Jess Piasecki shakes up the GB Women’s Marathon scene ahead of Tokyo 2020 as she goes 3rd on the all-time rankings and takes the win in Florence. On home (muddy) turf Judd and Connor run convincing wins to book their places at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

Piasecki wins Florence Marathon to move 3rd on UK AT list

At Florence Marathon Jess Piasecki finally made her marathon debut and she did it in fine style. The Stockport athlete not only won the race by 78 seconds in a 74:31/70:58 negative split but also ran her way into the GB record books. It was a hugely popular result for Piasecki who picked up an injury mid race at the 2015 Frankfurt Marathon when looking on course for a sub 2:30 clocking.

Her 2:25:29 sees her edge past Charlotte Purdue’s 2:25:38 earlier this year at London to place 3rd on the British all-time list. That leaves the two pre-selected two Tokyo 2020 places as tough to beat but with a quality line up of Brits at Valencia Marathon lets wait and see. The final lady will need to run the qualifying time and place 1st Brit at London. It’s a tight turnaround but it makes for a compelling prospect for those of us watching!

Paul Molyneux clocked his fastest marathon time for three years running 2:22:55 to finish 8th overall. Also running sub 2:30 was Pete Robinson of Springfield Striders who clocked 2:28:41 in his 4th marathon of the year. Vicky Unsworth was the next British female over the line with the Liverpool Harrier running 3:01:02.

Further down the field it looks like the course was changed due to a gas leak leading it 700m short for some of the later finishers.

Euro Cross Trial at Sefton Park

It was the third installment of the British Athletics Cross Challenge series at Sefton Park this Saturday. The race also served as the trials for the Spar European Cross Country Championships, resulting in a fine field and a top notch day of racing.

In the U15 race Kiya Dee of Highworth kept her 100% record by winning in a time of 10:59, though not without a little tussle with Vale Royal’s Grace Roberts. Conditions became increasingly boggy throughout the day but that didn’t deter our hardened athletes.

A soggy set of spikes and a Euro XC champs place now belongs to Saskia Millard of Herne Hill Harriers thanks to her 15:32 finish. She’ll be joined in Lisbon by the rest of the top 5 finishers in her race (see below) who all automatically qualify.

Judd surpised after fine win

In the Senior Women’s race Jess Judd stormed ahead to take the lead from early on, much to her own surprise! She had plenty of time to slow down for the tape as her nearest rival, Charlotte Arter, finished 10 seconds behind her.

The previous match’s winner, Kate Avery was 3rd and the remaining place on the team was taken by Amy Griffiths. Bronwen Owen, Cari Hughes, Amelia Quirk and Eleanor Bolton all qualified for Lisbon in the u/23 team. Judd, Arter, Avery and Griffiths all cliched senior spots.

Connor continues his fantastic 2019

MK winner Mohammed Mohammed was again in fine form but it was British 10000m Champion Ben Connor to claimed a convincing win. Alex Yee and Adam Hickey also booked their spots on the Euro Cross squad.

Ultra marathon man Tom Evans clinched the third senior spot within his 6th place overall with Kristian Jones taking the fourth spot a couple of seconds back in 7th. U/23 qualifying men were Mahamed, Yee, Cairess and Sol Sweeney. The senior team will be made up by Connor, Hickey, Evans and Jones.

A full list of category winners can be found at the bottom of this report.

Credit: Alex Donald

Over the pond, Preston’s Patrick Dever forwent the mud of Liverpool to race for the University of Tulsa in the NCAA Cross Country championships. He finished 11th in the Men’s D1 race, running 10k in 30:59.4.

On the UK roads

The Run Through team were in action at their Battersea Park 5 & 10k on Saturday. Charlotte Mason (18:34), Kate Carter (18:58) and Laura Donnelly (21:30) topped the 5k for the ladies. James Share (15:28), Charles Pearson (15:47) and Adam Tapley (15:57) were the three fastest gents. In the 10k it was podium-time for Ludvig Johanssen (33:11), Barnaby Walker (33:51) and Mario Maresca (34:14) with Rebecca Newstead (34:44), Mollie Macve (34:51) and Katy Rashbrook (34:51) doing it for the ladies.

Leopoldo Burguete won the Wolverton 5 in Milton Keynes finishing in 24:11 ahead of Liam Dee in 24:22. According to Elliot Hind Burguete was the first MKAC man to win in 55 year history of the race!! Paul Mizon was third also cracking 25 minutes with 24:44.

Rafaela Fonseca of Rugby & Northampton was the women’s winning in 28:43 with Elle Roche of MKAC second in 29:30. 3rd place went to Martha Hall (30:27) of Garden City Runners.


Gloucester 10km saw two men run sub 30. Jonathan Hopkins of Swansea Harriers was the winner in 29:27 ahead of Peter Le Grice (29:53) with Tom Merson (30:07) rounding off the podium. Rachel Felton was the first women running 34:37 with Cornwall’s Heidi Tregenza 2nd in 35:47 and Carys Hughes 3rd in 36:02.

Doncaster 10k saw Nick Martin break the tape in 31:27 and V40 runner Jenny Blizzard race home in 36:10 for victory. Women’s-only club, Bournemouth Joggers hosted their open-to-all Boscombe 10k – Caroline Stanzel of Poole Runners was first lady back in a whisker over 40 minutes (40:02) and the overall winner was Bournemouth AC’s Rob McTaggart in 33:47.

There were some seriously impressive performances at Hatfield 5 with a tightly fought race won by England marathoner Dani Nimmock in 27:21 edging out Annabel Gummow of Winchester who clocked 27:31 with Gemma Kersey also running sub 28 with 27:51. Ash Harrell was the overall winner in 24:36, with Mark Spiller 2nd in 27:13 and Rowan Daly 3rd in 27:15.

At the Eynsham 10k Daniel Hamilton of San Domenico RC ran a 32-flat to take the win and Vale of Aylesbury’s Sophie Delderfield found 37:25 swift enough for victory. The Jigsaw 10k at Dunsfold Park in Surrey was the site success for v50 speedster Elspeth Turner who finished in 38:06, though she has a 37:24 season’s best over the distance. It would seem reasonable to guess that 10k isn’t the distance of choice for 26.2 RC’s Tim Bartholomew, so he can be happy with his top spot in 35:09.

Hertfordshire Half saw Yorkshire Marathon winner Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (Luton AC) back in golden form, winning in 1:22:36. Hercules Wimbledon took the men’s crown in 1:11:25 thanks to Alex Milne. Silverstone was host to a range of distances on Sunday.

The Silverstone Half currently has some strange chip time results but in the Silverstone 5k, Keiran White (16:38) and Louise Balloch (19:24) were top. Silverstone 10k winners were James Dales (34:03) and Cat Cummings (38:37).

Finally and much more briefly, the Migo Mile took place at Queen’s Park, Glasgow. We’re still waiting on results but we do know that Male and female course record were broken and the overall winning time was 4:57.

Full British Cross Challenge results

U11 Boys, 2k

1st Charlie Collins  06:53, 2nd Fred Jones (Wolverhampton & Bilston) 06:59, 3rd William Coles (Carmathen) 07:07

U11 Girls, 2k

1st Molly Carvell (WESPA) 07:30, 2nd Valerie Teare (Liverpool Harriers) 07:40, 3rd Lexi Ellis (WESPA) 07:46

U13 Girls, 3k

1st Zoe Gilbody (Chiltern Harriers) 11:06, 2nd Abigail Reid (Woodford Green Essex Ladies) 11:19, 3rd Shaikira King (Wreake & Soar Valley) 11:35

U13 Boys, 3k

1st Aiden Collier (Chiltern Harriers) 10:41, 2nd Oliver Patton (Kilbarchan) 10:54, 3rd Craig Shennan (Giffnock North) 10:58

U15 Boys, 4k

1st Lewis Sullivan (St Edmunds) 9:50, 2nd Benjamin Peck (Thetford) 9:58, 3rd Joshua Blevins (North Shields Poly) 10:01

U15 Girls, 3k

1st Kiya Dee ( Highworth) 10:59, 2nd Grace Roberts (Vale Royal) 11:02, 3rd Elsie Robinson (Saffron AC) 11:09

U17 Women, 4.4k (run with Junior Women)

1st Anna Hedley (City of Lisburn) 15:59, 2nd Maya Todd McIntyre (Rushcliffe) 16:30, 3rd Hannah Anderson (East Kilbride) 16:35

IAAF Junior Women (U20 on 31.12.18), 4.4k (top 5 qualify)

1st Saskia Millard (Herne Hill Harriers) 15:32, 2nd Izzy Fry (Newbury AC), 3rd 15:33, Megan Keith (Inverness Harriers AAC) 15:34, 4th Amelia Samuels (Wolverhampton & Bilston AC) 15:41, 5th Olivia Mason (Border Harriers) 15:47.

U17 Men, 5.5k

1st Louis Small (Ashford AC) 18:26, 2nd Sam Martin (Guildford & Godalming) 18:31, 3rd Johnny Livingstone (Exeter Harriers) 18:33

IAAF Junior Men (U20 on 31.12.18), 6.7k (top 5 qualify) 

1st Matt Willis 21:13 (Wales /WrexhamAAC), 2nd Charlie Hicks (University of Stanford) 21:28, 3rd Zak Mahamed 21:31 (Southampton AC), 4th Hamish Armitt (Giffock North AAC) 21:34, 5th Will Barnicoat (Windsor Slough E & H AC)21:35

Senior Women including U23 Women’s European Trial, 8.1k (top 4 qualify)

1st Jess Judd (Blackburn Harriers) 28:22, 2nd Charlotte Arter (Cardiff AAC) 28:32, 3rd Kate Avery (Shildon Running & AAC) 28:40, 4th Amy Griffiths (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) 28:43, 5th Abbie Donnelly (Lincoln Wellington) 28:34, 6th Jenny Nesbitt (Cardiff AAC) 28:47, 7th Bronwen Owen (Leeds) 28:57.

Senior Men including U23 Women’s European Trial, 9.8k (top 4 qualify)

1st Ben Connor (Derby AC) 30:22, 2nd Mohamad Mohamad (Southampton AC) 30:27, 3rd Alex Yee (Kent AC) 30:25, 4th Adam Hickey (Southend-on-Sea) 30:50, 5th Emilie Cairess (Leeds) 31:00, 6th Tom Evans (Lewis AC) 31:03, 7th Kris Jones (Swansea) 31:05.

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