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UK Half Marathon Championships at Bristol

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9 September 2007

 

Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist Liz Yelling (Bedford and County AC) and Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland cross country international Phil Wicks (Belgrave Harriers) won the domestic titles at the Reebok Bristol Half Marathon incorporating the UK Championships today.

 

Both were headed home by Kenyan athletes in a race in which many of the leading domestic athletes were seeking qualifying times for the World Road Running Championships to be staged next month in Italy: 64:15 for men and 74:00 for women seeking places in the Norwich Union GB&NI team.

 

Yelling, whose major autumn target is next month’s Chicago Marathon, clocked 70:46, 2 minutes 25 seconds quicker than in Glasgow last Sunday but 20 seconds behind women’s race winner Jane Muia (Kenya).

 

Louise Damen (Poole Runners), who has a year’s best of 70:47, finished third in 72:46 followed by: 4 Michelle Ross-Cope (City of Stoke AC) 73:28; 5 Wendy Nicholls (Cirencester AC) 74:16; 6 Rosemary Ryan (Ireland) 74:28; 7 Sue Harrison (Royal Leamington Spa C&AC) 74:48 … with Amy Stiles (Bristol and West) crossing the line in 76:48 in her first race since she gave birth to daughter Amelia Rose last 7 October.

 

Up ahead of them, Wicks finished his first half marathon in 64:43, making him only the sixth UK man this year under the Power of 10 national standard of 64:45. It earned him third place in the race behind Kenyan duo Tewodros Shiferaw (63:01) and Simon Tonui (63:01). Then came: 4 Toby Lambert (Alton Runners) 64:45; 5 Billy Farquharson (Notts AC) 65:22; 6 Haggai Chepkwony (Army) 65:32; 7 Simon Jones (Belgrave) 65:58 … with Dave Mitchinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) eighth in 66:11 in his first outing since he took the summer off to get used to the lifestyle of a dad – his daughter Eleanor was born in April – and to studying to become a policeman in the Hertfordshire Constabulary.

 

The Great Yorkshire Run 10km) at Sheffield was won by former World Cross Country Champions John Kibowen (Kenya) and Benita Johnson (Australia).

 

Kibowen led home the men in 28:40 with the leading UK runners: 3 Tomas Abyu (Salford) 29:19; 5 Jon Brown (City of Sheffield AC) 29:28; 6 Chris Davies (Telford AC) 29:44.

 

Johnson continued her preparations for the Chicago Marathon by clocking 32:55, ahead of a great battle for second, taken by Birhan Dagne (Belgrave) in 34:02, just four seconds ahead of UK Challenge 5000m Champion Vicky Gill (Chorley AC).

 

Four UK ultra-runners, three men and one woman, travelled to Winschoten, Holland, to take part in the IAU 100km World Cup and European Championships – and the new members of the team who produced personal bests.

 

Jez Bragg (Road Runners Club), having previously astounded the UK ultra-running fraternity by obliterating the course record on the 85-mile West Highland Way, showed he could take on the world’s best by knocking 1 minute 33 seconds off his only previous attempt at the distance, finishing in 7.03.12 for 19th place in the World Championship.

 

Paul Harwood (Leamington RC) ran a strong race throughout and produced a solid performance in only his third 100km (62.5 miles) to finish in 31st position in 7.23.38.

 

The only UK runner to have competed previously at international level, Matt Lynas (Thames Hare and Hounds), defied the debilitating after-effects of a heavy cold, proved a real team player, refusing to give in and managed to finish in a time of 8.08.46

 

Adela Salt (Trentham Running Club), another newcomer to the ultra-running scene, knocked a remarkable 20 minutes 18 seconds off her only previous 100km by finishing in 11th place in the World Cup with a time of 7.54.21 and also picking up an age category prize in the open race.

 

Japan swept the board by winning the individual and team men and women’s races. Leading results…

 

Men: 1 Shinichi Watanabe (JPN) 6:23:21 (fastest time in the world this year); 2 Kenji Nakanishi (JPN) 6:30:21; 3 Oleg Kharitonov (RUS) 6:30:22. Teams: 1 Japan 19:48:14; 2 Russia 19:58:02; 3 USA 20:43:33.

 

Women: 1 Sakurai Norimi (JPN) 7:00:27 (world 0ver-35 best and fastest time in the world this year); 2 Fricotteaux Laurence (FRA) 7:26:44; 3 Sho Hiroko (JPN) 7:27:13. Teams: 1 Japan 22:25:11; 2 France 23:12:23; 3 Germany 23:52:44.