8th March 2021
WEEKEND UPDATE - 6-8 MARCH
Away from the European Athletics Indoor Championships:
Sound Running Invite, San Juan Capistrano, California, 6 March
Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher; Cambridge and Coleridge) moved to third all-time in the men’s 5000m rankings as he clocked 13:05.13 to move ahead of Andrew Butchart.
He was second in the race behind Grant Fisher but made it three PBs across three events (3000m, 5000m and 10,000m) in the space of a month.
There was an impressive victory for Josh Kerr (Danny Mackey; Edinburgh) in the US as he defeated a strong field by 20 metres to win in 3:35.78. It was the Scottish athlete’s first race of the season with second place Amos Bartelsmeyer crossing the line in 3:38.54.
Semi de Marathon de Djibouti, 5 March
Sir Mo Farah (Gary Lough; Newham & Essex Beagles) opened his 2021 season with a 63:07 over the half marathon in Djibouti. In his first race since September last year, he took a narrow victory ahead of Bashir Abdi (BEL).
Welsh Athletics Elite Only Winter 10k, Newport, 5 March
Callum Wilkinson (Rob Heffernan; Enfield & Haringey) secured a British record in the men’s 10,000m race walk while Emile Cairess (Philip Townsend; Leeds) and Lily Partridge (Alan Storey; Birchfield) were victorious at the Elite Only Winter 10k in Newport overcoming their Welsh opposition,
Wilkinson scored a dominant solo victory here to break his own national record by nearly 50 seconds, setting the new mark at 39:05.85.
Heather Lewis clocked 46:44.77 – which included a 60 second penalty for a technical infringement – to just miss the Commonwealth Games standards but her time was still a lifetime best.
Cairess and Partridge had accepted the invitation to join some of the top Welsh Athletes at the Elite Only Winter 10k event to give athletes an opportunity to race ahead of the Great Britain & Northern Ireland Olympic Team Trial for Marathon in Kew Gardens at the end of March.
Cairess, Kris Jones (Swansea), Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans; Swansea) and James Hunt went through half-way in 14:10 in-line with the target pace that mimicked the Welsh Commonwealth Games qualification standard for Birmingham in 2022.
Jones was the last athlete to remain with Cairess when Griffiths lost ground with around five laps to go. Soon after Cairess began to pick the pace up and build up a commanding lead on Swansea Harrier, Jones.
The Leeds AC athlete increased the pace further over the last lap to lower his lifetime best to 28:14.30 with an emphatic victory. Jones then came agonisingly close to the desired 28:30 mark finishing just outside it in 28:33.17 and taking over half a minute off his 29:05.66 P.B. from 2017.
Griffiths was the third athlete home in a solid 28:45.72, signalling that his preparations for the Kew Gardens spectacle on March 26th were going to plan.
Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff) led the early stages of the women’s race, ‘putting in a shift’ to help training partner Jenny Nesbitt (Chris Jones; Cardiff) who was chasing the women’s qualification mark of 32:30.
Arter, Nesbitt, Clara Evans (Cardiff) and Lily Partridge remained intact past the halfway point where they were on target pace to the second.
Nesbitt then took a turn to lead but when the pace slowed in the latter stages, Partridge pulled clear of the others and finished strongly in 32:33.16.
Jenny Nesbitt was next home outside her PB with 32:44.26 but nonetheless putting in a strong performance. Her Cardiff club mate and training partner Clara Evans was third in 32:49.01 some way ahead of her 36:20.35 P.B. from 2016.
The races were preceded by an elite only discus event which featured current British women’s Champion Kirsty Law (Zane Duquemin; Sale Harriers Manchester) who followed up a victory at Loughborough last week with a throw of 54.96 in Newport.
James Tomlinson (Paul Jensen; Pembrokeshire) threw 51.36 with Decathlete Curtis Mathews (Lawrence Moore; Cardiff) posting 45.10. There were throws for Disability Sport Wales Athletes Harrison Walsh (Swansea) and Zachary Tandy (Anthony Hughes) of 54.81 and 41.39 respectively.