11th September 2017

Weekend Update

Simplyhealth Great North Run, Newcastle, 10 September

In front of adoring crowds Sir Mo Farah once again tasted victory at the UK’s biggest and best half marathon, kicking clear to win gold in 1.00.06 to kick-start his trademark Mobot celebrations. Having run his last ever track race, winning 5,000m gold at the Diamond League final in Zurich, he switched focus to the roads, competing at the Great North Run for the fifth consecutive year. Winning the title for the fourth time, Farah will now hope for a successful transition to the 26.2 mile distance.

Running the race of his career to date, Welshman Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) took over 30 seconds off his personal best to finish seventh in a world class field in 62:53; Tsegai Twelde was the third Brit home, two places further back in 63:14.

In the women’s race Gemma Steel produced a strong run to finish as first Brit in sixth, crossing the line in 7132, not far ahead of Lily Partridge (Richard Partridge) and Alyson Dixon, who posted times of 72:10 and 72:29 respectively. In fact those times put them first, second and fourth on the Power of 10 rankings for 2017.

In the wheelchair races Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson) took a memorable victory, crossing the line in 44:22 to get the better of multiple time Paralympic Brent Lakatos by five seconds, having twice been second in this event. In the women’s race Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) was a superb second on her half marathon debut, the double T53 sprints world champion producing a time of 52:48.


5th Avenue Mile, New York, USA, 10 September

Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) and Jess Judd (Mick Judd) capped off their seasons in fine style as they finished second and third in what is probably the number one road mile in the world, beaten only by multiple time World medallist Jenny Simpson. Running on home soil Simpson broke the tape in a course record equalling 4:16.6, with Weightman running a British record of 4:17.6 and Judd clocking 4:18.3. The women’s race rewrote the 5th Avenue Mile record books, as runners recorded five of the top 10 times in event history, with Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan) another of those athletes, fifth in 4:19.2.

In the men’s race Kiwi Nick Willis took his fourth victory in this race, pulling clear over the final 400m, but there was a gutsy effort from Chris O’Hare as always to take second in a swift 3:52.0. Also in the shake-up in blanket finish, Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) clocked 3:53.0 for seventh.


Great North City Games, Newcastle/Gateshead, 9 September

Six British athletes scored victory on the banks of the River Tyne, including Dina-Asher-Smith (John Blackie) and double world and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff). However perhaps the biggest winner of the day was Perri-Shakes Drayton (Chris Zah) who took the women’s 500m, edging out Anyika Onoura (Rana Reider) on the line, 1:06.60 to 1:06.70. In a much built up head to head between Guy Learmonth (Henry Gray) and Martyn Rooney (Graham Headman) over the same distance, Learmonth came out on top, second in 1:00.73 behind Nijel Amos, victor in a swift 59.26. Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) was third in 1.01.01, with Rooney sixth, just seven hundredths further back.

In the longer events Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) rounded out a great week with a thrilling mile win, beating Winny Chebet of Kenya and Rosie Clark (David Harmer), her winning time 4.33.83. Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg) was first Brit in the men’s mile, second in 4:06.17 to Australia’s Jordan Williamsz.

Back with the sprints, Peacock won the T44 100m with ease in a modest 11.28 (0.0m/s), with Asher-Smith prevailing by a similar margin in the 150m in 16.70 (-0.1). Desiree Henry (Reider) ended her season with a win in 100m, running 11.61 (-1.4), while with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist) were second and third in the 150m, clocking 15.26 (0.0) and 15.38 respectively.
In the field, Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) won the long jump on countback after a remarkable three way tie on 6.46m; Ksenija Balta was second, with Jazmin Sawyers (Kelly Sotherton) third.


Watford Open, Watford, 6 September

Universiade 5,000m bronze medallist Jess Judd (Mick Judd) made her last track race of 2017 one to remember as she smashed the 3,000m personal best that she set at a similar meeting back in April. Crossing the line seventh in the mixed ‘A’ race, Judd clocked an outstanding 8:43.24 to move to third on the 2017 Power of 10 rankings.

Chasing her hard all the way however was Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark), who just one place behind broke the Welsh 3,000m record with a time of 8:43.72, taking a massive 20 seconds off her old best.

Earlier in the evening Judd finished fourth in a mixed 800m in 2:02.84, a highly impressive double.


2017 HOKA ONE ONE Long Island Mile, New York, USA, 6 September

Chris O’Hare (David Torrence) took victory in fine style on a wet evening in New York, just edging out two-time Olympic medallist Nick Willis 3:56.22 to 3:56.41. Perhaps more importantly though he pointed to the sky as he crossed the line to pay respect to his friend and competitor David Torrence, who sadly passed away last week aged just 31.