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UK Athletics

2014 runbritain grand prix all set to commence in reading

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Susan Partridge
28 February 2014

The 2014 runbritain Grand Prix kicks off in earnest this weekend as a stellar domestic field lines up at the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday morning (2 March).

Despite the adverse weather that the Thames Valley has experienced over the last few weeks, the course, which finishes in front of the stands in the Madjeski Football Stadium, has remained flood free, much to the relief of race organisers.

With around 70 men expected to go under 70 minutes and 30 women under 80 minutes there is no doubting the depth of the fields, with the front end quality looking to match this too.

Leading the way on the women’s side is Susan Partridge (coach: Steve Jones) who ran an incredible race to finish 10th in the IAAF World Championship marathon in Moscow last summer, and who also topped the Power of 10 rankings over that distance last year.

She isn’t likely to have it all her own way though, as European U23 Cross Country bronze medallist Charlotte Purdue (Mick Woods) steps up in distance to make her debut over 13.1 miles. Also expected to be to the fore are Sonia Samuels, another GB & NI marathon representative in Moscow last year and Sainsbury’s British Athletics 10,000m champion Alyson Dixon. 

The men's race should also also be a hard fought contest with, London 2012 Olympian Scott Overall (Robert Chapman) leading the way. He will face stiff competition though from the likes of Jonny Hay (Woods) and Phil Wicks, whilst Ryan McLeod, Lee Merrien (both John Nuttall) and John Beattie (Gavin Smith) all come into the race after a spell at the London Marathon Altitude Camp in Iten, Kenya. 

The runbritain Grand Prix rewards points for all runners that finish in the top 250 men and women with 250 points for a win and 1 point for 250th place. Additional bonus points starting at 65 minutes and 71 minutes are available for men and women respectively.  Each individuals four best scores from the six available races count towards the overall rankings at the end of the series. For more information head to http://www.runbritain.com/   

The Reading Half Marathon also doubles up as the GB and NI selections race for the World Half Marathon Championships, which take place on 29 March in Copenhagen. The selection policy for this event can be found here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/world-class/2014-selection-policies