23rd March 2018
BRITISH TEAMS BID FOR HIGH FINISHES AT WORLD HALF MARATHON CHAMPS
Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s ten-strong team have arrived at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia and are aiming for the highest possible finish for both the men’s and women’s teams.
A full team of ten – five men and five women – have been chosen to compete in Spain on a course that has been specially designed for the Championships and said to provide a quick route along wide avenues without any sharp bends.
Charlotte Purdue (coach: Nic Bideau; club: Aldershot Farnham & District) has been named captain of the ten-strong team and is the only member to have competed at the last Championships in Cardiff in 2016 where the British men’s and women’s teams finished fourth and 11th respectively.
Purdue is the quickest Brit on the provisional entry list, tenth overall for those that have competed over 13.1-miles this year with 70:29, with Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff) three places back in 13th with 71:31, both having run personal bests at the British Championships earlier this month.
Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall; Charnwood) completes three British women in the top 20 on the entry list in 18th and has fond memories of these Championships having placed seventh in 2012. She also races having secured the overall British Athletics Cross Challenge title less than two weeks ago.
Tracy Barlow (Nick Anderson; Thames Valley) will run her fourth half marathon of the year in Valencia and is back in the British vest after taking on the full marathon at the IAAF World Championships on home soil in London last year.
Faye Fullerton (Georgina Fullerton; Havering) is another to arrive having lowered their personal best, the 33-year-old progressed her best time to 74:04 at the British Championships and will play her part as the team look for a high finish.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) March 22, 2018
Great Britain & Northern Ireland have finished inside the women’s team top ten on 13 occasions in the history of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships including silver in 1992 and fourth three times in 2012, 2001 and 1993.
Ben Connor (Steve Vernon; Derby) is the highest ranked member of the British team on the provisional entry lists, ranking eighth after a massive personal best of 61:11 in Barcelona in February, his first half marathon since September 2016.
That followed a fine cross-country season for the 25-year-old which produced victory in Liverpool, a sixth place at the European Championships in Slovakia and a fifth place in Edinburgh, which was his last outing before Barcelona.
Luke Traynor (Andrew Kastor; Glasgow City) also enjoyed a successful half marathon in Barcelona, significantly lowering his personal best to 61:55 to finish one place behind Connor and rank 12th overall going into Valencia.
There is Olympic experience in the men’s team in the form of Tsegai Tewelde (John MacKay; Shettleston) who will wear the British vest for the first time since making his Olympic debut at Rio 2016.
Traynor is one of three to be making their senior international British debut at the Championships in Valencia with Dan Studley (Alex Hains; Bristol & West) and Mohamud Aadan (Paul Oppe; Thames Valley) helping to complete a squad of five British men and a full team of ten.
Studley was with Connor and Traynor in Barcelona and lowered his personal best, crossing home in a time of 64:23 and knocking more than two minutes off his effort in the Netherlands in October.
Aadan ran a personal best over 13.1 miles on his one and only outing this year on Spanish soil in Granollers, taking well over a minute off his previous mark and finishing with 63:15.
Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s men finished fourth in the team standings at the last World Half Marathon Championships – where Mo Farah (Gary Lough; Newham & Essex Beagles) won bronze – their third best effort in the history of the event following silver in 1992 and bronze in 1993.
Valencia will certainly be memorable with both the men’s and women’s races starting next to the iconic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and finishing in the same complex on a boardwalk over water.
Team Leader Charlotte Fisher said: “We have chosen a full squad of ten for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia as we seek to achieve the highest possible placing in both the men’s and women’s team standings. The team is a mixture of some very experienced road runners and those who we believe have the potential to go on to enjoy successful careers. There is great competition among the team, as proven throughout the qualifying period and at the British Championships. We enjoyed a great Championships two years ago in Cardiff and Valencia will act as a great test for all those selected.”
The British team set to #REPRESENT at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships:
Ben Connor (Steve Vernon; Derby)
Luke Traynor (Andrew Kastor; Glasgow City)
Tsegai Tewelde (John MacKay; Shettleston)
Mohamud Aadan (Paul Oppe; Thames Valley)
Dan Studley (Alex Hains; Bristol & West)
Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau; Aldershot Farnham & District)
Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall; Charnwood)
Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff)
Tracy Barlow (Nick Anderson; Thames Valley)
Faye Fullerton (Georgina Fullerton; Havering)
You can download the official British Athletics Media Guide for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 HERE