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20 July 5k – the elite, the pretty good and the with child

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July 20, 2015

20 July 5k – the elite, the pretty good and the with child

An exciting afternoon at Birmingham’s Alexandra Stadium for the UKA Championships/World Championship trials. Olympic Champions Jess Ennis-Hill and Christine Ohorougu are in action before an enthusiastic but worryingly sparce crowd but I’m there to see how Jake fares in the 5000 metres. Like almost every runner who takes part in the USA track season, he struggles to keep the peak ( a 13.46 5k) that he had in late April/early May when many of the fastest distance races are held to avoid the summer heat. We agree that he will get in the mix with the leading group, with the risk that he will pay for it in the final kilometre, rather than be more cautious and not learn anything in the race. And so it proves. He places 12th, having been in the lead pack of 8 until 4km and on the shoulder of Andy Vernon and Tom Farrell, two runners now in the fastest 10 Brits ever at 5k.  To show how the USA system benefits GB distance runners, at the time of writing, only 10 of the Top 30 men in the UK this season have not spent a big part of their recent training  years across the Pond.

 A fine, and brief, evening’s road running at Battersea Park for the Serpentine Club 5k champs. You’ll find very few if any British clubs where a closed club champs will bring in 10 runners under 16 minutes. Actually, we had just 9 this year but you get the point; and that was with a handful of our quickest missing this race through things like BMC (British Milers Club) and NCT (errm that’s not a running acronym but it is important nonetheless). Yours truly volunteers to help the recording at the finish line which combines altruistic volunteering with getting first sighting of everyone’s finish time and being able to see how they are actually running down the long home straight through the middle of the park.  Even without the ubiquitous parkruns, July is one busy month for decent 5k road races in London as, in addition to this race, there is the Great City 5k, two corporate challenges (OK, 5.6k before you point it out), Sri Chinmoy Monday nighters, and for those pushing on with track races, a Southern League 5000 metre option. It’s good timing because at this stage almost nobody is yet into heavy marathon prep although Berlin is starting to loom for some.  Most noticeable result – in more ways than one – is the woman I coach who finishes in mid 24 minutes. Not that fast – but she is now just 5 weeks from her due date, completes the run at comfortable talking pace and has just had her maternal bump weighed at close to 2.5 stone. Impressive!   


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