Thompson and Partridge lead auto-qualifiers for world half marathon championships

vernon thompson GB track

Chris Thompson (handicap -5.2) and Lily Partridge (handicap -5.5) claimed the Vitality Big Half titles and booked their places on the British team for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships later this month, while Jake Smith (handicap -5.5) revised the British Under-23 half marathon record in the process with a big PB.

Chris Thompson (handicap -5.2) took the race out hard from the start, laying down the gauntlet early on to Kenenisa Bekele (ETH), but the Ethiopian fought back to win the race, smashing the course record in 60:23 as he powered through the streets of London, taking more than a minute off Sir Mo Farah’s (handicap -6.4) previous course record.

Thompson recorded a time of 61:07, a shade outside his personal best, of 61:00, to earn himself automatic selection for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and the British title, holding his form well as the race wore on.

Jake Smith  (handicap -5.4) took the British Championship silver medal in 62:00, which saw him revise his personal best and British U23 half marathon record by two seconds as he surged through the capital. Ross Millington (handicap -4.9) rounded off auto-qualifiers as he crossed the line next, taking a bronze medal from a British perspective in 62:33.

In an entertaining senior women’s race, Samantha Harrison (handicap -1.4) and Lily Partridge (handicap -0.9) went toe-to-toe for the vast majority of the race, but it was the latter who kicked away in the closing stages to take her first British half marathon title.

Harrison took the race out hard in the early stages, opening up a large gap to Partridge, but Partridge continued to chip away at her lead and eventually clawed her back and produced a string final two miles to stop the clock in 70:50.

Harrison took second place overall in 71:01, with Stephanie Davis (handicap -1.5) following home for  third spot in another big PB of 71:15.

In the elite wheelchair races, David Weir  and Shelly Woods were crowned the British champions, but Canada’s Brent Lakatos stole the headlines as he revised Weir’s course record to take victory.

The Canadian put himself at the front of the field in the opening moments of the race and continued to push through the streets, extending his lead all the time, notching a time of 48:44 for victory, with Weir second in 50:07. John Boy Smith  completed the podium positions, securing third place.

Results on this link.

Other results from the weekend are on the following links: 


Road/multi terrain


Cross country