23rd October 2017

Weekend update

Simplyhealth Great South Run, Portsmouth, 22 October

Chris Thompson (coach: Mark Rowland) continued his superb Great Run winning streak as he broke clear late in the day to take victory on the South coast. Running in a lead group that contained Matt Sharp (Geoff Watkin) and Ben Connor (Steve Vernon), Thompson pushed the pace into the wind in the last mile, first shelling Sharp before Connor eventually dropped away, leaving the AFD man clear for a three second victory. Unfortunately Connor paid for his efforts to try and win it, Sharp catching him on the line to take second.

The women’s race turned out to be a very similar story, as a trio of Gemma Steel, Lily Partridge (self-coached) and Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau) battled it out for the win. Partridge made a big effort at around the eight mile mark with a view to breaking away before the windy finish, but Steel dug in and in the end forged away on her own to win in 55.25. Partridge toughed it out for second in 55.37, with Purdue third, just six seconds back.



Northern Athletics XC Relay Championships, Sheffield, 21 October

Lincoln Wellington continued their strong relay form this autumn as they were clear victors in the men’s race on the mud in Sheffield. Leading from gun to tape, a quartet of Joe Wilkinson, Tom Straw, Shane Robinson and Matt Bowser (all Mark Baddeley) brought them home 45 seconds clear of runners up, Preston Harriers, with Sale Harriers third. Running the opening leg, Wilkinson produced the fastest time of the day with his 10.12 run.

Their ladies made it a weekend to remember for the Lincolnshire club as after a thrilling final leg they edged out Birtley AC by a mere two seconds. With Birtley sixth and Lincoln seventh coming into the third and final leg, their anchor leg runners Lydia Turner (Thomas Millmore) and Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis) carved through the field in unison, but in the end Donnelly just edged clear to take gold. The duo were also rewarded with the second and third fastest legs of the day respectively, with Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden) going quickest on the opening leg for an incomplete Warrington team.



South of England Cross Country Relays, Wormwood Scrubs, London, 21 October

Hillingdon sealed the senior men’s southern title by over a minute from Highgate Harriers with Mohamed D Mohamed bringing the team home to the victory. Belgrave Harriers claimed third position overall.

Chelmsford were the winners in the senior women’s contest with the trio of Rebecca Luxton, Kimberley Johansen and Alexa Joel contributing to the performance. Belgrave were eleven seconds ahead of third place London Heathside to wrap up the podium places.



Athletics Ireland Autumn International Open, Dublin, Ireland, 22 October

A handful of Brits crossed the Irish sea to take part in this early season international open meet in Dublin, with steeplechaser Adam Kirk-Smith (Tomaz Pilbersek) coming closest to victory, third in the senior men’s race, just eight seconds down on the winner. Racing over a 7.5km distance, Luke Caldwell (Nic Bideau) was next Brit across the line in seventh.

In the women’s 6km event Scotland’s Mhairi MacLennan (John Lees) made the trip from Inverness and was rewarded with a runner-up finish, beating some quality athletes including British internationals Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker), Becky Straw (Bud Baldaro) and Georgia Malir (Andrew Henderson) who were fourth, seventh and eighth respectively.