Great results and a learning experience for England athletes at Perth 100k
The first British Athletics road race championship of 2013 took place in Perth on Sunday 31st March. The race also incorporated the Anglo Celtic Plate, which acts as a home countries international.
The annual Anglo Celtic Plate event has always been regarded as a developmental race for aspiring ultra distance athletes and 2013 was no exception with 3 of the England mens’ team having never run further than 50k.
The England teams consisted of five men; Craig Holgate, Dave Mitchinson, Adrian Marriott, Marcus Scotney and Thomas Payn. The women were represented by Isobel Wykes and Helen James. Team Manager Walter Hill and Eleanor Robinson took care of the athletes (and provided this report).
The race started at 7am with a strong international field who had to compete over 42 laps of a flat and scenic course where the temperature would never rise above 5 degrees centigrade throughout the day. Pace, judgment and adequate nutrition is key to success over a race of this distance and it was obvious that those who had run in similar conditions for over 7 hours were at a distinct advantage.
The outcome at the end of the day saw Ireland’s Dan Doherty the eventual winner in 7:05:23, only 17 seconds off the Irish record. He was followed by England’s Craig Holgate (photo by Alan Young), who would be crowned the National Champion. His pace judgment and nutrition intake were perfect and helped him set a lifetime PB of 7:12:55. An outstanding achievement on such a cold day.
Next home was Tom Payn who had never run further than a marathon before. His finish time of 7:25:34 highlights his immense potential for the future and he has benefitted greatly from the experience of his first 100k. He said, "The team was fantastic. I don’t think I would have got through the race if it wasn’t for the help of Walter and Eleanor giving me plenty of nutrition and support. I’ve been running for over 20 years but I gained more experience in that one race than I probably have in the last ten years of running! Next time I know I will run a lot quicker (in the second 50k).
The third and final scorer was Dave Mitchinson in 8:55:06. Dave was to experience difficulties before halfway but pushed on to finish. This was a real achievement considering he had to run nearly 60k in significant discomfort. Dave commented, "It was an honour to be part of the team and I felt we were looked after exceptionally well by Walter and Eleanor. I hope I can use the lessons I learnt to work hard and progress."
Marcus Scotney and Adrian Marriott both found the conditions very difficult and withdrew when it became apparent that Dave Mitchinson would fill the third place for the team. Walter told us, "Our three quick marathon runners Dave, Tom and Adrian learnt what a 100k is all about. I am confident we will witness a significant improvement in their times when they compete again."
The two women who have both competed over the distance before fulfilled their potential with individual PBs. Isobel Wykes (pictured) ran an excellent race and recorded a time of 8:34:22. This time was good enough for the Silver in the National Championship. Isobel showed real maturity and was only beaten by the talented Emily Gelder representing Wales.
Helen James was a credit to the team. Her composure and pace judgment were consistent throughout. She was rewarded with a fine time of 9:11:49 a PB by 35 minutes and finished 5th lady.
All 7 athletes left Perth with different thoughts and emotions. A learning experience for everyone on what was a very cold day in Scotland.
Walter concludes by adding, "It must be recorded that participation of English teams is due to the continuous support from England Athletics which is very much appreciated."
Full results, split times and a generic report can be found by clicking here.
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