On a weekend that saw World Cross action in China, athletes were also contesting the area road relays, while Adam Hague was again in record-breaking form in Texas and Andy Vernon made his comeback in Carlsbad
Away from the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, we take a look at some of the other top athletics performances from around the world during the past week.
North of England Road Relays, Sefton Park, Liverpool, March 28
Liverpool Harriers looked set for men’s 12-stage victory but went off course on the final leg allowing Leeds City to gain victory by a minute from Morpeth.
Liverpool had the two fastest long legs through Dan Cliffe (22:34) and Jonny Mellor (22:36). Olympic 1500m runner Tom Lancashire was third fastest for Bolton with 22:52.
Altrincham’s Mohamed Abu Rezeq ran the fastest short leg with 11:16.
Leeds won the women’s race with less controversy, taking the title by four minutes with Stockport and Rotherham taking the other medals.
Elle Vernon (25:43) ran the fastest long leg from Leeds’ Emma Clayton (25:51) while European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman was easily the fastest short leg with 12:19, a time that was quicker than some of the winning Leeds men’s team.
» Steve Green’s report and David Hewitson photographs will appear in this week’s AW magazine
Midland Road Relays, Sutton Coldfield, March 28
Notts AC ran away with the men’s 12-stage relay over a revised course with Bristol and West AC second and Wolverhampton and Bilston third.
Notts’ Sam Mitchell ran the fastest short leg with 15:13 and their Alastair Watson the fastest long leg of 27:34.
Charnwood regained the women’s 6-stage title from the runners up Bristol and West. The local club Royal Sutton Coldfield snatched the bronze medals on the last leg from the defending champions and neighbours Birchfield Harriers.
Jane Potter’s time of 17:10 on the first leg proved to be the fastest by a margin of three seconds from RSC’s Laura Whittle on the anchor leg.
» Tom McCook’s report and David Griffiths photographs will appear in this week’s issue
South of England Road Relays, Milton Keynes, March 29
Shaftesbury Barnet won the men’s race by two minutes from Kent AC.
Lutons’s John McDonnell ran the fastest long leg with 23:18, a second faster than Richard Goodman of Shaftesbury.
Newham’s John Beattie ran the quickest short leg with 14:57.
Aldershot won the women’s race by four minutes from Belgrave Harriers. Emelia Gorecka ran the fastest leg with 16:32.
» See this week’s magazine for Martin Duff’s report and Mark Shearman’s photographs
Track and field
Texas Relays, Austin, March 28
Adam Hague again smashed the British junior pole vault record and went eighth all-time in the UK men’s lists as he also equalled the world age-17 best with a 5.60m vault for sixth place.
Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu ran a wind-assisted (3.3m/s) 9.87 for 100m.
In the women’s event Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye ran 10.87 (3.3m/s).
Lorraine Ugen won the long jump with a wind-assisted 6.96m (5.8m/s). The British record is Shara Proctor’s 6.95m and only Sue Hearnshaw (7.00m) and Fiona May (6.98m) have ever jumped further amongst British athletes.
ISSA Champs, Kingston, Jamaica, March 24-28
Michael O’Hara won four events – the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and 4x100m.
Jaheel Hyde was second to O’Hara in the sprint hurdles but broke his own Jamaican junior record when winning the 400m hurdles in 49.01.
Akeem Bloomfield ran a Jamaican junior 400m record of 44.93.
Carlsbad 5km, USA, March 29
Andy Vernon was tenth in 14:13 and Charlotte Purdue 15th in 16:30 in races won by Lali Lawang in 13:32 and Genzebe Dibaba in 14:48. The Ethiopian’s time put her second all-time to Meseret Defar’s best on record of 14:46.
For Vernon it was his first race since last October through injury.
“I was surprised by how slow I ran, but felt good and have come out of it with my hamstring still intact so that is the main thing,” he said.
Bernard Lagat ran 13:41, the 40-year-old breaking the masters world record by 14 seconds.
Berlin Half Marathon, March 29
Four men broke the hour headed by Ethiopia’s debutante Birhanu Legese in 59:45.
Brooks Paddock Wood Half Marathon, Kent, March 29
In very windy conditions, Toby Lambert won the men’s race by four minutes in 67:19. W50 Clare Elms won the women’s race in 82:30.
European Masters Indoor Championships, Torun, Poland, March 23-28
Great Britain won 59 golds and a total of 155 medals to finish second in the overall medal table to usual masters powerhouses Germany.
Read more in an online report here, while much more in-depth coverage will be included in this week’s AW.