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British 10k Championships

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Phil Wicks

The British 10k Championships took place on the streets of the capital on Monday 27 May as they were incorporated into the Bupa London 10k. The times of the first three finishers from each club were combined to decide the top three men’s and women’s teams.

Tipton Harriers were victorious in the men’s race as the team of Phil Nicholls (coach: Bud Baldaro), Ian Rawlinson (David Sunderland) and Martin Williams recorded a combined time of 1:32:08 – 48 seconds clear of Belgrave in second, whose team included second placed Phil Wicks, and two minutes ahead of Bristol & West AC in third.

All three of Tipton’s men were under 31 minutes as Nicholls ran 30:15 for third place, Rawlinson was 14th in 30:56 and Williams was a second further back in 16th. Rawlinson believes that a number of factors have contributed to this result and Tipton’s on-going endurance success.

“With it being a UK Championships we were all really pleased and it’s another national title which is great for Tipton. I would say our success is down to good recruiting in Birmingham of people that live locally, for example people like me who have stayed in Birmingham after university, and we’ve also got good links with Mike Buntin and Bud Baldaro."

“From my personal point of view, I’m always proud to run for Tipton because of the history around the club. We all know each other and train together regularly which helps as well. There are quite a few different elements why we’ve done well but generally it’s down to good recruiting, strong local ties and the fact we’re a well-known club and trying to keep up the traditions.”

In the women’s event, it was Aldershot Farnham and District that came out on top, one minute ahead of their nearest rivals Swansea while Shaftesbury Barnet were six minutes adrift in third.

Emily Pidgeon (Mick Woods), who was third individual in London with a time of 33:55, led a team that also included Emily Wicks (Keith Donkin) and Georgie Bruinvels (Mick Woods) was pleased with her own performance as well as taking the team honours.

“I was really happy with my personal result; I was satisfied with the time considering it wasn't a particularly fast course and I was definitely pleased with third as I really didn't think I would be anywhere near the top.”

The St Mary’s University based athlete believes that the support of London Marathon has been of great help to her performances and it was London Marathon that organised the Bupa London 10k.

“The race itself was awesome because it was a British only field and although it's great to race against an international field, it meant that it was competitive between British girls who rarely get to race one another over the road, and finish so high up. The course was great too, I loved the twists and turns and the crowd support every step was pretty impressive.”

Aldershot Farnham and District have dominated the female domestic endurance scene in recent years and the 24 year old believes that this is largely down to the team spirit and the work of coach Mick Woods.

“I was especially pleased that AFD won the team prize because a lot of my training partners at AFD were involved in the race and ran really well and it's nice to see them all doing well too. AFD really is a great environment for female distance running, the camaraderie is so genuine and we're all extremely supportive of one another. As a result we train great together and encourage each other through the tough times."

“I think the Bupa London 10k, combined with the results at the Southern Cross Country Championships, National Cross Country Championships and National Road Relays are all signs of the strength in depth of endurance running that we have.

“It is a true reflection of the great coaching set up that Mick Woods has put in place there. I really believe that Mick is what makes AFD such a strong force in distance running.”