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UK Athletics

Kathy Butler beats snow to threaten half marathon best in Texas.

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Edinburgh-born Kathy Butler is battling some training conditions around her USA home as she prepares to bid for a marathon place in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan.


Butler, who is on the UK Athletics lottery-funded World Class Podium Programme, is beginning to build-up to a spring marathon having opted not to bid for a place in the Norwich Union GB Team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, on 24 March.


And she has found herself in a vastly different climate to the heat and humidity she would have experienced in Africa – “loads of snow!”


But she says: “So long as I stay on my feet, I should be all right. A month ago we had two snow storms of over a foot each. In between I fell and ended up getting 10 stitches above my eye and looking pretty bad. I had a bit of a concussion with headaches for a while! It's doing all right now but I'm looking forward to all of the snow melting. I had to escape to Arizona for a couple of weeks.”


And to prove her preparations are going well, she won the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, Texas, at the weekend in 71 minutes 12 seconds, within seven seconds of her lifetime best. She was beaten by only 40 men and finished 2 minutes 43 seconds clear of the second woman, Caroline Cheptanui (Kenya).


It was her first race since 22 October last year when she finished ninth in the Chicago Marathon in 2:28:39, which was well inside the qualifying standard for Osaka of 2:31:00 and placed her second in the year’s Power of 10 rankings behind Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC), who ran the Flora London Marathon in 2:25:13. To check all of the rankings, go to the Power of 10 website.