18th March 2019
GC Foster Classic, Spanish Town, Jamaica, 16 March
Zharnel Hughes (coach: Glen Mills; Shaftesbury Barnet) kicked off his track season with victory in the GC Foster Classic 100m in 10.20 (-1.3). After stumbling out of the blocks at the start, Hughes got into his stride just before the 30m mark before powering clear of the field to kick his sprint season off on the right foot.
Lisbon Half Marathon, Portugal, 17 March
Back in action for the first time since his 28.55 10km clocking two months ago, Callum Hawkins (coach: Robert Hawkins; club: Kilbarchan) raced over 13.1 miles in his build up to the London Marathon. Competing on the roads in the Portuguese capital, Hawkins crossed the line in 62:50 and moved up to third on the Power of 10 rankings in the process.
Reading Half Marathon, Reading, 17 March
Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman; Aldershot, Farnham & District) backed up her strong run at the Big Half with victory in Bath in 71.37, just four seconds slower than her previous weekend’s effort. None-the-less that saw her home a minute ahead of AFD teammate Louise Small (Mick Woods), who’s time was a personal best by over a minute.
In the men’s race Scott Overall (Alan Storey; Blackheath & Bromley) broke the tape in 63.50 as he continues his preparations for the Boston Marathon.
Bath Half Marathon, Bath, 17 March
After a 63:41 run at an extremely windy Big Half last weekend, Chris Thompson (Alan Storey; AFD) ran his second half marathon in seven days, this time making the most of the slightly less windy conditions to win in a season’s best of 63:09. That saw Thompson break the tape with a winning margin of almost 90 seconds as he builds towards London.
In the women’s race 2008 Olympian Kate Reed (Alan Storey; Bristol & West) put years of injury problems behind her to take a brilliant victory in 72:44, a personal best and some three minutes clear of the field.
New Balance English Schools’ Championships, Leeds, 16 March
Sam Charlton (Paddy Dinsmore; Wallsend) completed a hat-trick of national cross country titles on a wet and windy day in Leeds as he added the senior boys crown to the English National and Inter-Counties golds he’s already secured this winter. Winning by 10 seconds in 21:38, the Northumberland teenager wrapped up the title in impressive style, especially considering he still has a year left in the age group.
It was a similar story in the senior girls race as another North East athlete took the spoils. Having taken the Inter-Counties title at Loughborough seven days earlier, India Pentland (David Lowes; Darlington) left it late to secure the title by four seconds from Georgia Hayes (Reading AC) and Kate O’Neill (Patrick Gahagan; Havering).
Pan American Cup 20km Race Walk Trials, Tustin, Califormia, 17 March 2019
Tom Bosworth took victory for the first time on US soil at the Pan American Cup 20km Race Walk trials, in a time of 1:23.33. With his first IAAF Challenge 20km of the year coming up in Portugal in a couple of weeks, this was a solid first outing over the distance, having won the RWA 10km Championships earlier this month.
XVI Lugano Trophy, 16th Memorial Mario Albisetti, Lugano, Switzerland, 17 March
Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire Harriers: Chris Jones) became only the fifth British woman to break the 96 minute barrier, when removing a minute for her personal best to record 1:35.15 and to move to top of the British Rankings for 2019.
She finished in 4th place in a high quality race, just under a minute behind European silver medallist Anezka Drahotova. Lewis passed the 5km mark in 23.21 and the halfway mark in 47.02 in fourth place. She held it together in the final half of the race to be rewarded with a lifetime best and was comfortably inside the British Athletics qualifying time of 1:39.00 for the European Race Walking Cup in May.
Behind her Erika Kelly (Northern AC: Andi Drake) set off in pursuit of the European Race Walking Cup qualifying mark. She passed the 5km point in 24.30 and the halfway mark in 49.24, but slowed in the second half to clock her second fastest ever time of 1:39.45 to move to second on the UK Rankings for 2019.
There was a sixth place finish for Gemma Bridge (Oxford City AC: Mark Wall) who walked alongside Kelly to the halfway mark. She slowed in the last quarter of the race to clock 1:42.08 to move to third on the UK Rankings for 2019. Ana Garcia (City of Sheffield AC: Mark Wall) was 10th in the u20 10km, crossing the line in a time of 54.09.