Ellie Wallace and Jack Gray lead the fields at the England 5k Championships 

The England 5k Championships return to the ever-popular Mid Cheshire 5k this Friday with high quality women’s and men’s fields set to compete.

Wallace to defend her title

Ellie Wallace (club: North Somerset, coach: Julian Emery) will look to defend the England title she won in fine style in August. Wallace will arrive in great form having represented England at the Armagh International Road race in February finishing 12th and having run 15:50 at the Bristol Track Club 5k earlier this month.

Wallace will be joined by a fantastic women’s field which includes course record holder Kate Holt (City of Stoke, Alan Morris). Holt’s 15:28 set at the Mid Cheshire 5k saw her finish 3rd on the UK 5k rankings in 2021 and she will arrive in great form having set a 10k PB of 32:26 at Trafford last month. 2022 England silver medallist over 5k Lauren McNeil (Hallamshire) is back again in 2023 having represented England at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in September setting a fantastic PB of 71:01. Rachel Franklin (Manx) represented Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and will be looking to compete for the England title with a road best of 15:42.

In total, 13 women have signalled an intention to target 16 minutes or faster. Amongst them is 2014 European Cross Country Champion Gemma Steel (Charnwood) who has had an excellent year picking up silver medals at the English Cross Country Championships and the Inter-counties Cross Country Championships. With a 5000m PB of 15:29 the experienced Lauren Heyes (Hallamshire, Paul Roden) will be another name to look out for having represented GB&NI at the 2022 European 10,000m Cup finishing 15th.

Tight men’s race expected

Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Mark Vile) has had a fantastic 2023 so far picking up a bronze medal at the Intercounties, a silver medal at the National Cross Country, and running his quickest 5k for nearly four years with 13:50 in Armagh. Gray will face strong competition in Lewis Jagger (Sheffield & Dearne) who made excellent progress in 2022 setting a 5k PB of 14:02 and 10k PB of 29:03.

Alex Howard (Tonbridge, Mark Hookway) set a PB of 14:06 with an excellent run in Armagh in February and he is joined on the start list by the experienced Carl Avery (Morpeth, Nathan Shrubb) who has a PB of 14:02 set in 2019.

Selection opportunities

In additional to the England titles the winners will have the opportunity for automatic selection to represent England at the Home Nations 5k in Cardiff in August.

The fast point-to-point course at the Mid Cheshire 5k is a very popular race for club athletes from across the country and the August edition will host an England vs Wales masters 5k International. Results and details on how to follow the race are on the official race website.