19th October 2015

Weekend Round Up

19 October 2015

Great Birmingham Run, 18 October

Five years on from his 10,000m silver medal run behind Mo Farah at the European Championships in Barcelona, Chris Thompson (Coach: Mark Rowland) produced one of the most satisfying performances of his distance running career as he sprinted to victory in the Great Birmingham Run half marathon on Sunday. The 34-year-old Aldershot Farnham and District athlete has been hit by injury since clocking an encouraging 2:11:19 on his marathon debut in London 18 months ago and admits he even thought of hanging up his racing shoes. On the evidence of this impressive showing against a continental elite men’s field on the hilly 13.1 Great Birmingham Run course, however, Thompson still has a future ahead of him at international level.

He bided his time behind long-term pace setter Sondre Norstad Moen of Norway and 2011 European cross country championship silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem of Spain before hitting the front on the long, steep climb a mile and a half from the finish. With 400m to go, Lamdassem went past him but Thompson kept his cool and struck the decisive blow as he sprinted clear 200m from the finish. He won by two seconds in 63:00.

“I wasn’t sure how my body was going to hold up,” said Thompson. “With 200m to go, everything was wanting to fall off – my calf, my hamstrings – but I managed to keep it together. It’s an emotional victory for me after everything I’ve been through.”

The first Brit home in the elite women’s race was 41-year-old Preston Harrier Helen Clitheroe (self-coached). The 2011 European indoor 3000m champion finished sixth in 75:57 with Katie Brough (Andrew Carter) seventh in 79:18. The first woman home was Poland’s Dominika Napieraj in 73.39.



South of England Cross Country Relays, Wormwood Scrubs, London, 17 October

Highgate Harriers won the senior men’s title, finishing four seconds clear in 56:45. Their winning quartet comprised Jonathan Leybourn (self-coached), Rob Wilson (Ben Noad), Robel Bahelbi (Ben Pochee) and Sean Renfer. Belgrave were second in 57:49 and Windsor Slough and Eton third in 57:56. Thames Valley’s Antonio Silva (coach: unknown) clocked the fastest leg, 13:26.

The women’s title went to the South London Harriers trio of Rachel Coe-O’Brien, Natalie Gentry and Steph McCall (John Knowles). Their winning time was 37:34, with Belgrave second in 37:51 and London Heathside third in 38:14. McCall ran the fastest leg, 11:22.



North of England Cross Country Relays, Sheffield, 17 October

Leeds City emerged victorious from the senior men’s race, their quartet of Joshua Woodcock-Shaw, Sean Flannagan, Emile Cairess (Philip Townsend) and Dominic Easter finishing clear of the field in 41:42. Lincoln Wellington were second in 42:06 and Liverpool Harriers third in 42:10. Trafford’s Richard Powell (self-coached) recorded the fastest leg, 10:08.

Lincoln Wellington were equally emphatic winners of the women’s title, Rebekah Ward (Rob Lewis), Abbie Donnelley (Lewis) and Sophie Cowper (Gary Warhurst) combining to complete the three legs in 36:02. Leeds City took second place in 36:45, with Rotherham Harriers third in 36:45. Warrington’s Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden) clocked the fastest leg, 11:16.