Three runners from England competed in the 35th Attnanger Spitz Mile this year: Jamie Webb, the European Indoor 800m silver medallist (coach: Adrian Webb/Matt Yates), Tommy Horton (coach: Bashir Hussain) and James Young (coach: Lindsay Dunn).
Last year’s winner, Abdelali Razyn from Morocco repeated his tactic from last year of going out hard, aiming to lead from gun to tape. Jamie Webb looked good in the chasing group with James Young and Tommy Horton in close order behind. As the second lap unfolded it became clear this wasn’t going to be Webb’s day as he drifted off the pace of the chasing group while Razyn held the advantage. Young and Horton looked strong coming through for the final lap and James pushed hard down the back straight with the podium places in his sights. As they came into the final bend Razyn was about to surrender the lead as the two Czech runners surged for the line, though he had a big enough buffer to resist a strong finish from the Belgian 3.43 miler, Pieter Van Hannes, and from Tommy Horton who was 0.04 seconds behind the Belgian, clocking 4.16.56 as the first England runner home in 5th. Young tired slightly in the finishing straight but held on for 7th in a time of 4.18.44, whilst Webb battled on to finish 16th in 4.33.06.
Horton looked focussed from the off and said afterward that he had unfinished business from last year, where he was 16th in the same race, and felt the run gave him confidence for the season ahead. Young was equally positive, making his debut for England, and was enthusiastic about what a great experience the race had been and that it will have helped sharpen his racing edge before BUCS. Webb said he was happy to turn over his legs before the Ipswich 5k and that the race was good experience before racing the Westminster Mile.
Team Leader, Graeme Riley said “I was very impressed with the slick race organisation, the quality of the field and the enthusiasm of the local crowds. The team acquitted themselves really well against a high-class international field. The race director, Stephan Schranzinger, did a fantastic job of not only organising the race but looking after the runners as well."
1. Viktor Sinagl (Cze) 4.08.97
2. Jan Fris (Cze) 4.09.17
3. Abdelali Razyn (Mor) 4.11.40
4. Pieter Van Hannes (Bel) 4.16.52
5. Tommy Horton (Eng) 4.16.56
6. Benjamin Kovacs (Hun) 4.17.87
7. James Young (Eng) 4.18.44
16 Jamie Webb (Eng) 4.33.06