Bird & Muir set records in Monaco, the U23’s in fine form at the Euro Championships in Tallinn and 10000m champs are crowned at FastFriday

The ramp-up to the Olympics is now well underway and the Diamond League in Monaco gave athletes a chance to test their mettle. In a perhaps unexpected, but exciting turn of events, Laura Muir broke the Scottish record over 800m just days after she withdrew from that distance at the Olympics. She ran a convincing best of 1:56.73 and is now second on the all-time UK rankings.

It was a brilliant race which saw her turn the tables on Jemma Reekie, who has recently been dominant. Reekie herself had a great run through, securing herself third on the UK all-time and second in the event, finishing in 1:56.96. Lizzie Bird may have been in the final race of the evening, but she made it worth hanging on for, running a 9:22.80 in the 3000m steeplechase and setting a stunning new British record in the process.


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In Talinn this week the European U23 Championships were the place to see the next generation of talent on their way up. Issy Boffey shone out as the best result from the event – she was already U20 Euro champion and now adds the U23 crown to her CV after winning in 2:01.80. Khahisa Mhlanga finished 4th running 2:04.05. The men’s 800m saw Thomas Randolph pink up a fantastic bronze medal in a tight finish running 1:46.41 to edge out team mate Ben Pattison who ran 1:46.48. Finlay Mclear was 5th with 1:47.53.


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Erin Wallace produced a fine display to pick up a bronze medal in the women’s 1500m running 4:14.85. After winning his heat George Mills placed fifth in the men’s 1500m final with 3:40.91 and Josh Lay was eight in 3:41.29. Over 5000m, Tom Mortimer finished fourth in 13:48.67 with Isaac Akers finished 10th with 14:07.03. In the 10000m Eleanor Bolton ran 34:06:07 for eight, while David Melvill finished 19th in 31:11:42. Eleanor Bolton is set to race again over 5000m later this evening with in form Izy Fry also competing.

In the chase Sarah Tait ran 10:04.53 to finish 5th with Elise Thorner 8th with 10:12.41, there were no British men in the final of the steeplechase.

MacLennan and Nolan ensure another Fast Friday

Back on home-turf, the FASTFriday in Walthamstow included the England Athletics Championships. The pacers did their job in the women’s race before Mhairi MacLennan and Hannah Irwin duked it out for a while, taking turns in the lead until Maclennan put in a decisive move at the 7-8k point and raced home to the win in 33:09.62. Irwin held on hard to come second in 33:26.03 and Clara Evans continued a strong year of performances to place third in 34:02.56. Further down the field, Anna Boniface, Ruby Woolfe and Amy Killick set new PBs.

With the first three athletes over the line competing for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales respectively the England title was retained by Nicole Taylor of Tonbridge who finished 4th overall in 34:15.06 with the silver medal going to Sally Ratcliffe of AFD with Anna Boniface winning bronze.

The men’s race was a pack of five from the outset. Dom Nolan made his move with one lap to go, taking the England crown in 29:13.70 (PB). The rest of the pack held close – Josh Grace was second in 29:15.04 (PB), National XC Champion Calum Johnson was third in 29:16.65 (PB), Nigel Martin fourth in 29:17.51 and Lucian Allison faded a little more but held on for a PB and fifth place in 29:30.93 – great to see him back racing again.

British Ultra Trail Championship

The British Ultra Trail Championship took place at the Lakeland 100k. Athletes started at midnight tackling the a channeling route around Ambleside, Bampton and Grasmere. Fast10 athetle George Foster secured the men’s title and a seat on the plane to the World Trail Running Champs in Thailand later this year, running 9:29.11.

Experienced mountain racer Nick Swinburn will join him after finishing and with 9:41.15. Harry Jones was third running 10.03.00.

Meryl Cooper claimed the women’s British title and will also be off to Thailand the world champs after her win and new course record of 11:31:19. Experienced GB ultra and trail runner Jo Meek will be joining her after picking up the silver medal running 12:08:54. Claudia Chmielowska was third in 12:48:35.

Domestic track roundup

Ilford’s Ahmed Abdulle (U23) led a fast field at the Essex 5000m Championships, racing home to take the top spot in 14:42.1. Adam Hickey was next in 14:50.4 and Colcester & Tendring’s Freddy Richardson took third in 15:02.0. The women’s race was one-woman affair with Basildon’s Rachel Wiseman taking a convincing victory in 17:54.3. That left Hayley Lamkin to take second in a PB of 19:13.2 and Victoria Primmer third, also a PB, of 19:23.8

The Guildford and Godalming AC 5000 sadly had no female entrants at all, but the gents did themselves proud. Sam Begg obliterated his opposition, running 16:05.3 and setting a new PB to be very proud of.

Tim Harman and Jame Parton both ran their best ever races, finishing in 17:21.1 and 17:37.3 to complete the podium. The night belonged to the U23s at the Tonbridge AC Evening Meeting 5000m meet. Oliver Prior (U23 Ashford AC) led the men’s times, breaking the tape in 15:02.75 and beating U20 Louis Small (15:10.51) and Daniel Bradley (15:13.11). Imogen Amos (U23 Tonbridge) was the winning lady in 18:26.37. She held off Chloe Bird (18:33.28) and Lucy Thompson (18:39.96)

Aldershot, Farnham and District’s Open Meet saw Southampton AC coach Steve Phillips ran 8:49.54 to win the 3000m. He’s coached by Mick Woods though, so a local gent really.

The home club took the women’s victory too thanks to a 9:29.86 run from Emily Moyes. Thames Valley Harriers Open Meeting offered another chance to test the legs over 3000m and it was PB’s all the way. Richard Slade (U23 Chiltern) led the way in 8:51.60 with Jake Hooley (U23 Thames Valley) next in 9:30.46 and Cameron McConnon (U15 Thames Valley) in 9:31.74. For the ladies it was Bedford and County’s Lyla Danobrega who won her first ever outing at the distance, running 11:01.94

Over 1500m at the BMC Regional Races, Wormwood Scrubs, Georgie Hartigan of Birchfield Harriers came out top in 4:08.75 as did William Broom (U23 Chichester)who finished in 3:48.05.

On the roads

On the roads this week, Run Through’s Chase the Sun Tatton Park 10k was won by VPH’s Aaron McGrady in 34:30 and Faye Jasmine Waterhouse of Stockport Harriers in 40:30

Meanwhile, the Yateley 10k went to the wire in the men’s race with Max Worringham (Reading RR) holding off Ranelagh Harriers’ Nick Twomey by one second to finish in 34:07. AFD’s James Quinlan was third in 34:35.

However, the standout performance of the race goes to U23 Kate Estlea of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC who absolutely smashed her PB by over two minutes to finish eight over all in 36:10. She’s not got many results to her name but with gains like that in a year she may well be one to keep an eye on. Second lady was Sarah Cleland in 40:56.

The Wilmslow Summer 10k took place earlier today and while we are awaiting chip times, it looks likely that Salford Harriers made a clean sweep of the men’s race thanks to Marc Brown (30:07), David Barratt (30:08) and Michael Cayton (30:30). Samantha Harrison made sure no one could get close to her, running 32:38 for victory in the women’s race, nearly two minutes ahead of Anna Bracegirdle (34:23) and Hannah Robinson (35:05) is likely to be placed third.

At the Dorking 10s Michael Alwin came away victorious in the 10k thanks to a confident run of 32:27. Jilly Raw was first lady in 41:03. Over the 10 mile distance it was Jonathan Cornish’s turn to take the gold spot in a time of 51:03. Emily Wicks ran a storming race to take her crown in 59:46.

In Richmond Park the Half Marathon saw Melissah Gibson win in 1:26:24 (6th OA), ahead of Karla Borland in 1:27:41 (8th OA) and Adrienne Baddely in 1:31:04.

Pierre Meslet topped the men’s race in 1:21:17, beating Joseph Ball (1:23:35) and Brieuc Lehmann (1:24:18). There was a range of distances on offer at Chepstow Racecourse today.

James Griffiths and Danielle Phillips won the 5k in 16:33 and 21:21 respectively. Over 10k it was V45 Elizabeth Davies who stood out in the results with her 3rd place overall in 36:04. Arthur Dickson-Bell took the men’s win in 34:25. Fastest in the half marathon was Lee Kibble in 1:16:41 – four minutes ahead of his closest rival. Sophie Walton was winning lady in 1:33:14.

The mountains are calling

There was great running from Zak Hanna and Charlotte Morgan in Austria on the Grossglockner. Full report and pictures here.

Photo: Marco Gulberti