8th October 2018
WEEKEND UPDATE: FARAH TOPPLES EUROPEAN MARATHON RECORD
Chicago Marathon, Chicago, USA, 7 September
Sir Mo Farah (coach: Gary Lough, club: Newham & Essex Beagles) wrote his name into the record books once more as he broke the European marathon record to take victory in the windy city. In only his third attempt at the distance, Farah lowered his personal best from 2:06.21 set in London earlier this year, to 2:05.11, to take 37 seconds off that European mark. What’s more this was Farah’s first marathon victory, the 35-year-old pushing the pace in the final few miles to despatch of all bar one of his closest rivals, eventually using his trademark sprint finish to romp home well clear of Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew.
Of his performance in Chicago, Farah said:
“I was definitely comfortable from mile 24, so I knew from that point I was just kind of pushing a bit, testing the guys out and figuring out who to go with. There was only that guy who went with me, and I didn’t know who he was, so at the time I was just like, make sure I have enough left at the finish line and then I just got away at the end easily.
“The conditions weren’t great and everyone was thinking about conditions rather than time, but towards the end we picked it up. I felt good towards the end of the race – at the beginning I felt a bit sluggish, but overall I’m very happy with it.”
In the men’s wheelchair race David Weir (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) came so close to yet another major marathon triumph, but eventually had to settle for third in a stellar field. It was a whittled down group containing eventual winner Daniel Romanchuk of the USA and his arch-rival Marcel Hug that reached the closing stages together, the American eventually proving strongest to sprint to victory. Weir crossed the line just nine seconds back in 1.31.43.
2018 Cardiff Half Marathon inc. the Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships, 7 October
The inaugural Commonwealth Games Half Marathon Championships took place under the cold autumn sunshine in Cardiff on Sunday morning, with the crowds treated to some wonderful racing on the streets of the Welsh capital. In the men’s race it was Australia’s Matt Rayner who set a 61.01 personal best to triumph, with Mohamud Aadan (Paul Oppe, Thames Valley) the best placed Brit, clocking a very respectable 62.31 for seventh. Local favourite Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans, Swansea ), running for the host nation, was ninth in 62.56.
In the women’s race Ugandan Juliet Chekwel took the spoils with a 69.45 run, with England’s Tracy Barlow (Nick Andersen, Thames Valley) fifth and Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman, Aldershot Farnham & District) seventh in times of 72.17 and 72.32 respectively, the former a personal best run. Those performances put them fourth and fifth on the Power of 10 rankings for 2018.
English National Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham, 6 October
Stockport continued their fine relay form, as a blistering final leg from Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) ensured they took the national six stage road relay crown at the famous Sutton Park venue. Tenth after the opening leg, which Liverpool’s Jonny Mellor (Vernon) handed over first on in the second quickest time of the day, Stockport slowly moved through the field to lie third with two legs to go. A great run from Jack Martin (Dave Turnbull) saw them move into a narrow lead from eventual runners-up Leeds City, before Millington delivered the killer blow on the anchor leg.
The ladies race didn’t quite bring the same drama, Aldershot Farnham and District once again asserting their authority on proceedings to win by some 90 seconds. Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Mick Woods) set the tone, coming home with a decent lead on leg one in a time that turned out to be the fastest of the day, but Leeds City, also runners-up in the ladies race, battled back to lead at the halfway point. Amy Griffiths (Rob Denmark) wasted no time in regaining pole position on leg three however, before Louise Small (Woods) produced the fourth fastest run of the day to wrap up victory.