The Granollers Half Marathon is a highly regarded event on the international race calendar, providing English athletes an excellent opportunity to gain international experience, and has seen household names such as Wilson Kipsang, Haile Gebrselassie and Samuel Wanjiru compete over the years.
A team of six athletes headed to Granollers in Spain over the weekend to represent England at this well-established Half Marathon.
The England Team, guided by Team Leader Darren Reevell, and Coach Charlene Thomas, included Mohamud Aadan (Club: Thames Valley / South Bank, Coach: Paul Oppe), Joshua Lunn (Club: Bedford & County, Coach: Simon Goodwin), Kieran Clements (Club: Shaftsbury Barnet), Alison Lavender (Club: Oswestry, Coach: Andrew Walling), Katie White (Club: Garscube), and Lucy White (Club: Tonbridge, Coach: Richard Owen).
The race takes place around the town of Granollers in Catalonia. Whilst the hilly course isn’t an obvious one for fast times, it has nonetheless produced some quality performances over the years. However, unusually warm conditions on the day ensured the race provided an extra level of challenge.
The race was won by favourite, Stephen Mokoka from South Africa. He out kicked the rest of the field in the final kilometre, taking the win in a time of 61.28, failing to beat his personal best (59min and 51s) or the course record (59min and 26s), set by Samuel Wanjiru in 2008.
The rest of the podium was made up by the Eritrean Yohanes Ghebergergis, in 61.31s, and the Kenyan Vestus Cheboi Chenjor with a time of 61.35. First home for England was Mohamud Aadan, finishing 8th overall in a time of 63.31. Aadan was 5th place at the 10k mark, however GI issues meant he couldn’t stay with the leading pack. Next home for England was Joshua Lunn, crossing the line in in 67.12, giving him 11 place overall. Kieran Clements started well, however a foot injury resulted in Kieran withdrawing from the race at 8 miles.
The women’s race saw some strong performances from the English athletes. The race winner was Daria Mykhailova from the Ukraine in a time of 72.37. Second place was taken by England’s Lucy Reid. Pacing the perfect race, coming through the field in the second half and crossing the line in 74.01. Third over the line was Gema Barrachina from Alicante, in a time of 74.20. Next home for England was Alison Lavender, finishing 6th in 76.45. Katie White was the final England athlete home, finishing in 8th place, crossing the line in 78.26.
Team Leader, Darren Reevell, said: 'Despite the warm weather and demanding course, the England team produced some respectable performances.' Adding, 'hopefully this will be a stepping stone for the athletes as they progress their careers in search of more England and GB international vests.'
1. Stephen Mokoka 61:28
2. Yohanes Ghebergergis 61:31
3. Vestus Cheboi Chenjor 61:35
4. Joseph Kiprono Kiptum 61:46
5. Rodrigue Kwizera 61:50
6. Hoisea Kiplimo 62:05
7. Josephat Kiprono Menjo 63:30
8. Mohamud Aadan 63:31
9. Ronald Kiprotich Kirui 63:33
10. Ricard Pasto Llobera 66:38
1. Daria Mykhailove 72:37
2. Lucy Reid 74:01
3 Gemma Barrachina 74:22
4. Jenny Spink 74:53
5. Miriam Ortiz 76:27
6. Alison Lavender 76.45
7. Elisabet Gordon 78:13
8. Katie White 78:26
9. Encarna Nunez Mesa 79:29
10. Silvia Segura Parra 80:30