England Athletics 10,000m championships

The England Athletics 10,000m Championships were once again held as part of a great night of running at the Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs.

With nearly perfect conditions for distance running the large excited crowds saw some great early races to warm the event up in the build up to the men's and women's championship races. Snooker’s world superstar and athlete Ronnie O’Sullivan joined 10,000m legend Dave Bedford providing support to the event and handing out awards to athletes for the best ‘break’ and boldest running in each event.

After a series of strong 10,000m events it was the women who lined up to contest the first national title of the evening.

The women got the championship action underway with strong first 5k by Aly Dixon (Club: Sunderland Striders) leading a break away with Jessica Coulson (Club: Stockport Harriers, Coach: Mick Woods) and Scotland’s Rhona Auckland (Club: Banchory - Stonehaven AC).

Coulson pushed on from 6k to go to take the lead from Dixon opening up a gap that continued to grow with a succession of relentless 76 second laps of the Parliament hill track. Auckland maintained second and Dixon stuck to the pursuit in third. While the gap from Coulson to Auckland opened out the Scot was never broken and rallied to go past Coulson in a last lap charge which also saw her qualify for the European Under 23s. It was Jessica Coulson who took the England title in 32:41.59 from Aly Dixon (32:55.36 for English silver), with Ireland’s Maria McCambridge taking fourth place it was Becky Straw (Birchfield Harriers, coached by: Bud Baldaro) who clocked 33:52.91 won the bronze in the England championship race.

The men’s race saw a swift opening with Jonathan Davies (Reading AC, coached by: Rob McKim) taking early note of the pacemaking before being joined by Dewi Griffiths (Club: Swansea Harriers, Coach: Kevin Evans) and the race settled. A lead pack formed that also included Ireland’s John Travers, Jonny Mellor (Liverpool Harriers, coached by: Steve Vernon), and Orjan Gronnevig (Norway).

As the race split up it was Travers, Mellor and Griffiths who were at the sharp end and Ben Lindsay was pulling away from the stretching chase pack. By the last mile Travers had been dropped and it was clear that the win would be between Griffiths and Mellor. Into the latter stages and Mellor attacked, moving through the bell 70 meters ahead of Griffiths. He crossed the line in 28:46.80 with a 64 sec last lap as Griffiths of Wales came in with 28:55.24 ahead of the ever chasing Ben Lindsay (29:02.93) who was clear of Travers by this point as Sweden’s David Nilsson took fifth with 29:06.79 and Antonio Silva (Club Thames H&H/ Portugal) was sixth in 29:09.45.

Joining Mellor in the England Athletics Champs medals were Jonathon Thewils 29:14.54 (Club: Notts AC, Coach: Thomas Watson) Jonathan Davies (Club: Reading AC, Coach: Rob McKim) who came home in 29:24.07 - inside the European Under 23 qualifying time.  

Junior athlete Jack Rowe (Aldershot Farnham & District coached by: Mick Woods) was in action in the ‘B’ race where he was looking for qualification for this summer’s European Juniors championships. The Mick Woods coached athlete looked at home with the seniors when he clocked 30:23.29 to boost his chances of qualification finishing within the standard of 30:30 in a race won by Kojo Kyereme (Club. Shaftesbury Barnet H, Coach: Conrad Milton).

Thanks to Ben Pochee, Highgate Harriers and all the volunteers involved in the Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs.


 

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