Laura Weightman takes on British-based Kenyan Mary Ngugi in flat, fast 5km race which is streamed live on the AW website

Laura Weightman was a convincing winner of the women’s race at the inaugural Fast 5K event in Wigan last October but she will not have it all her own way this time when the event returns on Monday (April 5) as she will face among others training partner and former world half-marathon medallist Mary Ngugi.

Weightman clocked 15:10 in October to go No.3 on the UK all-time road rankings and she will be hoping for quicker on Monday as she prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.

The event takes place on the Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan – a venue in north-west England which is best known for holding go-kart races – and it will be streamed live on the AW website – CLICK HERE

The women’s field also includes Jip Vastenburg, a Dutch distance runner based in nearby Manchester, plus Eleanor Davis, Georgia Malir and a number of other talented domestic runners in a field of around 30 runners.

After Beth Potter’s astounding 14:41 performance at nearby Barrowfield on Saturday night, too, AW hears there have been subsequent efforts among officials to ensure possible records at the Fast 5K will not suffer the same ratification problems.

READ MORE: Ngugi and Weightman enjoying the perfect training partnership

American Eric Jenkins won the Fast 5K in October but the pandemic has of course caused travel restrictions which have limited Monday’s event to a domestic field.

Among the entrants are 13:51 man Richard Allen and English National cross-country champion Calum Johnson, plus John Beattie, Jordan Rowe and up-and-coming junior Flynn Jennings.

Look out too for veteran middle-distance runner Tom Lancashire, a 3:53 miler at his best who hopes to have a crack at the steeplechase this summer.

READ MORE: Tom Lancashire embraces new life as Covid tester in football 

There are two men’s races and the meeting is organised by Events of the North and Steve Cram. He told AW this week that it is vital that competition returns to the roads and tracks of the nation and that online streaming of events can complement traditional terrestrial television coverage.

 

“Fast 5K has been born out of a bit of a request from athletes last summer when there weren’t many racing opportunities popping up for anybody,” says Cram.

“Two or three coaches asked me if I could find somewhere to put a 5km road race on. I didn’t think much of it to begin with and then thought ‘this might be good going forward’ and I’m a big one for giving our athletes as many racing opportunities as I can.”

READ MORE: “We need events back!” says Steve Cram

Races kick off with the men’s B race at 5pm followed by the men’s A race at 5:30pm. Then there is the women’s A race at 6pm.

Pic: Chris Cooper

Watch the races live on Monday April 5 – CLICK HERE