All roads lead to Brighton this weekend where thousands of runners will come together for a weekend of running.
The Brighton Marathon continues to grow in popularity and runners of all abilities will be taking on the 26.2 miles, including many age group club runners aiming to secure a qualifying place on the England Masters Marathon team. The top five club runners in each five-year age band (V35 through to V75+) have the chance to qualify for the England Masters team and have until midnight Saturday 13th April to register their interest. For further details and to register interest in our Masters teams go to https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/england-teams-and-selection/england-age-group-masters/marathon-masters-team-opportunities/
In addition to the marathon action, Brighton’s associated 10k event will also host this year’s England Athletics 10k Championships and the first race in the England Athletics Champions of the Road series (click here for details of the England Athletics Champions of the Road series).
Individual and team titles will be contested, and the competition will be fierce.
Multiple England Championship title winners Chris Thompson (Aldershot Farnham & District, Alan Storey) and Gemma Steel (Charnwood AC, Liz Nuttall) are both entered. Thompson a European silver medallist on the track at 10,000, with a best of 27:27:36 shows no signs of letting his V35 status slow him down and is well capable of gunning for the Championship title.
However, also likely to be in the mix will be some other strong domestic competition. Also entered in the men’s race is Ben Connor (Derby AC, Steve Vernon) looking to return to racing this weekend with bests of 13:25 and 28:14 at 5000 and 10,000 on the track will be one to watch.
Adam Hickey (Southend, Eamonn Martin) has been enjoying an excellent season on the country and having recently returned from competing at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Denmark he clearly has the strength of a cross-country season behind him. Mohamud Aadan (Thames Valley Harriers, Paul Oppe) has a best of 28:39 at 10,000, as well as 62:30 Half Marathon to his name. If he can produce the calibre of these performances at 10k on the road he will also be in the mix.
Nick Goolab (Belgrave, Craig Winrow) has not raced 10k since 2014, but with a highly respectable 64:34 debut at the Half Marathon last month and a track pedigree that includes 13:33 & 7:42 at 5000 and 3000 respectively he too is clearly one to watch. Others to look out for include Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile) who ran well at the Parelloop 10k last month, and Matthew Leach (Bedford & County, Phil O’Dell) with a recent 28:21 on the track at Stanford, USA.
In the women’s race Gemma Steel’s best of 31:26 dating back to 2014 is formidable. She has not shown that level of form this season and will face some stiff competition for the title but one thing you can guarantee is that she will put up a fight.
Kate Reed (Bristol & West, Alan Storey) who competed for Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics in 2007 makes a welcome return to competitive racing. She has a best of 32:07 on the roads and recently set a PB at the Half Marathon to run 72:44. Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Aldershot Farnham & District, Mick Woods) is another athlete who comes into the race with a strong cross-country season behind her, as well as 10k best 32:52 set in December 2018.
Pippa Woolven (Wycombe Pheonix) makes her 10k debut, but a strong cross-country season which saw her finish 9th at the European XC Champs suggest she is clearly one to watch.
The Scottish contingent of Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District) and Mhairi MacClennan (Edinburgh Hare & Hounds, Helen Clitheroe) both have shown great form recently on the roads and cross-country respectively and will be in the mix for the overall BM10k podium places, as will Paul Pollock (Kent AC, Andy Hobdell) of Ireland in the men’s race.
Brighton looks set to stage an exciting weekend of racing. Click here to see the elite 10k start lists