Weekend update

relay start women

This weekend, our finest club runners battled it out at the National Road Relay Championships in Sutton Park with hundreds of teams competing over the 6 and 12 stage events. Elsewhere, marathon season started with the Manchester and Rotterdam Marathons.

The National 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham, saw a triumphant Leeds City do the double on a sunny afternoon at Sutton Park. This was the first time a club has done the double in event’s long standing history.

Kicking off with the women’s race, the Yorkshire club lifted a third consecutive title, moving into the lead on leg four and never looking back. Leg one delivered the fastest long legs of the day with Denmark’s Anna Moller (handicap -0.9) leading the way with a 28.01 time for Aldershot and Jess Judd (handicap -1.5) just seven seconds back.

On leg two, it was Leeds City’s Bronwen Owen (handicap 0.1) who made the biggest impact, with what turned out to be the second fastest short leg of the day moving them from sixth place to second. Leg three saw Katie Snowden (handicap 0.1) record the fastest short leg of the day (17:02) to put Herne Hill Harriers in the lead at halfway, but it was soon all change as Lucy Crookes (handicap -0.6) put Leeds in front and that was that, with GB mountain runner Georgia Malir (handicap 1.0) extending their lead with the sixth best short leg of the day.

Jennifer Walsh (handicap 0.6) was back to something like her very best as she anchored Leeds to gold, running the third fastest short leg of the day to seal her club’s hat trick in a combined time of 2:10:40, the fastest of their three victories. Herne Hill ran a great race for silver, with Birchfield coming through late on for bronze.

In the men’s race it was Liverpool AC and then Cardiff AC who set the early pace. The Welsh club led through the halfway mark but Leeds were starting to make their presence felt, as on stage seven Phil Sesemann (handicap -5.3) moved his team from sixth to third. He handed over to Ossama Meslek (handicap -4.3) whose 15:03 time was the fifth best of the short stage runners and good enough to put Leeds in the driving seat. Emile Cairess (handicap -5.8) ran the quickest short stage of the day with a 14:43 on leg 10, before Graham Rush’s (handicap -4.9) seventh fastest long stage left Joe Townsend an easy job to do in wrapping up victory in a total time of 4:12:21.

Behind them, the silver and bronze medal positions remained unchanged through the final four stages, as Michael Wilsmore (handicap -3.3) held off Max Heyden (handicap -2.8) over the anchor leg to ensure Bristol & West secured second, two minutes down on the winners, with Aldershot Farnham & District third. Individually, Alex Yee (handicap -5.6) was the quickest overall of the long leg runners, with 25:00 and Dewi Griffiths (handicap -6.6) just six seconds back.

At the Greater Manchester Marathon, Jenny Spink (handicap 1.2) produced a great return to form to win the women’s race. The Bristol & West athlete revised her personal best to 2.35.19, which places her second on the runbritain rankings for 2019. The men’s race saw victory for Aaron Richmond (handicap -4.3) in a massive two minute personal best. His 2.21.34 time also places him second on the rankings. In the wheelchair race, Simon Lawson was a clear winner as he broke the tape in 1.31.52 to go top of the rankings.

At the Carlsbad 5km in  California, USA, the world’s fastest 5km delivered once again, as Edward Cheserek equalled the fastest road 5,000m in history with a stunning 13.29 winning time. The women’s race saw Kenyan Sharon Lokedi take the win in 15.48, with Charlotte Arter (handicap -2.2) having a great podium run to finish second in 16.00, while Alice Wright (handicap -0.4) was just five seconds and two places further back.

At the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race in Washington DC, USA, Steph Twell (handicap -1.6) notched up a 10 mile personal best on the streets of the American capital as she finished eighth in a quality field. Crossing the line in 52.58, Twell’s time moves her from 20th to tenth on the All-time rankings and is the fastest performance by a Brit for four years.

At the NN Marathon Rotterdam, the M40, masters were very much to the fore domestically with Breege Connolly (handicap  0.2) finishing in 2:37:49 and Tom Aldred (handicap  -3.5) running a 2:23:38 PB.  Former big city marathon champion (Dublin, Belfast and Melbourne), Tommy Hughes (handicap -0.2) at 59 years, was the most impressive with a M55 Irish and Northern Irish record of 2:30:15.   

Some of the bigger races of the weekend were:

ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon

 - 13,379

Asda Foundation City of Lincoln 10K   

 - 4,547*

Paddock Wood Half Marathon

 - 2,049*

Leamington Regency 10K

 - 1,892

City of Norwich Half Marathon

 - 1,734

Bushy parkrun

 - 1,304


Other results via the following links:


Road/multi terrain


Cross country (XC)