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Weekend round up

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Paula Radcliffe

26 September 2011

Berlin Marathon, September 25 

It was double delight for Paula Radcliffe (coach: Gary Lough) and Scott Overall (Robert Chapman) at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.

The British duo both secured the required qualifying times for London 2012 as well as recording superb individual performances in the German capital.

Radcliffe, who was running her first marathon since 2009, finished third in a time of 2:23:46, comfortably inside the qualifying standard of two hours 31 minutes.

Britain’s world record holder was just over four minutes behind winner Florence Kiplagat. The Kenyan became the 11th woman to break the 2:20 barrier with 2:19:44.

Speaking after the 26.2 mile race, Radcliffe admitted she had mixed emotions: “In some ways I am happy and in other ways I am disappointed with the third place.

“It’s been a tough year and with everything I had to come through I should accept this. At least I have the Olympic qualifying time. Now I have to build on that for London.

“I thought I could get 2:22 but I blew that when I went off too hard. At least the qualifier is ticked off now. I know I can come back more confident and do better next year.”

On his marathon debut Overall recorded a fifth place finish with a time of 2:10.55. The Blackheath and Bromley athlete ran a stunning race and now joins compatriot Dave Webb who has also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard at last month’s World Championships.

“I couldn’t believe it when I crossed the line,” he said. “When I got to 40k thought I had got the time wrong, so I was cruising on the home straight. I thought I’d lost it.

“It was only when I saw the clock at the end that I thought, ‘Blimey I’m going to run 2:10 here’.

“I always came here to run the Olympic qualifying time and after going through halfway in 65:17 I just kept pushing and pushing. I was on my own from halfway and if I had had a pacer I may have gone quicker.

“All in all, not a bad debut. I’ve run the Olympic qualifying time but I haven’t been selected yet.”

Mirroring the women’s race, Kenya were victorious in the men’s category with Patrick Makau retaining his Berlin title. He did so in impressive fashion shaving 21 seconds off Haile Gebrselassie’s world record.

It was a good day all round for Britain’s London Marathon-supported contingent as Overall’s training partner Benedict Whitby (Andrew Hobdell) was tenth in 2:16:27 while Anthony Ford (Stan Taylor) sliced nearly two minutes from his personal best in 2:17:16.

There was also a personal best for Amy Whitehead, Radcliffe’s former training partner at Loughborough University. The Sale Harrier improved her previous best, set in the London Marathon this year, by nearly four minutes as she finished 14th in the women’s race in 2:35:39. There was personal best joy too for Becky Penty, who knocked almost six minutes off her previous best, with a run of 2:36.19.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Whitehead after moving within range of the qualifying time. “That’s the best I’ve ever felt, and the last 10km was great for me. What a brilliant course. I loved it.”

Of the other Britons supported by the London Marathon and UKA endurance programme, Andi Jones (Bob Merrell) finished 20th in 2:18:34 and Martin Williams was 34th in 2:21:59.

Results: http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/

Final Fling Open Throws Meeting, Wrexham, September 25

Mervyn Luckwell (Esa Utrianen) finished the 2011 season strongly with a personal best in the javelin – a throw of 83.52m earned an Olympic A qualifying standard and a place at the top of the McCain power of 10 rankings.
Results: http://wrexhamac.athletics-track.com/


Swansea Bay 10km, September 25

Justina Heslop broke her own 10km PB to seal a first place finish. A result which leaves her in fifth spot in the McCain power of 10 rankings.
Results: http://www.swanseabay10k.com/index.cfm?articleid=45941

Area Relay Championships, September 24/25

Aldershot Farnham and District won the women’s race with Charlotte Purdue (Coach: Mick Woods) fastest with 12:15. Commonwealth 1500m medallist Stephanie Twell made a welcome return from her horrific injury in the winter and ran for Aldershot B team who were second.

Newham and Essex Beagle won the men’s race while Kent AC’s Paul Pollock was fastest with 17:37.

Bristol and West won the  Midland men’s event with Birchfield’s Biniam Ande and Ben Livesey sharing the fastest time of 17:37, matching the south time. Annabel Gummow was fastest woman with 14:23 leading Bristol and West to a double senior victory. In the North of England championships Jonny Mellor of Liverpool (Coach: David Evans) was fastest man with 17:18 as Leeds City took the title. Morpeth Harriers won the women’s event with Lauren Howarth of Leigh (Coach: Bud Baldaro)  the fastest individual with 15:41.

South results: http://www.afd.org.uk/2011-results
Midland results: http://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2011/index.php
North results: http://www.noeaa-athletics.org.uk/Pages/Article.aspx?id=255

42nd Internationales Straengehen Naumburg, Germany September 24

Race Walker Alex Wright (Belgrave Harriers/Leeds Metroplotan University) went to the top of the Power of 10 Rankings when he produced his second fastest ever clocking of 86.45 over the 20km in Germany. Wright walked negative splits as he passed halfway in 43.41 and picked up the pace in the second half to finish in eighth position in a high class field, which was headed by Mexican teenager Ever Olivares.

In the Men’s 50 km race the King Twins, Dominic and Daniel (Colchester Harriers) both had the aim of chasing the Olympic B Standard of 4.09. On course at halfway with Daniel passing the mark in 2.01.04, Dominic 2.01.16, Daniel began to struggle soon after this point and pulled out at the 30km mark.  

Dominic continued on the pace passing 30 kilometres in 3.16.08, meaning a last 10km of just under 53 minutes was required to for the B standard. But sickness at the 44 kilometre mark put an end to any hopes ending with 4.16.22, just outside his personal best set in Dudince in March of 4.14.55.

Ireland’s Brendan Boyce who trains alongside Alex Wright at the National Race Walking Centre in Leeds, removed 10 minutes from his previous best as he clocked an Olympic A standard of 3.57.58.

Commonwealth Mountain Running & Ultra Distance Championships 23-25September, North Wales September.

There was a full array of endurance running elsewhere this weekend with the Commonwealth Mountain Running & Ultra Distance Championships staged in North Wales with a number of successful British Performances.

The weekend-long festival included mountain races (Up & Down), ultra-distance races (24 hr event) and trail running (50+km off road) for both men and women.

Top performance of the weekend was undoubtedly the women’s 24 hour race where Elizabeth Hawker was overall winner and set a new World Best over the allotted time covering 246 laps of the championship course, 27 more than second placed woman Emily Gelder of Wales. Gelder’s compatriot John Pares took gold in the men’s race covering 243 laps.The team competitions were both won by England, with Scotland taking bronze in the women’s field and Wales winning silver in the men’s competition.

In the Mountain races it was an England sweep with golds going to Lizzie Adams and James McMullan, then it was an impressive procession of England Scotland and Wales respectively for gold, silver and bronze in both sets of team races.

Finally the 55k trail race saw an impressive clean sweep for the Welsh men who took all the podium places, securing an easy team gold, Richard Gardiner five minutes clear of the field in 3:29.55. Emma Gooderham took the women's gold for England in 3:53.50 - 14th position overall.

For full results visit http://www.cmudc2011.org/news/11/09/full-cmudc-2011-and-junior-home-international-results