Road Racing Galore – Weekend Recap

Despite less than ideal weather conditions across the UK, many athletes hit the roads for another weekend of speed racing. James Rhodes brings you highlights of the action.

fast in cardiff

We started this weekend in one of the most anticipated races of the weekend was the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10k. Having once again brought together strong camps in both genres, the potential existed for competitive careers.

An already strong women’s field was boosted by the late addition of Natasha Cockram. The Welsh marathon record holder was looking to test her speed after being announced this week as Britain’s first representative at the World Championships in August. Swedish athlete Carolina Wilkstrom made the best of the strong domestic field. Having run side by side with Cockram for the first half, passing 5k in 16:24, the Swede made a move at the 8k point. She finished in 32:54, with Natasha clocking 33:11 in second.

It was great to see the former Fast Running roundup author return to racing after being injured at the Commonwealth Games last summer. The Northern Ireland international took third in 33:16, with Clara Evans fourth.

Women’s podium in the Cardiff Bay 10k (plus, apparently, the Love Island winner). Photo: Race organizer

In the men’s race, it was a resounding victory for Omar Ahmed who added his third victory in as many editions on the streets of the Welsh capital. In cold and stormy conditions, the Birchfield Harrier clocked an impressive time of 29:01, having passed the half in 14:25. He was followed by Welsh international and previous race winner Dewi Griffiths. Having lost eleven seconds at the halfway point, she crossed the line 57 seconds behind Ahmed (29:58). Griffiths will run the next race at the London Marathon in four weeks. Tomas Crockett (30:12) completed the top three.

The races were part of the Run 4 Wales 10k Series and saw nearly 6,000 athletes compete.

Photo: Race organizer

Horrible conditions in Hastings

If the thought of gaining 300m elevation gain in a half marathon scares you, Hastings probably isn’t the race for you. Already facing a difficult course, the athletes defying the Hastings Half Marathon They were also tasked with fighting the windy and wet weather.

It was a pair of rookies who took wins for both genders. Perhaps I am showing that I know very little about what makes a good course. Under-23 athlete Charlie Brisley began his 13.1-mile adventures in an impressive format, albeit a tight finish. His final time of 71:03 tied that of 2018 race winner Adam Clarke.

The Newham athlete continues his winning ways after doing the same on Ashford and District 10k in February. It was Clarke’s first race of 2023 and more than seven minutes off his best of 2022, something specific to that course. Luke Grenfell-Shaw (77:28) finished third.

Another newcomer came in the form of Brighton Phoenix’s Beth Kidger. He finished in 76:27, impressive given the course. Behind her was another athlete making her half marathon debut, Alex Millard (78:01). Millard had a good XC season, including third place in the European XC and a BUCS win. That shape clearly translates to the roads. Local athlete Grace Baker (79:37) was third, impressive in a PB.

Wonderful in Wilmslow, Fast in Fleet

The fastest time this weekend came by way of Jonny Mellor in the Wilmslow Half Marathon, part of the Wilmslow Racing Festival. He crossed the line in 62:06, setting up a PB in the process, over a minute ahead of Dennis Kipkemboi Cheruiyot (63:15) and Carl Avery (65:53). In just her third half marathon, Lauren McNeil (71:59) was a clear winner among the women competing. Gemma Steel (72:34) and Kenyan Sharon Kipchumba (73:29) rounded out the top three.

If you thought Hastings was the only close finish in a half marathon this weekend, think again! Moving north, just two seconds separated Kurt Taylor (66:03) and Max Nicholls (66:05) in the fleet half marathon. A little further back was Max Walker (66:46) to complete the top three. He was almost as closed off among the competing women. Six seconds separated Claire Jacobs (77:10) and Katie Olding (77:16) for first place, with Vicki Ingham (78:38) third.

Prolific runner Ollie Garrod continued his winning ways in the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon. In his eleventh race of 2023, one of which was a world record 40-mile run on the track, he finished (70:50) nearly two minutes ahead of Paul Bailey (72:48) and Serpentine’s Craig Winfield (73: 58). Kent AC’s Annie Birch (80:56) posted a similar margin of victory ahead of Jessica Welborn (83:05) and Eve Kekeh (83:20).

Continuous fun in half marathon

Phillipa Williams (74:50) improved the best mark of her life in eleven seconds in the FRG Sheffield Half Marathon. It was a thumping victory in the process, ending over six minutes before Sarah Lowery (81:11) and Kate Russell (83:13) made it to the finish. The third close finish of the weekend saw Tommy Power (68:00) and Daniel Haworth (68:02) close. Third place went to Scott Hinchcliffe (69:43).

A quick round up of the 13.1 mile races from the weekend. James Carpenter (74:18) and Elinor Mattey (86:09) won the Merthyr Half Marathon Megan Tibbetts (91:18) and Paul Jones (76:02) doing the same in the Ironbridge Half Marathon. In London, Emily Robbins (81:36) and Jack Henson (71:47) crossed the finish line first in RunFest in Lee Valley. The associate 10k was won by Max Murray (33:51) and Emily Ballard (41:03).

10k race burst

With a plethora of 10k races in recent days, it’s hard to know where to start. North of the border provided one of the most competitive endings. The first three in the Moray Roadrunner 10k they finished within 31 minutes and within 15 seconds of each other. They were led by Kenny Wilson (30:37), who edged past Lachlan Oates (30:45) and Max Abernethy (30:52). Jenny Bannerman (37:01) was the fastest woman, less than a minute ahead of Jennifer Donaldson (37:11) and Amy Hudson (37:47).

Simon Nott (33:11) and Alexandra Stainthorpe (39:23) were victories in the 10k Clock Change Challenge in Wiltshire. The associated 5k was won by Fiona Blackmore (20:56) and Matthew Waite (16:29). Ashley Illingsworth (35:20) and Laura Bardsley (42:01) crossed the line first in the rushcliffe 10k.

It seemed like a good idea to travel to a city starting with W to run this weekend, especially Wolverhampton and Wilmslow. The previous hosted RunThrough’s wolverhampton 10k, where Luke Vine (31:02) led a trio of athletes under 32 minutes. The others were Daniel Haymes (31:17) and Daniel Husbands (31:48). Lorna Hulme (38:59), Lucie Tait-Harris (39:25) and Georgia Delaney (40:10) were the fastest women. Jade Morgan (36:49) and Robert Weston (33:22) took the honors in the wilmslow 10k.

Continuing with a W, the wales pool 10k it provided wins for M40 marathoner Andrew Davies (34:28) and Emma Palfrey (43:33).

more races

As always, there were fast times in the Chase the Moon Battersea Park On Wednesday. The fastest times went to Rachel Owen (37:18) and Thomas Holliday (32:02), the last of the six men to run inside 33 minutes. As a Clapham Hunter, Matt Dickinson is used to Battersea Park. He served him well, as his 15:00 timing in the 5k saw him finish over 70 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Kate Axford (16:39) also had an excellent race, finishing fourth overall.

The next results will pass almost as fast as the athletes who run. There were victories for Laura Bailey (37:06) and David Bishop (31:22) in the derby 10kwhile Adam Kula-Przezwanski (32:42) and Bethan Francis (39:05) took the lead. lightning 10k at Langley Burrell.

He Ali Clark Memorial 10k went to James Johnson (34:29) and Della Hatfield (34:55), and the Smugglers 10k to Amy Seager (39:18) and Lee Hardie (35:46). Zak Lee-Green (38:46) and Lindsey Dixon (47:59) were the fastest in the Treehouse School 10k.

the well named Pendock Spring Chicken 10k saw William Kennedy (36:27) and Jennifer Cashmore (43:15) run well. It was a family affair thanks to the 5k, with Quisha Cashmore (23:16) and Stephen Millward (17:59) recording wins.

Following up with 5k, Alex Birkett (15:24) and Eleanor Bolton (17:05) won the midweek leeds 5k.

final stretch

Getting closer! For athletes looking for race conditions for their long marathon runs before the spring, a 20-mile race may be a perfect opportunity. Fortunately, there were a handful to choose from this weekend.

Fastest was by Highgate’s Alex Lepretre (1:42:26) in the Hillingdon 20 in London, in his distance debut. In fact, it’s his longest run since his only marathon in 2014. Behind him were Alex Lawrence (1:45:04) and John Eves (1:50:07). Following a win at the Eastleigh 10k last weekend, Louise Small went on to take two wins on back-to-back weekends. Her 1:58:47 was nearly 15 minutes behind Helen Mussen (2:13:43) and Lucy Foreman (2:14:23).

Remaining in London, there were wins for Gaby Reynolds (2:14:36) and Alastair Matheson (1:52:42) in the Riverside of the Thames 20. Meanwhile, the Wymondham AC 20 went to Alan Darby (1:50:28) and Charlotte Rose (2:11:18), with the Aldi Ashby 20 going to Abigail Halcarz (2:07:52) and Daniel Bagley (1:47:36).

Two different distances now. It was the turn of Kieran O’Doherty (33:22) and Susan Dixon (41:57) in the BVAC open 5 miles. Meanwhile, Patrick Connolly (4:25:48) and Amy Maughan (5:41:40) were fastest in the Great British Coastal Marathon beginning and ending in Skegness.

Last Longest Runs

Ending this weekend with two of the longest race distances. Jackie Stretton recorded an impressive victory in the Lake Garda X-Bionic 42 in Italy. Taking place on the shores of Lake Garda, the race had more than 2,700 participants. I can’t think of worse places to spend a Sunday. Jackie, representing the Springfield Striders RC, ran largely solo to finish in 2:53:52. Italian Enrico Bartolotti won the men’s field.

Photo: Race organizer

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Camille Herron’s incredible performance in the Sri Chimnoy 48 Hour Festival in Australia. She obliterated the world record for the 48-hour ultra run, completing a distance of 435.336 km. That’s impressive enough, let alone when done on a running track – that’s 1088 laps to be precise. A number of intermediate brands were also established. These included new GOMU (Global Organization of Multi-Day Ultramarathoners) world records for the 300 km and 200 miles.

On that note, it’s time for bed.


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