Athletes from across England will make their way to Cheshire this Friday evening to compete at the England 5km Championships being hosted at the Mid Cheshire 5k.
The race is widely thought of as one of the fastest 5km road courses in the UK domestic calendar and athletes will be hoping the course and the good conditions anticipated will lead to fast times, good competition and plenty of PBs.
Piasecki, Harrison and Holt lead women's challenge
Jessica Piasecki (coach: Robert Hawkins; club: Stockport) represented Great Britian at the recent World Championships in Oregon finishing 12th in the marathon. Piasecki set a big half marathon PB of 67:20 in January at the Media Maratón Internacional de Santa Pola and will be amongst the favourites for the title.
Samantha Harrison (Vince Wilson, Charnwood) has had a super summer with a 6th place finish over 10000m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham followed up by another 6th place finish again over 10000m at the European Championships.
Piasecki and Harrison will face strong competition from the likes of course record holder Kate Holt (Alan Morris, City of Stoke), local favourite Tessa McCormack (Bev Hartigan, Vale Royal) and Ellie Wallace (Julian Emery, North Somerset) who recently represented England at the Asics Home Nations 5k.
Close race expected in strong men's field
Abdulqani Sharif (Mick Woods, Liverpool Harriers) is in form having recently set a new 5km PB over 13:57 at MK5000m PB Special is expected to push for the men's title.
Wallsend's Sam Charlton (Helen Clitheroe) will also be a man to watch after clocking PBs of 7:58.56 over 3000m and 13:53 over 5000m this year as will Kurt Taylor (Bristol & West) set who a big 5000m PB of 14:02 at the BMC in June. The potential England Champion won't have it all their own way through with Scottish athlete and 13:45 man Adam Craig (Inverclyde) also lining up.
In addition to taking the coveted England title, the first eligible male and female athletes over the line will also be offered an automatic selection to represent England at the Armagh International Road Races in February subject them having a qualification standard and showing form and fitness in the lead into the event.
Celebrating a great 'club runners race'
England Athletics Road Running Manager Tom Craggs said
"We are delighted to be returning to the Mid Cheshire 5k for our 5km champs this year. The race has offered new runners and international athletes alike the opportunity for a brilliantly organised race, on a beautiful fast course for many years. I wanted to thank Michael and the team at Run Cheshire, all the officials and volunteers for their support and wish all the best to the athletes and their coaches"