England teams shine at Copenhagen Half

England’s women secured a stunning Nations team title at the Copenhagen Half Marathon as a number of personal bests were achieved by both male and female runners representing the Red Roses in Denmark.

The men’s team also produced a series of brilliant performances, narrowly missing out on the team title against the other strong competing European nations of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Switzerland, and Italy.

Calli Thackery (coach: Vince Wilson; club: Hallamshire) took an incredible three minutes off her best to finish with 69:02 and move into the top 10 England all-time list.

“I’m so thrilled to cap off my season with such a quick time on the roads,” said Thackery, who finished 12th in Sunday’s race and first European across the line. “But it was made extra special by being part of such a strong team.”

Lucy Reid (Richard Owen; Tonbridge) was the next female England runner to cross the line, slicing 46 seconds off her previous best to run 70:29.

Lauren McNeil competing at the Copenhagen Half Marathon

Lauren McNeil (Keith Whitelam; Hallamshire) obliterated her PB by more than two minutes to finish in a time of 71:01, moving her to second on the UK all-time under-23 half marathon rankings behind Liz McColgan. “I can’t comprehend where that came from,” said a shocked McNeil after the race.

European indoor 1500m silver medallist Holly Archer (Andrew Parmenter; Cambridge and Coleridge), running in only her second ever race across this distance, secured another PB for the team with 72:47. It was a brilliant performance from Archer considering her last outing involved running 600m as a pacer in an 800m race

Together, the England women’s team took an incredible six and a half minutes off their best times over the distance. The women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tadu Teshome (66:13).

England men competing at the Copenhagen Half Marathon

All four male runners for England finished within 29 seconds of one another, demonstrating a brilliant, consistent team effort.

Ross Millington (Helen Clitheroe; Stockport) was the first England male over the line in 63:09, followed by Adam Clarke (63:24) (Geoff Watkin; Aldershot, Farnham, and District), Alex Lepretre (63:28) (Ben Pochee; Highgate Harriers) – taking over a minute off his PB – and Paulos Surafel (63:38) (Thames Valley Harriers). The men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Milkesa Mengesha (58:58).

“I am absolutely delighted,” said Lepretre after the race. “I wasn’t expecting to run that quickly. I just stuck with the group, including Ross and Adam, and they pulled me through. I was hanging on in the final 2k, but made it to the finish line, just!”

The England team who competed at the Copenhagen Half Marathon

Charlotte Fisher, England Team Manager, said:

“It was a superb event organised by Sparta. Thanks to Christian Friis and his team for the excellent provision for the elite athletes. The Copenhagen Half provides a great platform for both developing athletes and the more experienced to race fast and competitively on the roads.”