Another busy weekend with the spring marathon season picking up momentum. James Rhodes brings you the highlights of the racing action – as a recovery from his own marathon adventure in Manchester!

Marvellous Manchester

Despite a midweek forecast that looked less than ideal, the weather gods were feeling kind at the Manchester Marathon. Charlie Arnell had an excellent marathon debut, taking the win in the women’s field in an impressive 2:37:14. She ran 77:27 at the Bath Half Marathon in March, so a pretty impressive conversion. It was a commanding victory, finishing almost five minutes clear of Melissah Gibson (2:42:09) in second. That time is about six minutes shy of her PB, but an impressive turnaround from running 100k just three weeks ago!

Clapham Chaser Anna Lawson (2:44:00) finished third, and recorded a chip time of 2:43:32 having not started with the elite field. That is a near-four minute improvement on her PB. Heather Tomlinson (2:49:20) and Rachel Birt (2:49:35) finished fourth and fifth.

In his third marathon (although his second was pacing Charlotte Purdue in Berlin last year), Adam Clarke won the men’s race in 2:16:29. It’s only a minute off his PB from his debut in Seville in 2022. Marshall Smith improved his best by three minutes to finish second (2:18:22), whilst Alex Teuten (2:18:37) completed the podium, improving on his 2:19:22 debut last year. David Barratt (2:19:34) and Lachlan Oates (2:20:12) completed the top-five.

Photo: Manchester Marathon

Fast Times Continue

The Reading Half Marathon continued to show it is a fast race, despite not falling perfectly for those looking for a springboard into an April marathon. Ben Cole (65:39) improved his PB by one second in taking victory ahead of Tim Higgs (66:50) and James Connor (67:41). Kate Estlea-Morris (74:26) was the fastest in the women’s field, finishing 58 seconds clear of Cassie Thorp (75:24) and Rhianne Hughes (77:55). That time is a 20 second improvement for Kate.

Battersea Park lived up to its reputation as a fast course when playing host to the Friday Night Under the Lights 10k on, you’ve guessed it, Friday. It may have been four laps rather than the usual two for 5k. but it did not stop a flurry of fast times. They were led by Freddie Hessien (30:02) who finished just three seconds ahead of Aiden Lennan (30:05). Thomas Butler (30:24) completed the podium.

Thames Valley Harrier Yvie Lock (33:10) finished over half a minute ahead of Naomi Taschimowitz (33:45) and Rebecca Johnson (34:02). Impressively, it was Yvie’s debut at the distance whilst Rebecca improved her PB by over 20 seconds in her first race over the distance in two years.

A day later, RunThrough hosted their own Battersea Park 10k. This provided wins to Jacob Pickering (32:30) and Amy Seager (38:35). Staying in London, Katinka Newman (41:52) and Mo Foustok (35:35) won The One in the Park 10k in Hyde Park.

South of the River Thames, RunThrough hosted another event in the form of the Crystal Palace Half Marathon. Finian Scott (83:38) and Oda Dregelid (99:07) recorded victories. The 10k was won by Millie Howard (49:34) and Marek Sieminski (37:30).

Cari Hughes (15:38) and Kadar Omar (14:8) won the Bristol Track Club Race Day 5k on Saturday.

More 10ks

North of the border, the Round the Houses 10k incorporated the Scottish East District Championships and delivered some fast times. The quickest came from Scott Stirling (30:10) in his first race since his GB debut at the World Cross Country Championships. He finished clear of Fergus Roberts (31:28) and Jamie Philpott (31:46) who completed the top-three. In the women’s field, Annabel Simpson (34:11) finished over two minutes clear of Emily McNicol (36:20) and Emma Creasey (37:11).

A previous World Cross Country Championship representative in Gemma Steel (34:18) was joined by Matthew Horrocks (33:28) as winners of Leicester’s Big 10k. Grant Davies (34:24) and Hannah Burgon (42:23) set the fastest times at RunThrough’s Tatton Park 10k. Wins in the associated 5k went to Laura Oldroyd (23:32) and Thomas Fair (16:36).

Kirsty Longley (37:51) and Ian Lawton (31:40) crossed the finish line first at the Mersey Tunnel 10k. As did Niall Moroney (36:39) and Caroline McAleese (39:31) at the Frenchay 10k. Over three minutes separated Aidan Daniel (31:58) from the rest of the field at the Lightning Bolt 10k in Langley Burrell. Freya Spruit (36:58) was the fastest female.

Joe Wilkinson (30:11) and Sophie Wallis (32:50) set the fastest times at the City of Lincoln 10k. Christine Lathwell (40:27) and Liam Busby (34:02) did the same at the Flitwick 10k. Jackie Stretton (43:05) and Jody Walker (40:48) won the Hadleigh Legacy 10k organised by Nice Work. Rosie Mead (42:38) and Martin Amos (35:20) were victorious at the Cambridge Cambourne 10k.

Back to Longer Distances

Pere Capdevila (2:46:00) and Charlotte Broyd (3:18:03) recorded victories at the Kent Spring Marathon in Charing. Wins in the he associated half marathon went to Julia Lewis (92:32) and Ashford’s Wagahta Zerom (70:30).

At the Devizes Half Marathon David Sirrelle (81:51) and Laura Buchanan (91:06) set the fastest times. Craig Winfield (74:44) and Imogen Livingstone (84:04) won the Putney & Fulham Half Marathon in London, and Kirsty Philpot (97:03) and Graeme Mcintosh (82:50) the Seaford Martello Half Marathon. Ben Jones (74:32) and Anna Klucnika (88:06) won the Northstowe Half Marathon, with Jo Delf (95:50) and David Loomes (77:43) the Bungay Festival of Running Half Marathon.

Finally, Fast Running’s Natalie White had an excellent run to finish third at the 3 Santi Trail 47k. The race takes in 2,900m of elevation gain, and she finished in 6:46:48. William Sanderson was fifth in the men’s field (6:00:42).

Photo: Robbie Britton