Thompson and Arter take England Athletics 10,000m crowns
The women’s race saw a dominant performance from Charlotte Arter (Cardiff, James Thie) to take gold, and Chris Thompson (Aldershot Farnham & District, Alan Storey) rolled back the years to run 28:40.40 in taking a convincing victory and gold at the England 10,000m championships at the Trafford Grand Prix in Manchester at the weekend.
Thompson, the former European 10,000m silver medalist finished short of the Commonwealth Games standard of 28:10, which by his own admission was always going to be a tough ask. "I was on 28:20 pace until about two miles, when the pacemakers dropped out, but by then I was running alone and the pace inevitably slowed. I’m pleased with having committed myself early doors and it shows what I can still do, and what I could have done if I had been able to get a few more weeks of training in. If this was Stanford in April it would have been perfect to then attack the season ahead, but I was always running out of time in trying to get race fit for this after all the work and emotion I put into the London marathon."
The early pace set by Thompson and the pacemakers was ultimately too hot for the other athletes who had followed suit. Scottish athlete Luke Traynor (Glasgow City, Dudley Walker) who spent much of the race in second position, ultimately had to settle for third after being passed by the fast finishing Sam Stabler (Owls Leicester, Rob Denmark) on the final lap of the race, both running PBs of 29:03.64 and 29:08.52 for second and third respectively. Ian Kimpton (Luton, Tony Simmonds) took the bronze in the England Athletics Championships as he set a new personal best of 29:18.50, as he continues his build up to Amsterdam Marathon this Autumn.
Cardiff-based athlete Charlotte Arter continued her fine recent form in racing to a new lifetime best of 32:37.52. Arter has run PBs over a number of distances this summer and had she had company for some of the 25 laps she may well of threatened the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 32:15.
"I think in the right conditions and right race I could have close to the Commonwealth Games qualifying time for England, but it was another solid effort and a PB." said Arter. "I have taken 20 seconds off my PB at 5000m, one-and-a-half minutes off my 10k best and 13 seconds off my 3k so overall it is looking really positive for next year and I’ll be looking to get into a big 10,000, probably in America, early in the season."
Behind Arter, Gemma Steel (Charnwood, Rob Denmark) ran strongly for silver, which was made more remarkable by the fact that only 24 hours earlier she was finishing second on the roads at Ipswich 5k. Verity Ockenden (Swansea, Tony Houchin) ran brilliantly for bronze, capping off an amazing summer for the runner who has set PBs on the track over every distance from 800m to 10,000m.
1st Chris Thompson
2nd Sam Stabler
3rd Ian Kimpton
1st Charlotte Arter
2nd Gemma Steel3rd Verity Ockenden