5th October 2015

Weekend Round Up

5 October 2015

It was a busy weekend of athletics with Brits in action around the world. A full report of the Cardiff Half Marathon will follow later today but here is a round-up of everything else which happened over the weekend. 

ERRA National 6 & 4 stage road relays, Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield – 3 October

There were victories for Tonbridge and Swansea Harriers at the ERRA National 6 & 4 Stage road relays held at Sutton Park on Saturday.

Swansea Harriers claimed the women’s four-stage title with a commanding display after Elinor Kirk’s (coach: Steve Vernon) fast 14:13 clocking on the first leg. This was the second quickest time of the day behind Stockport’s Elle Vernon (Vernon) and her fine performance set the trend for the rest of the team who maintained their lofty position. Katie Roberts (Renate Prells) and Caryl Jones maintained second place before Andrea Whitcombe overhauled Bristol & West’s Imogen Ainsworth (Keith Brackstone) in the closing stages to make sure the Welsh team won in 59:14.

Bristol & West held on for second place with Katie Hulls (Christopher Frapwell) recording the teams quickest leg in 14:21 and Vale Royal made sure the bronze medal would go back to Cheshire with Katie Brough (Andrew Carter) setting their fastest time posting 14:32.

In the men’s six-stage, Tonbridge claimed the senior title after recent success at the age-group levels, but were made to work hard by Derby AC who finished just five seconds behind them.

It was a tense race with Kieran Reilly (Mark Hookway) holding off a late charge by Derby’s Richard Weir (Spencer Duval) to take the title. Ben Cole led the team off with a 17:43 clocking before Corey De’Ath, Thomas Cox and Christopher Olley (all Hookway), the latter moving the team up from seventh to the podium places. Henry Pearce (George Gandy) maintained second spot before Reilly sealed the triumph on the final leg.

Central AC made sure of their place on the podium with British international Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) setting their fastest leg on the fifth lap, moving the team from 12th to 4th which was the significant move. Alistair Hay moved the team up to third on the final leg to complete the bronze medal success.



Great Scottish Half Marathon – 4 October

Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) enjoyed one of the performances of his career to finish in second place at the Great Scottish Half Marathon and record a new personal best of 1:02.42. The Kilbarchan athlete, who is gearing up for his marathon debut in Frankfurt later this month, ran a brave race and it was only in the last three miles that the Commonwealth 10,000m champion Moses Kipsiro pulled away to seal another victory in Glasgow. Jonny Mellor (Steve Vernon) was the next British finisher in fifth setting a time of 1:04.53.

Gemma Steel (John Nuttall) was third in 1:09.56, just holding off the resurgent Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey by two seconds, who was running her first half marathon since her break from racing over the summer. Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat retained her title in 1:08.21.

Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson) and Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) were the winners in the wheelchair races on the streets on Glasgow. Both were comfortable winners, with Kinghorn using the event as preparation for the IPC World Championships later this month.



Chile Pepper Festival Cross Country, Fayetteville, USA – 3 October

Marc Scott (Steve Gulley) ran out the winner at the Chile Pepper Festival this weekend as the US Cross Country season got into full swing. He finished sixth at the European U23 Championships in the 10,000m this summer but came out victorious on this occasion. European junior 5000m champion Alex George (Paul de-Camps) was a close third with just five seconds separating the top three.



Greater Louisville Cross Country, Kentucky, USA – 3 October

Becky Straw (Bud Baldaro), part of the European Junior gold medal winning team at the Cross Country Championships last December, marked her move to the USA with a 12th place finish in Louisville. Melissa Hawtin (Baldaro) was 43rd also in the women’s gold race on Saturday.

Wearing the Iona College vest, Kieran Clements (Ricardo Santos) was seventh with Jamaine Coleman the next best Briton in 59th.



Princeton Inter Regional, Princeton, USA – 3 October

European U23 championship 3000m steeplechase finalist Elizabeth Bird (George Harrison) was third in Princeton as she kick-started her cross country season. Olivia Sadler (Daniel Ireland) was under a minute behind her compatriot in 17th. Glasgow’s Neil Gourlay was 19th in the men’s race.



Florida State Invitational, Tallahassee – 2 October

Former European Junior steeplechase champion Zak Seddon was second in the Florida cross country ahead of Jack Goodwin (Simon Goodwin) in sixth. Chelsea Jarvis (David Turnball) was 25th with Rosie Chamberlain in 30th.



Joe Piane Notre Dam Invitational – USA – 2 October

2014 European U23 cross country champion Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg) marked her debut for New Mexico University in the US with a fourth place finish. Alice Wright (David Walker) and Calli Thackery (Joe Franklin) impressively backed up the Scots performance with fifth and sixth place to wrap up a solid start to the season for the British trio.

In the second men’s race, Michael Ward (Paul Darney) was the highest placed British finisher in 20th with Josh Kerr (Mark Pollard) 71st.


World Mountain Running Cup, Slovenia – 3 October

Sarah Tunstall and Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett) made it a British double at the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup with their performances at the final event in the six-race series, the International Smarna Gora Mountain Running Race.

After a fourth place finish at the World Mountain Running Championships last month, Tunstall sealed World Cup victory in Slovenia. The Kendal athlete was sitting second in the rankings with one race to go and her victory pushed her to the top as she clocked 52:59 to beat Italy’s Alice Gaggi with 54:03 and Poland’s Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik with 54:27.

Uganda’s Fred Musobo, winner in Wales two weeks ago, was again victorious in Slovenia but Douglas’ fifth place finish saw him secure the overall series title and become the first ever British male winner.

Musobo clocked 42:46 with Britain’s Robbie Simpson, the world bronze medallist, third in 43:29. Douglas clocked 44:31 behind David Schneider of Switzerland’s 43:50 to make it a double British triumph.


British Athletics/Race Walking Association Festival of Race Walking, Hillingdon Cycle Circuit – 4 October

Commonwealth champion Jo Atkinson (Maureen Jackson) recorded her fastest time for four years as she clocked 93.43 on a tough course at Hillingdon. Although outside the BA Olympic qualifying standard of 93.00, it will give her confidence that this is well within her reach as she heads into winter training. 

Behind her Bethan Davies (Andi Drake) moved to 3rd place on the UK all-time list behind Atkinson and Lisa Kehler as she clocked a new Welsh record of 96.07, as she improved on the 96.39.70 she set on the track in Bedford in June.