Chris Snook (Aldershot Farnham & District / Leeds Beckett University) and Erika Kelly (Northern AC, Isle of Man, Tom Craggs) took the first ever England Athletics Winter Race Walking Championships titles over 10,000m in challenging conditions.
Like most of the North of England on Saturday 5 February, the track at Leeds Beckett University was battered by strong and gusty winds which made chasing fast times particularly difficult.
Leeds Beckett student Snook - competing on his home track - was dominant from the gun and despite the tough conditions produced a track personal best of 43:27.6 Behind him Tom Partington (Manx Harriers, Steve Partington) took the silver medal in 45.18.3, but the winds meant he was unable to chase the Isle of Man qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games. George Wilkinson (Enfield & Harringay) took the bronze medal in 47:14.1 ahead of Luc Leggon (Bexley AC, Noel Carmody) 47:46.4. Ireland’s European Under 20 6th Placer Oisín Lane took 2nd in the race in 44:26.7 after serving a minute penalty in the penalty zone. Christian Hopper (Cambridge Harriers, Noel Carmody) was the leading Under 20 English athlete in 49:56.8.
In the Women’s 10,000m Erika Kelly - making a welcome return to competition - took the English title in 51:41.6. Like compatriot Partington, the conditions put paid to her hopes of chasing the Isle of Man Commonwealth qualifying time. Abigail Jennings (Aldershot Farnham & District, Verity Snook) closed in on Kelly over the last few laps to finish just behind her in a big new personal best of 51:46.2. Under 20 Millie Morris (Ashford AC / Leeds Beckett University, Chris Hobbs) competing on her home track, battled off the aftereffects of a recent bout of COVID to take the bronze medal in 54:52.9. The race was won by Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire Harriers, Chris Jones) in 46:47.6 despite the tough conditions. Welsh compatriot and British 35km Record Holder, Bethan Davies (Cardiff AAC, Andi Drake) was 2nd in 48:17.8.
Click for full 10,000m results (PDF 130kB)