800m winners take overall £1000 first prizes while Elliot Giles stands out in 1500m contest

Ellie Baker and Thomas Randolph were declared winners of the inaugural Saucony British Milers Club Grand Prix Points Series thanks to their 800m victories, while Elliot Giles impressed over 1500m in Eltham.

The women’s two-lap contest saw the contenders ignore the advertised 57.5 pace and the pack went through in 61, with European under-23 champion Isabelle Boffey leading down the back straight.

However, in the last 100m European Team Championships winner Baker burst away, showing the strength that had taken her to a 4:06.54 1500m midweek PB, clocking 2:01.66.

That gave her 94 points in the overall Grand Prix standings, ahead of  Jenny Selman and Jenny Nesbitt, who were second equal with 80.

Northern Ireland’s Katie Kirk came through in a PB of 2:02.10 to take second place as the first six finished inside 2:03. Boffey was third in 2:02.29, while there were also fast times for Selman (2:02.44), and Olympian Revee Walcott-Nolan (2:02.46), who completed a quality top five.

Ireland’s Jenna Bromell was sixth in 2:02.77, while in seventh European indoor 1500m silver medallist Holly Archer set a PB of 2:03.94 and there was also a PB – 2:04.65 – for local athlete Sabrina Sinha in eighth.

The men’s 800m lacked the same depth but European under-23 medallist Randolph showed great acceleration in the last 200m to win easily in 1:47.4. Rocco Zaman-Browne was a distant second in 1:49.2, with James McMurray third in 1:49.3.

That victory was enough for Randolph to win the men’s Grand Prix on 88 points to McMurray’s 85 and Kyle Langford’s 82.

Elliot Giles (Mark Shearman)

Langford was second in a 1500m contest which was dominated by British Indoor 800m record-holder Elliot Giles. The pre-event pace had been advertised as 1:55 at 800m with a target of 3:38 but, at Giles’ instructions, the runners were told it would be 1:53 as he targeted a time of around 3:35 and the BMC record of 3:36.69 set by Ross Murray in 2012.

Pacer Yusuf Bizimana (1:46.76 in the NCAA final) did a brilliant job, reaching halfway bang on target, but then carried on through to 1000m. Giles then took over and sped past the bell in 2:36. He kept his form well but eventually the fast pace and very breezy conditions took their toll. He was still able to win by four seconds in 3:37.01, just missing Murray’s record.

Giles afterwards admitted he had been hoping to run faster but following a pacemaker through that sort of time and then running solo was a new experience .

The pack did make up a lot of the ground on the last lap and it was fellow 800m specialist Langford who came from well back to set a PB of 3:41.08.

The 20-year-old Thomas Keen also set a PB in third with 3:41.34 while European Indoor 800m medallist Jamie Webb took seconds off his best with 3:41.88 in fifth, one place up on UK under-23 3000m record-holder Tom Mortimer who had led the chasing pack for much of the race.

Sam Stevens won the men’s 1500m B race by five seconds in a PB 3:41.1.

Georgie Hartigan was the only athlete to go with the pacer in the BMC women’s 1500m in 4:11.65, with Irish athletes completing the top three as she was followed home by Louise Shanahan (4:15.43) and Maisy O’Sullivan (4:15.53).

Lilly Hawkins was close to her PB in fourth in 4:16.59 in fourth, with Niamh Bridson-Hubbard going inside 4:20 for the first time with 4:19.00 in fifth.

In the C race, World and European masters champion Zoe Doyle, ran a notable PB in second of 4:32.45 at the age of 44.

Callum Elson won the men’s 5000m in 14:07.71 while, in the last race of the day, Nesbitt won the women’s race in 15:39.56 with Abbie Donnelly was second in 15:49.69.

Saucony British Milers Club Grand Prix Points Series
Overall men: 1 Thomas Randolph (Tamworth/St Mary’s) 88 points (£1,000); 2 James Mcmurray (St Albans AC) 85 (£500); 3 Kyle Langford (Shaftesbury Barnet) 82 (£200); 4 Tiarnan Crorken (Preston) 75; 5 Rocco Zaman-Browne (U23 Sale Manchester H) 68; 6 Thomas Keen (U23 Cambridge & Coleridge) 64.

Women: 1 Ellie Baker (Shaftesbury Barnet) 94; 2= Jenny Selman (Fife) and Jennifer Nesbitt (Cardiff AC) 80 (£500 each); 4 Jenna Bromell (Ireland) 76; 5 Sabrina Sinha (U23 Cambridge H) 61.

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