2nd January 2018
Ribble Valley 10k, Clitheroe, December 31
On the final day of 2017 Laura Weightman (coach: Steve Cram) made an impressive 10km debut, winning the women’s race at the Ribble Valley 10k to cap off a fantastic year.
Admitting she just wanted a hard run out as opposed to chasing a time, Weightman crossed the line in 32:31 minutes, to take second spot on the Power of 10 rankings for the year. Chasing her hard all the way was Beth Potter (Mick Woods) who also revised her personal best with a 33:00 performance.
Defending champion Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher) again took the spoils in the men’s race, making a move later in the race than last year due to the strong winds on the day.
He broke the tape in 29:37, almost 20 seconds clear of triathlete Jonny Brownlee, with Richard Horton third in 29:59 and Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby) fourth in 30:03. In ninth, there was an outstanding run by double Paralympic bronze medallist from London 2012 David Devine, who set a personal best of 30.38.
Corrida de Houilles 10K, France, December 31
A seven-strong contingent of Brits travelled south to France for their final race of the year, Rosie Clarke (David Harmer) leading the way with a fourth-place finish and personal best of 33:04. Joining the steeplechaser in the women’s race was Katrina Wootton (David Dix), who was an impressive sixth in 33:32.
Ben Connor (Steve Vernon) took the spoils in the men’s race, leading the Brits home in sixth place with a 29:03 run, just seven seconds shy of his personal best. Luke Traynor won the battle of the Scots, edging out Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) by three seconds and one place with a 29:29 effort for 11th.
Jonny Mellor (Vernon) was 15th overall in 30:.02 while Robbie Simpson, selected to represent Scotland in the marathon at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, clocked a 30:46 effort.
BOclassic, Italy, December 31
Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman) and Emelia Gorecka (Chris Thompson) both ended the year on a high with good runs over 5km on the roads in Italy. It was Twell who edged out her Aldershot teammate to bag the final podium spot, crossing the line in 16:03, six seconds ahead of Gorecka. In the men’s 10km race Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau) was disappointed with his ninth place finish in 30:22, a race won by Edris Muktar in 28:45.
San Silvestre Vallecana Internacional 10K, Spain, December 31
Despite a ninth-place finish in a high-quality field and a sub-29 clocking, Chris Thompson (Alan Storey) was frustrated by his efforts in the Spanish capital. In a fast race won by Eric Kiptanui in 27:.34, Thompson couldn’t quite get the better of the leading four Spaniards, crossing the line in 28:57. Peter Huck also dipped inside 30 minutes with a 29:59 run.
In the women’s race it was a battle of the marathoners, Alyson Dixon prevailing ahead of Sonia Samuels to step onto the podium in third place. In a race won by Gelete Burka in a swift 30:55, Dixon crossed the line in 32:57 with Samuels 30 seconds back, her 33:26 run good for sixth.
Atleticom We Run Rome 10K, Italy, December 31
Lily Partridge capped off a breakthrough 2017 on the roads by stepping onto the podium in Italy. In the mix all the way in Rome, Partridge bagged a third-place finish in 33:53, just 20 seconds down on the winner, Poland’s Karolina Nadolska. The AFD athlete will now turn her attentions to The Big Half and the London Marathon in the spring.
Nos Gallan Races, Mountain Ash, December 31
In this traditional New Year’s Eve 5km road race in Wales, local athlete Ieuan Thomas (James Thie) capped off a fine year by winning in 14:29, four seconds clear of Matt Clowes, with Kristian Jones third in the same time. Stephen Morris (Thie), who competed at the World Para Athletics Championships back in the summer, was just outside his road personal best with a 15:52 run while Alaw Beynon-Thomas (Kevin Evans) was fastest woman in 16:46.