamond League

The weekend was rounded off with the Stockholm Diamond League which saw plenty of our country’s best tear up the track with some speedy performances. Laura Muir produced a stunning display to set a world leading time of 3:57.86. In form form as well ahas been Laura Weightman who finished 2nd in 4:01.62 ahead of Melissa Courtney-Bryant setting a new PB with 4:01.81 and Eilish McColgan 4th in 4:03.74. Stunning racing.

The men’s 800m had been pitched by some as Brazier vs Burgin but in the end the American took a convincing win in 1:43.76 with British U20 athlete, who boasts a best time of 1:44.75, 6th in 1:46.02.

The British women’s 800m is riding high at the moment and victory was taken by one of the new stars of British athletics, Jemma Reekie in 1:59.68 with Alex Bell 4th in 2:02.25.

Timothy Cheruiyot was the winner of the men’s 1500m in 3:30.25. Neil Gourley finished 8th in 3:38.30 ahead of Charlie Da’Vall Grice in 11th with 3:41.75.

On the road again

The St Albans 10k also saw the return of athletes to the road over the longer 6.2-mile distance. Ollie Garrod of South London Harriers took home the win in 32:02 ahead of Oliver Carrington (Newark AC) who crossed the line in 32:11. The third-place finishing male was Ben Brown (Southampton AC) with a solid time of 32:15.

For the women, it was Hannah Rayden (St Albans AC) who ran an astonishing time of 33:36, almost 4 minutes ahead of second place. Alex Newman-Smith was the second female home in 37:29 followed by Samantha Amend (Belgrave Harriers) in 38:13.

SOAR are part of the UK club running scene and we are delighted to support the weekend roundup. To find out how we can help you match your club kit to your ambition check out this article or get in touch here.

The SOAR X TOUR is our way of staying true to the pursuit of summer speed. With a three-staged virtual races series, open to runners worldwide.

SOAR X TOUR sees racers test themselves over 1km, 1 mile and 5km consecutively over a 10 day period, with both stage and overall rankings and prizes up for grabs.