Belgian clocks 2:03:36 in Rotterdam while in the UK there is a fast 10km by Jess Piasecki at the Leeds Abbey Dash plus area cross-country relays

All eyes on the weekend were on arguably the greatest ever women’s road running performance with Letesenbet Gidey’s 62:52 half-marathon record in Valencia, but there was plenty of other top quality action with a European marathon record from Bashir Abdi of Belgium in Rotterdam and, in Leeds, Jess Piasecki and Sam Charlton impressing over 10km.

To read more about the half-marathon record click here

NN Marathon Rotterdam, October 24
Olympic marathon bronze medallist Bashir Abdi won in 2:03:36 with a faster second half of 61:37 to break both the European record of 2:04:16 and the course record of 2:04:11.

The 32-year-old is a training partner of Mo Farah and is coached by Gary Lough but represents Belgium.

Kenya’s defending champion Marius Kipserem was second in 2:04:04 to better his old course record by seven seconds while Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde was third in 2:04:26 as the top 10 broke 2:10.

As ever, the women’s race failed to match the men’s quality as Kenyan Stella Barsosio took the title by over two kilometres with a 2:22:08 after an aggressive 69:31 first half.

Ukraine’s Nataliya Lehonkova (2:30:28) and Kenya’s Bornes Kitur (2:30:41) were a distant second and third.

Just missing the podium was Britain’s Clara Evans, who was fourth in a PB 2:31:19, taking over a minute off her PB set when finishing fifth in the Olympic Trials at Kew Gardens.

The run moves her to fifth in the UK rankings for 2021 and was again well inside Wales’ Commonwealth Games standard of 2:35:30.

Aged UK Leeds Abbey Dash 10km, October 24
While the main field was cut to 4000, the elite field was as strong as ever highlighted by an exceptional women’s win for Jess Piasecki.

The Olympic marathoner, whose previous best was 32:01 in Manchester last month, followed up her Great South Run 10-mile PB with 31:19 to go fourth all-time in the UK and take 46 seconds off of Eilish McColgan’s 2017 course record of 32:05.

Runner-up Charlotte Arter (31:30) and third-placed Jess Judd (31:38) also climbed high into the UK all-time top 10 with their first sub-32 performances in an event that saw the first 13 women inside 34 minutes.


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A high quality men’s event saw the first 27 runners break 30 minutes.

Kadar Omar enjoyed a narrow victory in a course record of 28:46, smashing Mike Openshaw’s mark of 29:05 from 2000.

Fellow Ethiopian and Birchfield Harrier Omar Ahmed was second with 28:50, with the North of England’s David Mullarkey third in a PB 29:13.

In fourth place in his first ever 10km, the 2019 UK, English and English Schools national cross-country champion Sam Charlton ran 29:17 which is a British under-20 record.

In the inter-area team race there were victories for Midlands’ men and the North’s women.

Northern Cross-Country Relays, Graves Park, Sheffield, October 23
Double Tokyo Olympic triathlon medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown helped Sale Harriers to victory with the fastest lap on the first leg as teams from Rotherham took the other medals.

Her 10:58 was over a minute faster than anyone else achieved with Lincoln’s Rochelle Harrison next best with 12:00.

Georgia Taylor-Brown (David Hewitson)

The men’s event was won by a Hallamshire quartet who finished 41 seconds clear of Sheffield & Dearne.

City of York’s Angus McMillan was fastest of the race with a 9:50 opening stage, seven seconds clear of Trafford’s Finley Proffitt’s second best of the day.

In the young athletes’ races, Vale Royal won the under-15 boys and under-17 women’s races while Liverpool took both under-13 events.

Rotherham’s Evie Thomson’s 8:00 was the quickest under-17 woman while Vale Royal’s Robert Price was fastest under-15 boy coming from eighth to first on the final leg with a 6:42 clocking.

Trafford won the under-17 men’s race with their James Knockton fastest with a 6:57 final leg.

Salford’s Evan Grime’s 5:21 was fastest in the under-13 boys category but it was Liverpool B team who beat their A team in that age-group’s girls race with Bailey Hughes’ 5:45 narrowly the best.

Midlands Cross-Country Relays, Wolverhampton October 23
Rugby & Northampton were easy winners in the four-stage senior men’s relay as Tipton closed a little on the final leg with Tipton’s Joe Smith running the second fastest overall time with 18:57.

Gloucester’s Ben Robinson was fastest with 18:31.

Wolverhampton & Bilston enjoyed a three-minute home win in the women’s race as Amelia Samuels, who already had a huge lead, ran a 20:36 split.

Wolverhampton also took the masters women’s event and the under-13 boys race and they also won the under-15 girls race aided by twins Rosie and Ava Kind with the former quickest overall with 11:18.

Twins also spearheaded the under-15 boys success of Bromsgrove & Redditch with Samuel and Willem Hembry and, again, the former was fastest overall with 10:40.

Tipton won the masters men’s race and under-17 women’s event while Mansfield led home the under-13 girls race.

Worcester won the under-17 men’s race by over three minutes.

The under-11 races were won by Warrington’s boys and Birtley’s girls.

Southern Cross-Country Relays, Wormwood Scrubs, October 23
Having set off over 40 seconds behind leaders London Heathside, Pippa Woolven ran a storming final 3km leg of 10:14 to take the lead in the final 400m to give defending champions Wycombe Phoenix a 12-second victory.

It also gave her the fastest leg by a second from first leg leader Beth Hawlin from the runners-up team.

Southampton won the men’s race after Alex Teuten (11:26) took them into the lead on leg two though Guildford closed the gap with strong finishes from John Sanderson (11:26) and Andy Coley-Maud (11:25) to just 14 seconds.

Olympic steeplechaser Zak Seddon led the opening leg with an 11:26 clocking which was joint fastest until the final leg.

Former English National medallist Coley-Maud’s time only stood fastest for less than 40 seconds as next in was Jacob Cann who ran 11:11 in advancing Newham & Essex Beagles from sixth to third on that final leg.

Runners on stage one at the Southern Relays

While the senior race numbers were probably the best yet, a clash with the Kent League and Surrey Relays meant Kent and Surrey clubs were in short supply and that seemed to affect numbers in the younger age groups.

Windsor dominated the under-13s with their Jake Meyburgh, fresh from his sub-16min record parkrun the previous week, the fastest by a staggering 35 seconds on such a short leg with a 6:25 clocking while totally out on his own on leg three.

Windsor also won the under-20 women’s race though it was St Edmunds’ Molly Lewis who was easily quickest with 10:25.

Chelmsford denied Windsor a third win and an under-13 double by heading the girls race where Aldershot’s Maya Jobbins was fastest with 7:16.

Chiltern won the under-15 boys race with their English Schools’ 1500m champion Alden Collier the fastest with a 6:11 opening leg.

Aldershot won the girls race in that age group by 70 seconds though St Albans’ Phoebe Gill was quickest with a 6:46.

Crawley beat two Windsor teams into second and third in the under-17 women’s race but it was Shaftesbury’s Ruby Vinton (10:45) who was marginally fastest from Crawley’s Yasmin Kashdan (10:46) and Windsor’s Rachel Clutterbuck (10:47).

Ashford won the under-20 men’s race with their Louis Small being the fastest with a 9:07 clocking while Shaftesbury won the under-17 men’s race with their opening leg runner Henry Dover quickest with 9:12.

Lindsays Scottish Cross-Country Relays, Perth, October 23
Central were again very easy winners of the men’s event (they or Inverclyde have won every year since 2010) and their dominance was underlined by them finishing first and second team.

Double Olympic 5000m finalist Andy Butchart ran a solo 11:31 from the front but even quicker was fourth leg team-mate Jamie Crowe in 11:29 and even quicker was Christian Graham of Lasswade and Duncan Robinson of Giffnock North, with both timed at 11:27 for the course of around 4km.

Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds won women’s gold for the fifth year in a row with Megan Keith’s final leg 12:48 taking them into a clear win over Fife and Glasgow University.

Inverness Harriers took gold in the young females race from East Lothian while Giffnock North were clear winners of the young males race.

Edinburgh’s M40, Perth’s M50, Hunters Bog Trotters’ W40 and Giffnock North’s W50 teams won the masters events.

ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10km, October 24
Former British steeplechase champion and top triathlete Adam Bowden enjoyed an easy victory on his marathon debut. The 39-year-old led all the way to take the title on the fast, flat course in a course record 2:20:06.

Ollie Garrod (2:25:59) matched his Brighton Marathon second spot and Mark Worringham was third (2:33:37).

Rebecca Gallop also set a course record in the women’s marathon with a PB 2:44:07 as she stretched a one minute lead at halfway to seven at the finish over Melissah Gibson (2:51:23) and Jill Collett (2:53:39).

Paulos Surafel won the accompanying 10km in a course record 29:43 ahead of Cardiff AAC’s James Heneghan (29:54) and James Hunt (30:00). Close behind in sixth, Dewi Griffiths continued his return from injury with a 30:06 clocking.

Hannah Alderson won the women’s 10km in a course record and PB 34:22 – her first sub-35 clocking. Imogen Ward took second in 35:32, 39 seconds ahead of Donna Morris in third.

Hannah Alderson, Imogen Ward, Donna Morris in the Newport 10km

Altogether round 8000 runners registered for the marathon and 10km events.

British Grand Prix of Race Walking, Leeds, October 23
Finland’s Aleksi Ojala led home a small field in the men’s 35km walk in 2:37:57 while Bethan Davies won the women’s race in a British record and PB 3:00:24.

Tom Partingdon led in the 10km in 45:29 while Jasmine Nicholls (52:07) was first woman while Abby Hughes won the under-20 5km in 26:22.

Kate Veale won the women’s 20km in 1:41:48.

Stroud Half-Marathon, October 24
Lee Stopford won the men’s race in 71:51 and Sarah Hanley’s the women in 86:15.

Kent Cross-Country League, Tonbridge, October 24
The hosts Tonbridge again dominated the senior men’s race with Jamie Goodge (26:00) leading home clubmate and under-20 Matthew Taylor (26:19).

Holly Dixon of Cambridge Harriers repeated her victory from the previous week’s fixture with a time of 30:10 putting her well clear of clubmate Kate Curran’s 30:47.

Third was Rebecca Weston (31:40), who ran for Britain’s under-20 medal winning team in the 2013 World Cross Country Championships won by Faith Kipyegon from Agnes Tirop.

Venice Marathon, Italy, October 24
Ukrainian-born Italian Sofia Yaremchuk won the women’s race in 2:29:12 from Kenya’s Marion Kibor’s 2:31:17.

Kenya’s Anderson Seroi took the men’s race in 2:12:21.

Linz Marathon, Austria, October 24
Kenyan Brenda Kiprono headed the women’s race in a course record 2:30:27 while Ezekiel Koech took the men’s race in 2:09:43 ahead of Ethiopian Masresha Bisetegn’s 2:11:00.

Cross Internacional Zornoza (WACCT Gold) Amorebieta, Spain, October 24
Eritrea’s Awet Habte was first in the senior men’s 8.7km in 25:54 from home athlete Ouassim Oumaiz’s 26:07.

Burundi’s Francine Niyomukunzi defeated Eritrea’s Dolshi Tesfu in the senior women’s 6.7km by a single second in 22:39 to 22:40.

Grand Rapids 25km, USA, October 23
Makena Morley gained her first USATF title, leading home the 25km race in 1:23:17 ahead of Erika Kemp’s 1:24:00 and Molly Grabill 1:24:31.

Abbabiya Simbassa won the men’s race in 1:14:27 to edge Futsum Zienasellassie’s 1:14:27 and Sam Chelanga 1:14:28.

Swedish Cross-Country Championships, Hoganas, Sweden, October 23-24
Andreas Almgren (10:00) and Samrawti Mengesteab (11:45) won the 4km titles on Saturday while Mengesteab also won on Sunday taking the 10km in 33:50 while the men’s winner was Samuel Russom with 28:56.

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