A course record for Purdue and a win for Smith at the Big Half. Olympic rematches and the Pre Classic and the Manchester International offers a host of PBs.

It was a real joy to see a big running event on the streets of the capital again and with plenty of spectators cheering the athletes on. The Big Half is always a great teaser for London Marathon and that was definitely the case in the women’s race this year.

After being passed over for Olympic selection and with debates rumbling in the background about injury issues, Charlotte Purdue was obviously to show her form despite being in training for the marathon in October.

Sam Harrison led through the early stages but was joined by Purdue who looked controlled as she applied the accelerator to stretch away. Despite having a clear lead she kept picking up the pace and raced home to a 69:51, breaking her own course record in the process.

Sam Harrison, who is also in the middle of marathon training, ran a bold effort and was rewarded with 70:24 for second place. Natasha Cockram completed the podium in 72:46.

Hannah Irwin, who had raced in the Manchester International earlier in the week, made her debut over the distance in a brilliant 73:24 for fourth. Naomi Mitchell was fifth in 74:24 and Verity Ockenden was sixth in 74:35.

Credit: James Rhodes

Smith fights off strong domestic challenge

The men’s race had a small pack who stuck together until mile 9 when Jake Smith made a decisive move. Despite instantly putting clear road between himself and his competitors, Smith kept looking back and checking his watch – clearly not counting anything until he was over the line in 62:06.

The race commentators had some good banter about his nervousness, but it wasn’t as crazy as it might have seemed, as Jack Rowe ran a brilliant last few miles crossing the line just five seconds behind in 62:11. Mo Aadan was third in 62:28.

Credit: James Rhodes

Phil Sesemann ran 62:47 for fourth followed by Andrew Heyes in 63:10, Matt Clowes in 63:40, Jamie Crowe in 64:19, Ollie Lockley in 64:26, Doug Musson in 64:36, Calum Johnson 64:38, Jonny Mellor 64:44 and Josh Griffiths 65:11.

At the Berlin Half Marathon Joceline Jepkosgei broke Sifan Hassan’s course record, running a spectacular 65:16 and Felix Kipkoech ran a world leading time of 58:57 for his win. More over on our full reportMore over on our full report

Pre Classic sees Olympians return to action

For those after some lactic fun on the track the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon offered a stellar lineup with some Olympic re-matches and chance to see some who didn’t make it to Tokyo.

The big headline of the night was that Sifan Hassan was targeting the 5000m world record but the Olympic triple and multiple timezones seemed to have taken their toll and although she won the race she fell off WR pace by half way, finishing outside her personal best in 14:27.89.

Laura Muir was back in action over 1500m but might be a touch disappointed with her 4:05.92 for twelfth place. It was a fast one though, with Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon winning in a meeting record of 3:53.23 followed home by Linden Hall of Australia in 3:59.73 and USAs Josette Norris in 4:00.01

In the men’s 800m Elliot Giles came fourth in 1:45.46 – Marco Arop won in 1:44.51, with Ferguson Cheruiyot in second in 1:45.02 and Emmanuel Koriri third in 1:45.05
Oliver Dustin was seventh in 1:46.61

USA’s Athing Mu dominated in the women’s 800m, winning in 1:55.04. Keely Hodgkinson ran a 1:58:30 for fifth and Jemma Reekie was eighth in 2:00.27

Jake Heyward was sixth in the men’s mile in 3:52.15 while Archie Davis ran 3:57.00 in the B race. Marc Scott ran the 2 mile race, finishing in 13th place in 8:31.90 Amy-Eloise Markovc ran 9:21.98 over the same distance for fifth.

Sadly Lizzie Bird DNFd in the steeple.

At the Motonet GP in Finland, Izzy Fry ran a brilliant 3000m PB of 9:03.96 to finish behind Sarah Healey of Ireland (also a PB) in 8:57.04. The race was won by ANA athlete Svetlana Aplachkina in 8:56.58.

Back in the UK, the BMC Festival of miles took place at Wormwood Scrubs earlier in the week and saw Sam Stevens of Leicester run achingly close to the magic four, winning in 4:00.10 to beat Kyle Langford in 4:05.13 and Jeremy Dempsy in 4:06.72.

Niamh Bridson Hubbard took the women’s honours in a time of 4:42.34 with Sinead Bent and Rachel Gibson runners up in 4:59.94 and 5:01.90.

James Thie has had a good weekend of it both racing and only did his team Thie athletes Jake Smith and Hannah Irwin run great performances at the Big Half, but he set a new Welsh Masters mile record of 4:23.91 in his race at the ‘scrubs.

Credit: James Rhodes

Exciting action at the Manchester International

The Manchester International competition was a chance for England to take on Wales, Northern Ireland, a National Athletics League (NAL) squad and a GB junior team. In an event that saw oodles of new bests and new records, England retained the title once the points were totted up over the 50-odd events.

In the individual competitions, Wales took the win in the women’s 5000m after Beth Kidger ran 16:09.91 to beat Hannah Irwin who ran 16:11.27 in her debut for Northern Ireland. Irwin took the race out hard from the start in a gutsy performance but Kidger managed to capitalise and take it in the latter stages. Third place went to England’s Emily Thompson. In the men’s race NI took the victory – Neil Johnston ran 14:05.05 beating GB Junior Ossian Perrin (14:10.07) and NAL’s Omar Ahmed (14:11.59).

In the 1500m Ethan Hussey won in 3:59.88 for GB Juniors, with John Howorth second in 4:00.29 for England and Wales’ Remilekun Adebiyi third in 4:00.50. Lucy Robinson (ENG) clocked 4:21.99 for her winning time in the women’s race. Jenny Nesbitt (WAL) was back in action, having run her last 5,000m for the season last week, and placed second over this shorter distance, running 4:23.23. Sabrina Sinha (ENG) was third in 4:24.10.

England’s William Battershill ran a brilliant 3000m steeplechase which earned himself a Commonwealth Games qualifying slot after front running the whole way and finishing in 8:32.91.

Women’s 1500m at the Manchester International

Road roundup

On the roads, Kirsty Longley put herself 3rd on the V45 all time list at the Ellesmere Port RC 5k, winning it in 17 minutes flat. Joanna Marsden was a little way behind in nonetheless rapi 17:39 and Sara Avery was third home in 18:12. Michael Young’s 15:30 nabbed him first male, but there was dead heat for second with Matthew Barnes and Scott Nixon both crossing the line in 15:38

The Cardiff 10k Road Race Sunset 10k was won by Thomas Marshall (Cardiff) in 30:32. Kurt Taylor (Bristol W) was second in 30:35 and Mattie Edwards (Cardifff) third in 30:35. Alaw Beynon Thomas (Les Croupiers) took the women’s win in 35:53 ahead of Chloe Dooley (Cardiff) in 36:24 and Hana Blake (Cardiff Met Uni) in 38:42

There was a special university edition of the Podium 5k which sawm Georgia Mair take top honours for Leeds City AC in 16:14 to clock a big PB, beating Lauren McNeil of Hallamshire Harriers in 16:18 and Elle Twentyman of Lancaster Uni in 16:29.

Loughborough Students AC were held off by unattached runner Adam Fodd who broke the tape in a fine 13:45, but the L’boro team still took both runner up spots thanks to a 13:50 from Tom Mortimer and 14:21 from Daniel Racle.

ACP100km sees wins for Jennings and Richardson

A classic fixture on the Ultra calendar, the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k was hosted by the Donadea 100k this year. Scotland swept the board in the men’s competition thanks to Chris Richardson (7:00:49), Jason Kelly (7:05:15) and Kyle Greig (7:07:07).

The performance of the day came from Caitriona Jennings who won the women’s race in 7:43:01 finishing 8th overall. Joanna Murphy also produced a fantastic run to run 7:50:58 with a week known name in the GB ultra running scene Samantha Amend finishing 3rd in 8:03:46.

Despite a freak accident and gastritis within the last month Fast10’s Karla Borland ran an amazing race in her first race in a senior international vest fro Northern Ireland to finished 4th sand pick up a silver medal in the Irish 100k Champs.

In a more vertically challenged race, Andy Symonds won the Matterhorn Ultraks Skyrace Switzerland, covering 49k and 3,600m elevation in 5:20:52

It’s been a busy old week so apologies for all those that we’ve missed out – it’s not that we don’t applaud your running, we’ve just run out of road to cover them!