The spring marathon season is underway and the fast times on the road keep coming – although Storm Kathleen certainly had something to say. James Rhodes brings you another busy weekend round up.

Racing Abroad

Lauren Mcneil and Clara Evans had excellent outings at the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. The pair clocked 70:10 and 70:11, the latter a five second PB for Clara. Lauren’s performance was particularly impressive given she raced at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade last weekend. Both times were inside the qualifying standard for the European Championships, something an impressive 14 women have achieved for the half marathon.

Behind, Philly Bowden (72:15) improved her PB by over 20 seconds whilst Louise Small finished in 75:09.

Another Belgrade representative, Calum Johnson, led the British men’s contingent and clocked 64:04. The next quickest times came from Mo Hashi (67:45), Daniel Mulryan (68:22) and Jamie Dee (69:49 PB).

The Prague Half Marathon also delivered some fast times, led by Lauren Hall’s 77:30 PB. That time improves her best by over two minutes, although her last half marathon was back in 2016. Belgrave Harrier Ugur Altan (71:39) was the fastest male. Tracy Barlow (77:18) also raced. Kenyan Sabastian Sawe moved to twelfth on the all-time list with his 58:24 victory.

Photo: RunCzech

In Spain, Thomas Wright (73:12) and Jennifer Elvin (81:08) set the fastest British times at the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon. At the ASICS Festival of Running in Paris, steeplechaser Lizzie Bird raced for the first time since July and clocked a 15:49 5k PB. Fellow steeplechaser Zak Seddon (14:14) raced the same distance and finished tenth. Natasha Phillips (34:12) and Josh Griffiths (31:09) contested the 10k. The race also saw Eilish McColgan pacing in her first competitive outing for over a year.

Marathon Season Begins

Windy conditions played a role in the results of the Brighton Marathon, but there were some impressive performances, nevertheless. Perhaps top of the list is Hannah McGowan-Jones, who took a commanding victory in the women’s field in her marathon debut. She clocked 2:54:43, finishing almost nine minutes clear of Victoria Cartmell (3:03:55). Annie Soper completed the top three with 3:04:59.

It was a closer affair in the men’s race, with 18 seconds separating Oliver Knowles (2:32:27) and Matthew Alderson (2:32:45). It was a great run by the Petts Wood Runner Oliver, who set his previous best of 2:43:08 in Brighton last year, where he finished 17th. James Cook (2:36:19) took third. In all, 44 athletes finished inside 2:50:00.

Alex Richer (38:44) and Tom Higgs (31:29) won the associated 10k.

Staying on the south coast, Joe Beaton (2:33:41) and Hannah Traylen (3:08:01) won the ABP Southampton Marathon again in blustery conditions. Joe is another marathon debutant, having run a 72:37 half marathon in Wokingham in February. Jonty Griffiths (2:35:20) and Joshua Price (2:38:10) completed the men’s podium, and Emma O’Toole (3:16:17) and Anna Lees (3:24:55) the women’s.

Held on the same day, Lucy Short (89:59) and Richard Waldron (74:33) won the associated half marathon, and Brandon Cuell (36:18) and Sarah Kingston (39:56) the 10k.

Johnny Reep (2:30:18) took 22 seconds off his PB set in London last year at the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon. (Writer’s note: The results page is not particularly user-friendly and cannot search by country, meaning this is the only result I can find so far).

Half the Distance

Closer to home, plenty of athletes took to the roads for 13.1 miles. They included Samuel Moakes (68:59) and Abbie Pearse (81:17) who took victories at the Sheffield Half Marathon. Meanwhile, the Madeley Half Marathon saw Sam Crozier (67:32) and Amanda Kelly (87:03) set the fastest times, whilst Anna Scrivens (87:14) and Matthew Lock (71:37) won the White Horse Half Marathon in Grove.

Abbey Van Dijk (81:27) and Mike Blair (74:42) set the fastest times at the Belvoir Half Marathon, and Annabel Granger (88:23) and Darren Garman (82:53) at the Brabazon Half Marathon. Victories at the Monsal Trail Half Marathon went to Andrew Penney (70:05) and Joanne Jones (89:24), the former winning by over four and a half minutes. Carolyn Hay (40:52) and Tadeusz Gumulka (40:03) won the associated 10k.

In Manchester, Matthew Skaife (75:25) and Emily Jevons (94:52) won the Run Heaton Park Half Marathon. Jackie Stretton (97:07) and Ben Seldon (93:28) won the challenging Saltmarsh Half Marathon, and Jack Cummings (84:49) and Emma Clayton (1:42:07) the Baildon Boundary Way Half Marathon.

Shorter Distances

The day after racing the National Road Relays, James Hancock (32:23) was joined by Alice Crane (35:22) in winning the Sutton 10k. Further north to Lancaster, where Bryan Potts (35:19) and Lucy Fairelough (37:07) were victorious at the Race to the Castle 10k.

Adam Beaumont (33:16) and Vicky Simpson-Thomas (43:23) won the St Clare Hospice 10k in Hastingwood, whilst Belinda Houghton (39:31) and Danny Bailey (35:25) crossed the finish first at the Fleetwood 10k. Willian Pannell (38:41) and Alison Clarke (45:28) were quickest at the Minster Milers’ Mash 10k, and Claire Hall (44:47) and Ethan Kuijten (39:8) the same at the Thatcham 10k. Jordan Bell (33:46) and Stacey Smith (34:52) won the Port of Blyth 10k.

Still going! Rachel Gifford (36:32) and Matthew Scarsbrook (31:53) raced well to take victories at the Wright Hassall Regency 10k. To the south, Dion Garner (33:55) and Emily Hilliar (36:53) won the Poole Round the Lakes 10k

Robert Weston (34:47) and Victoria Hopwood (40:03) set the fastest times at the Whitchurch 10k. Finally, wins at the Trowse 10k went to Jacob Ocal (33:03) and Mabel Beckett (36:21).