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UK Athletics

Bristol Half Marathon elite entries

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The chase for places in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at this year’s World Road Running Championships is shaping up, with several international athletes already signed-up for the trial, which is being incorporated into the Reebok Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 9 September.


The immensely popular West Country event – flat and fast scene of the 2001 World Half Marathon Championships won by Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie – includes this year’s UK Half Marathon Championships.


Tomas Abyu (Salford Harriers), who ran last summer’s European Championships marathon and is second in this year’s UK half marathon rankings with 64:24, has decided his key target in 2007 is to qualify for the World Road Running Championships, to be run over the half marathon distance in Udine, Italy, on 14 October.


Joining him already in the Bristol entry are Stephen Hepples (Newham and Essex Beagles), who leads the UK 10 mile rankings for this year with 49:22 at Pocklington, Yorkshire, in February; Kevin Heywood (Bristol and West AC), who aims to take in his home city race on the way to an autumn marathon; and Dave Mitchinson (Newham and Essex Beagles), who will be aiming at his half marathon best of 64:22, run at Bath in 2005.


The women’s early entries include Alice Braham (Harrow AC), who clocked 73:25 at Reading last month; Holly May (City of Bath AC), who ran 75:32 in Barcelona in February; and Mary Wilkinson (Bingley Harriers), who is fired-up by the three weeks she recently spent training in Ethiopia.


The “open” race has already reached its limit of 15,000 but there is still room for more ‘elite’ athletes – men with a best under 66:30 or women with a best under 76:30. To enter as an elite athlete, please email bristol@frsystems.co.uk 


UK Athletics will announce the selection criteria for the World Road Running Championships within the next few weeks.