Gill Bland brings you results from yet another ‘fast Friday’ and more impressive performances on the track in our SOAR Running weekend roundup.

The week started well with Jemma Reekie continuing her winning streak with a 3rd victory in 6 days to take gold over 800m at the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial in Chorzów. Her time of 1:58.63 is a GB U/23 record and world lead time as she continues here sensational form.

Elsewhere on the international stage, plenty of Brits were in action at the Göteborg Friidrott Grand Prix. Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Poole AC) nabbed gold, covering 1500m in 4:05.07, with Australia’s Jessica Hull in second(4:05.47) and Katie Snowden (HerneHill /Notts AC) finding form again to place third (4:09.63). Rosie Clarke was 7th in 4:11.42.

In the men’s 800m Daniel Rowden (WGEL) showed that his form is continuing to rise. In 2018 he became the youngest Briton in 34 years to run sub 1:45 for the distance and this week he ran a blistering 1:44.74 to win in Sweden, after judging the race perfectly to take the lead after the final bend. The home favourite Andread Krawmer placed second (1:45.03) but the Brits nabbed third again thanks to Piers Copeland’s PB of 1:46.24. Guy Learmouth was 6th in 1:46.32.

In the women’s 800m Keely Hodgkinson (Leigh) won silver in a PB of 2:01.78, just behind Raevyn Rogers of the USA (2:01.24). Mari Smith (Birchfield) finished in 2:05.65). Jonny Davies (Reading AC) also placed 9th in the men’s 5000m in 13:31.24

Just missing the roundup last week, the Sunset Tour 5k took place late on Sunday evening at a “secret location” (Lake Balboa) in California. GB’s Sam Atkin took second place in 13:23.28 in the men’s race, running a new PB to finish behind Edward Cheserek (13:21.78). Amy Eloise-Neal (Wakefield) who runs for Reebok Boston, was ninth in the women’s race in 15:44.93

Steyn & Craig win Mid Cheshire 5km as Harrison clocks a fabulous debut

Friday evening saw the return of the Mid Cheshire 5k. South Africa’s Gerda Steyn took on a much shorter race than we would normally see her running – the Comrades Champion, who represents Nedbank Running Club, finished first. She was understandably pleased with her 15:44 win given that it was her first time racing in six months.

Gerda Steyn. Photo: Mick Hall for Mid Cheshire 5km

Equally chuffed was Samantha Harrison (Charnwood AC) who took second place in 15:48. She was bound to set a PB given that it was her first ever 5k race (she only started racing at the end of 2018), but that’s a hefty PB to set, regardless!

Third place by time went to Sophie Wood from Sale Harriers. Her 16:30 in the B race took her well ahead of the next time run in the A race. Under 21 Holly Weedall ran 16:35, Abigail Haworth and Kirsty Longley both clocked 16:36. Longley’s time saw her move to 2nd in the UK V40 rankings for 2020 behind Aly Dixon. 7th place went to Lucy Niemz in a big PB of 16:40.

The men’s races were more to-form with the A-wave racers taking the podium spots by time as well as position. Adam Craig of Team NBR MCR won in 13:52. Omar Ahmed from Birchfield Harriers took second in 14:08 and Sale Harriers MCR took third thanks to Nigel Martin’s 14:09. Also sub 14:20 were Edward Shepherd (14:10), Richard Allen (14:13) and Josh Grave (14:19).

Giles & Tracey in fine form at BMC

The BMC Gold Standard meet in Lee Valley saw Birchfield’s Elliot Giles take the win over 1500m with 3:41.29 on the clock. Brighton Phoenix took second and third thanks to George Mills (3:41.23) and Archie Davis (3:44.75).

Adelle Tracy was in action in the women’s race, breaking the tape in 4:12.62 and a convincing victory over Beth Kidger (4:17.31) and Gamma Kersey (4:16.34).

Over 3000m, U20 Henry McLuckie ran a PB of 8:15.91 to top the podium for Shaftesbury Barnet. Robbie Fitzgibbon (Brighton Phoenix) was next in 8:17.31) and WSE&H’s Blake Moore also ran himself a tasty PB to take third in 8:21.03.

The ladies had to run their 3000m in a mixed race – Alice Garner (U20 AF&D) ran a 10:01.04 and Annabel Morton (U23 Horsham Blue Star) joined the PB brigade with her 10:04.22. Hannah Nuttall also PB’d over the 3000m steeple (10:31.43).

Meanwhile, walking, not running Callum Wilkinson broke the long standing British 10000m record with a time many a club runner would be happy to clock – 39:52.05!

RunThrough restarts regular road racing in London

Lee Valley got plenty of pounding this weekend, with the Velo Park hosting Run Through’s Half marathon, 10k, and 5k today (Sunday). Over the two Half Marathon waves it was Edgars Sumkis who finished the multi-lapped course first in 1:08:42 – a very safe distance ahead of his nearest rivals Dave Edwards (1:15:36) and Jack Tattum (1:15:50).

Sarah Sawyer brought it home for the ladies in 1:28:47. Jenna Wilknson followed her up with a 1:29:05 and Maya Hilton ran 1:29:42.

In the 10k Andy Bond ran himself a 33:42 win, to beat Phil Dicken (34:24) and Andrew Merry (36:24). Ellie Cookson can also go home with a champion’s smile, thanks to her 39:31 finish. She was also the only lady to duck under the 40 minute mark, leaving Sarah Black (41:16) and Ellie-May Brooks (41:52) a safe distance behind.

Keeping on the “Ellie” theme, it was Ellie Osmond who clocked 18:45 over 5k to storm home with a gaping lead. Laura Donnelly was second in 20:49 and Ultra-fan Laurence Letki-Nicolay finished her race in 24:09 to take third.

For the men, it was Garry Mellish and Max Duckworth battling it out, with Gary just pipping it in 16:55 leaving Max to take runner up in 16:59. Jay Belham didn’t join the battle but can be happy with third in 17:27.

Earlier in the wek Run Through Chase The Sun Tatton Park 10k saw Ali Lavender back in action over the distance. She set a 34:03 PB back at the start of the year and returned to win this race extremely comfortably in 35:31. Carla Davies was second in 37:15 and Julia Matheson third in 38:31. Callum Rowlinson took the men’s win in 33:23 ahead of Gavin Browne (33:55) and Matthew Orford (34:32)

Local clubs are doing a great job of hosting events in whatever format they can. Nuneaton’s Night of 800m PB’s saw Birchfield Harriers’ U20 Ryan Shields run the fastest time of the evening with a 1:59.0 and U15 Zoe Gilbody (Wolvs and Bilston) take the women’s honours in 2:23.6.

Harrow AC also continued their track series this week and Shaftesbury Barnet’s Finn Harvey took the chance to race seriously and was rewarded with a 1:57.4 win and a new 800m PB. Holly Henderson (Chiltern, U17) was fastest female over the distance in 2:24.9.

PBs also fell over 1500m as Alex Alston (4:06.3), Martin Turton (4:09.1) and Harry Brodie (4:09.5) all rewrote their Power of 10 records and stood atop the podium. AF&D’s Maisie Grace topped the women’s times in 4:29.9.

Ultra running goes virtually global

The IAU 6H Global Solidarity Run was this weekend and British Athletics selected 12 debutant athletes to run for six hours in their local areas.

With only Sarah Cameron in France able to compete within an actual race on the correct weekend, the 24hr runner was able to win with 44 miles (70.49km). So a 100% race victory rate for the team.

Selected with just over a month to prepare, all 12 athletes answered British Athletics call and performed brilliantly. Jo Murphy (47.66 miles, 76.70km) and Ry Webb (55.06 miles, 88.61km) ran the furthest distance within the allotted time.

The team ran on a mixture of track and short tarmac loops, expect for 2019 British 100k Champ Charlie Harpur, who used his six hours to set an excellent 5:33 FKT on the 75km (46.6 miles) Peddars Way. Harpur suggested that the point to point choice might have been better if it weren’t for the 45kmph headwinds (or if he’d gone the other direction).

Completing the ladies team were Jo Newens (45.6 miles, 73.39km), Sophie Mullins (47.45 miles, 76.37km), Lynne Allen (75.3km, 46.8 miles), Betty Bohane (40.7 miles, 65.5km) and Melissa Venables (70.9km, 44.32 miles) who had just recently won the Centurion North Downs Way 100 mile race as well.

The men’s team also included Ollie Garrod (50.4 miles, 81.1km), Dave Andrews (48.59 miles, 78.19km) and Rob Payne (54.89 miles, 88.34km).

Rob Payne keeping it local and happy to be finished after a fine run.

A more complete insight will follow in the next few days. 

SOAR are part of the UK club running scene and we are delighted to support the weekend roundup. To find out how we can help you match your club kit to your ambition check out this article or get in touch here.

The SOAR X TOUR is our way of staying true to the pursuit of summer speed. With a three-staged virtual races series, open to runners worldwide.

SOAR X TOUR sees racers test themselves over 1km, 1 mile and 5km consecutively over a 10 day period, with both stage and overall rankings and prizes up for grabs.