Gill Bland brings you a packed roundup as British athletes shine on the world stage again

It may be nearly a week ago now, but we really have to open this week’s round up with the results from the 126th running of the Boston Marathon. For once, conditions were near perfect and with an insanely stacked field (thanks to London shifting to the autumn) this was always going to be an exciting race to watch. It did not disappoint.

In a thrilling finish, Peres Jepchirchi and Ababel Yeshaneh were still swapping the lead to and fro with about 100m to go. Jepchirchir eventually won out in a sprint finish you have to watch this you have to watch this. I’ve often complained that top flight GB marathoners don’t go out to Boston, so was delighted to see Charlotte Purdue on the start list this year.

The fire in her performances since the disappointment of missing out on Olympic selection has been fascinating to watch and this race just backed up how much she has harnessed that situation to enhance her running. Finishing as the first non-African (I hate that lazy term but it’s a way of showing the calibre of runner ahead of her) and 9th place in a time of 2:25:26.

This is yet another result which solidifies her standing as one of the most experienced and consistently excellent GB marathoners of all time. Ali Lavender was second GB lady after having a rough race and toughing it out to finish in 2:43:17. Lauren Cooper ran 2:48:13 to be third in our domestic rankings. The elite men’s race was impressive, if not as enthralling, with Evans Jebet dropping the hammer at 22 miles out and winning in 2:06:51. The top GB gents were Stephen Jackson (2:28:17) Ben Cole (2:28:22) and Daniel Alexander (2:28:39)

Stunning performance sees McColgan break British & European record

Back to more recent days now. While the ASICS META:TIME:TRIALS in Malaga was indeed a giant PR stunt, it certainly produced results. All runners had to wear the latest Asics carbon plate shoe and were able to compete over whatever distance they liked – 5km, 10km or half-marathon.

Over 5k Eilish McColgan showed that her recovery form Covid is going just great, as she ran a British and European record of 14:44 (or one second either way – to be ratified) to win the 5k.

Charlotte Arter was 5th in the 5km with 15:43, Victory Chepngeno won the 10k in 31:39 and Fionnuala McCormack was fourth in 32:19. Josh Griffiths ran 30:16 for 13th in the 10km. In the Half Marathon Natasha Cockram was 6th in 71:30.

Anderson opens season with sub 13:30

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Oregon Relays produced some results worth waking up for. Tom Anderson kicked off his track season in fantastic fashion, setting a new 5000m PB of 13:28.07 to earn himself second place. Rory Leaonard clocked 13:52.78 for 17th place. Zak Seddon’s 8:26.45 performance in the 3000m steeplechase puts him inside the European Championship qualifying zone, while Jonathan Hopkins finished in 8:31.80 and Kate Seary in 10:01.28.

Victoria Kenny ran a brilliant race today, winning the Vienna City Half Marathon 76:16 and really put herself on the “to watch” list in the process. Harry Wakefield placed fourth in 69:37. The Marathon was won by Kenyan Cosmas Muteti in 2:06:53 with fastest Brit being Julian Lings in 2:35:45. Kenya held the top women’s spot too thanks to Vibian Chepkirui running 2:20:59 and fastest Brit was Karima Harris in 3:03:37. A full report can be seen hereA full report can be seen here.

At the Hamburg Marathon Yalemzerf Yehualaw obliterated the course record, winning in 2:17:23 which is the fastest marathon debut ever (previous being Paula Radcliffe’s 2:18) and puts her at 6th on the world all-time list. Cybrian Kotut also set a new record (beating Kipchoge’s previous), winning in 2:04:47. Alex Lawrence was first British man in 2:17:41 and Annaka Charters first British women in 3:11:43.

Back on its originally intended 7-lap course the Wrexham Elite Marathon had no rogue pacers this year. Instead it was Hugh Armstrong of Ballina A.C, who ran 02:14:04 to break the tape (for reference, the NI World champs selection mark is 2:11:30 / 2:29:30). Callum Johnson made his marathon debut to finish second in 2:17:46. John Gilbert (V40) was third in 2:20:55.

While the windy conditions precluded any PBs for the gents, it didn’t stop Chelsea Baker who took a whopping ten minutes off her previous best to take the women’s win in 2:46:53. Next home was Sarah Hunter in 02:50:57 and then Natalie Seymour in 02:54:32.

In the half marathon race the Northern Irish contingent sandwiched the podium, as Fionnuala Ross of Armagh AC was first in 74:15 (3s off her PB) and City of Derry’s Catherine Whoriskey third in a big PB of 76:07. Separating them and taking the runner up position was Stockport’s Mollie Williams, aslo in a chunky PB of 74:25. For the men, it was Jake O’Regan who raced home first in 74:58 with Andrew Miles just under four minutes later in 78:56. Michael Young took the final podium place in 79:38.

Steel continues her successful return

The British Masters Athletics Federation 33rd Open Relay Championships 2022 featured quickest legs by Scott Overall (15:29) and Gemma Steel (17:08). In the team competitions, the F35 win went to Cheshire Dragons, F45 to South London Harriers, F55 to Dulwich Runners AC and F65 to Steel City Strider. Chorlton Runners won the M35, Thames Hare and Hounds M45, Worcester AC the M55 and Cambuslang the M65.

Instead of running rogue in Wrexham this weekend Jake Smith was racing the Bristol Track Club 5km where he ran home to the win in 14:23, beating Johnny Livingstone (14:33) and Jonathan Cornish (14:36). Sidenote – checkout the lovely lo-fi branding on Jake’s shoes! Jess Gibson took the women’s win in 16:05 with Philly Bowden following up on her performance at the Comeback 5k last week to run 16:10 for second place this time. Daisy Davies was third in 16:36.

William Lunn-Pigula(2:39:04) and Jennifer Charlton (3:18:44) won the Shakespeare Marathon. Orlando Corea (72:30) and Chloe Richardson (80:01) topped the times in the half marathon.

The ABP Southampton Marathon was won by Chris McGurk (2:30:17) and Victoria Walls (3:04:34) as Sean Hogan (71:16) and Anne-Marie Bayliss (84:49) won the half.

We are awaiting results of the The BUCS 10000m Championships

Ultra Madness on Track and Trail

The Centurion Track 100 may seem another world from the rest of the races featured weekend but when you think that winner Aleksandr Sorokin ran 100km in just over 6 hours to set a new world record, running 5.53 min/mile pace – well it’s faster than the pace on many shorter races! Bonkers.

Two women completed the 100 miles. Course record holder Samantha Amend absolutely smashed it in 14:10:41, setting four records in the process – a new PB and course record by 24 minutes as well as 50 mile V50 and British 12hr and European 12hr records. Eloise Eccles has been putting the work in by running epic track workouts in preparation for this and she was rewarded with second place in 15:36:31. Third longest distance was run by Camille Herron who covered 70.8 miles in 9:00:20.

Winner of the 100 mile race was Alexander Whearity who completed his mission in 12:42:04 ahead of Michael Stocks who covered the distance in 13:41:19.

Meanwhile, for ultrarunners who prefer more trail that track, the Highland Fling 53, which included the National Ultra Trail Championship, saw Rowan Boswood conquer the terrain first in 7:15:52, holding off Josh Bakker-Dyos who finished in 7:28:48 and Robbie Dunlop in 7:42:58.

Jo Meek was 9th overall and won the women’s division in 8:24:32. Triathlon legend Chrissie Weellington was understandably delighted with her runner up performance of 8:40:10 and Jacqueline MacIntyre rounded out a W40 podium in 8:47:33.

Also out on the trails this weekend, Elsey Whyman-Davies was first at the Burnsall trail 10k.

Track Meets around the UK

On Monday a multitude of track meets kicked off with the Bill Whistlecroft Spring Open in Yeovil, where William Rabjohns (4:11.70) and Olivia Steer (4:48.71) were quickest over 1500m. Sam Mills (8:28.18) and Elizabeth Norton (10:18.38) took the top spots in the 5000m.

At the Charnwood AC Open the 1500m was won by Harry Hewitt of Peterborough & Nene Valley in a PB of 4:01.77 and fastest woman was Wolverhampton & Bilston’s Louise Hackett in 4:31.08. Over 3000m 9:04.44 was the winning time by Thomas Dixon and 9:37.27 for Hannah Robinson (coached by Eilish McColgan).

Highgate Harriers also had their Open Meet, where Orion Harriers Nathan Boase ran 4:12.14 and Sophie Magson 4:55:01 for the 1500m. Over 5000m Nathan Ross PB’d to run a tantalising winning time of 15:00.71 and ex-Highgater and now St Albans Strider, Megan Wilson ran 17:34.66 to be fastest woman.

On Tyneside, the North East Grand Prix Series saw two sub three’s over 1500m – Alex Brown – 3:57.93 and Ethan Bond (PB) 3:59.58. Poppy Old (U17) ran the quickest of the female competitors – 4:36:51. Bryan Brett ran a superb 3000m PB of 8:55.44 at the Crawley AC Graded Easter Open putting clear air between himself and Craig Halsey (9:15.39) and James Stephen (9:27.87). In the women’s rankings, 10:14.52 was the top time of the night and belonged to Yasmin Kashdan.

Tonbridge Easter Open Meeting had a range of distance options and the wining times were as follows: 1500m – Mark Bridger 4:47.45 and Carys Firth 5:12.11, 3000m – Isaac Arnott 9:42.24 and Abigail Royden 10:57.86, 5000m – Jayden Iles 16:35.74 and Kay Sheedy- 18:22.61. Kettering Town Evening Open switched it up with a 2000m race, which Ben Brooker (6:05.69) and Milly Dunger (6:32.62 – PB) took full advantage of to run the best performances of the night.

The BMC Gold Standard Races in Stretford had just one distance to run and some great performances. 1500m podium places went to Andrew Walling (3:46.74), Najib Hassan (3:47.82) and Thomas Moran (3:50.68). Emily Simpson PB’d to run the fastest women’s time of the night in 4:20.57, with 4:26.05 from Jess Bailey being next best and then 4:27.18 by Ty Brockley-Langford.

Easter Speedsters

The Guernsey Easter 10k top spot went to Jacob O’Hara in 31:00 and Elle Twentyman in 34:14 (10th OA) and the London Easter 10k saw Nicolas Besson stride to the finish way ahead of the rest of the field in 33:32 and Jennie Roberts first woman in 32:26.

Jumping on the easter 10k bandwagon was the rural sounding Massey Ferguson Easter Tractor 10K in Stoneleigh where Callum Hanlon broke the tape in 31:58 and Kelly Edwards’ 37:04 would have overtaken a few of the big wheeled guys too. Stanwick 10k was the place for a winning PB of 32:25 for Mark Hill and Alice Belcher with 36:20. Finally, the Yeovil Easter Bunny 10k had Michael Parrot and Vicki Ingham as its victors in times of 33:00 and 36:27 respectively.

While Boston USA was hosting some epic performances, Boston UK also had their marathon. While not quite ready to catch Evans Chebet, there William Strangeway’s 2:25:11 winning time is pretty impressive given that he ran a 2:18 earlier in the month at Manchester Marathon. Second place went to Paul Molyneux in 02:25:17 and third and a PB to Allen El-sour with 2:33:00.

Natasha White won the women’s race in 2:59:07 and over five minutes clear of runner up Emma Jolley (3:05:39). In the half marathon option, Simon Birch was first in 69:03 followed by Joe Wilkinson in 69:36 and William Atkinson in 71:23. Lindsay Skinner was first woman in 79: 35, beating Nicola Curtis (80:18) and Martha Hall (86:32).

Midweek Racing

With the Easter weekend over, there were still plenty of mid-week races. The Great Yarmouth Promenade 5 Mile series continued on Wednesday evening with James Redd winning in 25:34 and Juliette Watkinson in 30:38. The Nottingham 5k Winter Series had a clear winner in Philip Nind who ran 16:57 to win over a minute’s lead. Georgia Hid was third over all in 20:32.

Not far away, the Leicester Winter 5k was won by Jason Barton in 16:53 and Emily Hall in 19:28. York Even Splits 5k ramped up the speed to the net level with a 15:23 winning time from George Couttie and Jennifer Walsh’s 16:37 (6th OA).