As the year comes to a close, many people are smashing out their last races of 2019. It was a wet and windy weekend, and a quiet one for races generally but many athletes were still out in the mud and on the roads.

Purdue, Hilland and Griffith successful on the roads

Across the world in slightly more favourable conditions, on her way to Australia, Charlotte Purdue took part in the Sanyo Ladies Road Race Half Marathon in Japan. Purdue had an impressive run to take home the win in her second best ever time of 68:45. What a year she’s had!

Also across seas was the Zurich Marathon Malaga. Becky Hilland came an impressive 4th with a time of 2:40:21 closely followed by Highgate Harrier Nina Griffith in 6th place. Griffith clocked 2:42:18, almost an 11-minute personal best! Also in the same race was Jason Porter who crossed the line with a solid 2:28:34.

Credit: Sanyo Ladies Road Race

Cross country champions crowned

In Manchester, athletes headed to Bogart Hole Clough to take part in the Greater Manchester County Cross Country Championships. The win in the women’s race went to Sale Harriers’ Danielle Fegan, shortly followed by Leigh Harriers’ Abigail Howarth and teammate Hannah Brown.

The men’s race also saw Sale Harriers top the podium. Gavin Hill was crowned county champion with almost a minute lead, followed by James Scott-Farrington coming in second. Bury AC’s Ben Coop finished on the men’s podium with a third-place finish.

Gavin Hill. Credit: Peter Brown

At another county champs in Berkshire, athletes competed on a tough, muddy course. We are currently waiting for the results to be uploaded and the results from the Dorset County Champs are yet to be published.

The North Eastern Counties XC Championships saw another champion crowned. In the men’s race Carl Avery of Morpeth Harriers & AC took home the title. Avery was followed by Gateshead Harrier Callum Johnson in a close second place. Completely the men’s podium was Avery’s club-mate Alexander Brown.

In the women’s race, marathoner Sonia Samuels took to the mud and proved her strength. Samuels finished in a convincing first place, representing Sale Harriers. Second place went to Philippa Stone of Middlesbrough AC and the bronze medal was secured by Morpeth Harriers’ Catriona MacDonald.

On the roads

Jonny Mellor broke the course record at Stockport 10 clocking 49:23 for the win with Nigel Martin (51:46) and Nicholas Barry (52:37) joining him on the podium. Veleska Wills of Derby AC was the winning woman in 61:22 with Vicki Cronin second in 63:37 and Jenny Knass third in 66:38.

The RunThrough Olympic Park 5k and 10k saw athletes going for their last road PB’s before 2020 starts. The win in the 5k went to Johannes Teigland in 15:39 and in an impressive second place overall and first female finisher was Ine Bakken with a time of 17:28. In the 10k it was Samuel Cornforth of Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets that secured himself the winners medal in a time of 33:59, just dipping under that 34-minute mark. Kent’s Georgina Wiley won the women’s race in 38:05.

Mike Gratton coached Lauren Cooper won the Aldersley 5 Mile Turkey Trot in an impressive 28:59 ahead of Lynne Hill of Tipton (30:22) and Marie Matthews (31:31). The winning man was Luke Carpenter in 25:29 who fought off Reece Ashfield (25:50) and James Hickinbottom (26:04) to stand on top of the podium.

The Run Aintree 10k saw Ben Akin take home the victory in the men’s race in a time of 33:06. Macy O’Shaughnessy dominated the women’s race, winning by almost 6 minutes. O’Shaughnessy crossed the line in a strong time of 35:40.

The Waterside 10k Road Race saw plenty of athletes take to the roads on a windy weekend morning. The winning male was David Hudson (BRJ Run and Tri) in 33:34 and the winning female was Hannah Lord (St Neots Riverside Runners) in 40:08.

Over a slightly longer distance was the Windsor & Eton Autumn Classic Half Marathon. Rob Elmore (Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club) ran himself to the top of the podium with a time of 1:13:55 in his first ever half marathon. For the women it was Suzy Hawkins of Fairlands Valley Spartans who took the win in 1:27:13.

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