Race Report supported by Antur Supply Co, specialists in outdoor equipment.
After what feels like a lifetime, racing in the UK finally returned with the Podium 5k races on Saturday 8th August. Judging by the tremendously strong fields assembled by the organisers it seems that athletes were itching to get back and to test their fitness following the pause in competition.
The races, taking place in Barrowford, Lancashire comprised a stellar field and the lead entry for the men’s race included 2x World Championship representative and Bowerman Track Club athlete Mark Scott (PB of 13.45 on the road and 13.08 on the track over the 5k distance). Also toeing the line were top triathlete Alex Yee and Welsh star Dewi Griffiths who was stepping down from his usual longer distances.
The ladies race entry was also exceptionally strong with leading entries from British athlete Jess Judd (15.16 on the track), Olympian Beth Potter (PB of 15.28 on the track) and Wales’ Jenny Nesbitt (PB of 15.32 on the track).
A number of Welsh athletes had made the trip up north including Olympic marathon hopeful Dewi Griffiths, hoping to get back to top fitness. Dewi spoke to Running Review Cymru recently about how lockdown was going and how he was hoping to get back to his best. Other Welsh interest include north Walian Nathan Jones, now representing Cardiff AAC following his return from a scholarship in the United States. Dewi has a PB of 13.33 over the distance on the track whilst Nathan, also on the track has a PB of 14.02.
The ladies race included a number of Welsh athletes hoping to get back to good form after the lockdown. This included the aforementioned Jenny Nesbitt, Clara Evans of Cardiff AAC and Bronwen Owen of Leeds City. Clara ran well last week to run 34.02 at the Lisburn 10k, her first outing after lockdown whilst Jenny won the 5k race at the same event.
There was Welsh success in the men’s sub 15.15 race with youngster Osian Perrin of Menai Track and Field running a personal best time of 14.30. Rob Samuel of Eryri Harriers was the next athlete back running 14.41 just a second outside his PB which he set at the same event back in 2018. It’s good to see Rob running well in 2020 after limited racing in 2019. Paul Graham of Pontypridd Roadents will be happy that he made the long trip up north with a personal best of 14.48, 2 seconds faster than he ran at Cardiff Parkrun back in February of this year.
The women’s race was a super-fast affair with Jess Judd (Blackburn) and Beth Potter (Shaftesbury Barnet) setting the pace early doors. However it was Olympian and professional triathlete Beth Potter that managed to break away and win in an exceptional course record of 15.24. Swansea Harrier Verity Ockenden ran brilliantly for 3rd in 15.37 whilst Bronwen Owen (Leeds) came home as first Welsh woman only slightly behind Verity in a huge PB of 15.45. Jenny Nesbitt (Cardiff AAC) ran 16.02 to narrowly miss out on a sub 16 posting but improving on the 16.13 she posted last week in Ireland, whilst club mate Clara Evans (Cardiff AAC) ran 16.21.
The men’s A race was hugely entertaining with Mark Scott (Cambridge & Coleridge), Alex Yee (Kent AC) and Omar Amhed (Birchfield Harriers) making the early running and going through 3k in around 8 minutes. Mark Scott finally managed to pull away to finish strongly and break Nick Goolab’s British 5k road record in 13.20. 2nd place Alex Yee also broke the previous British record running 13.26, an amazing time for the talented triathlete. First Welshman home was Swansea Harriers athlete Dewi Griffiths running a big road PB of 13.43 showing that the marathon man still has speed in his legs. Incidentally this was only 3 seconds off Roger Hackney’s Welsh record on the road. Nathan Jones ran an impressive race and managed to break 14 minutes for the first time running 13.59. It will be interesting to see what Nathan can achieve over the next few months after following this promising performance.
Some seriously impressive performances all round demonstrating that athletes have kept themselves in top form during the lockdown. We look forward to seeing more races coming forward in the near future. Well done to the organisers at Podium 5km for what must be countless hours of preparation in order to put on a great show and to Running Live for a brilliant live stream.
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