Women's Running Roundup (and a footnote about the point of this blog)

I'm a (marathon) running geek. I love listening to podcasts, watching races, reading coverage. Last Saturday I tuned into coverage of the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia and was pleased to see the women getting good  coverage as their race began ahead of the men.

valencia running


However, once the men set off in rather pedestrian manner (admittedly with a fearsome finish) and the 1st woman had come home (in world record time) there was very little mention of the rest of the ladies' performance and, more frustratingly, no mention of the finishing times/ placings of the female GB team until much later. Don't get me wrong, I don't think women's running is any more important and I know commentators have to focus on the big 'guys', but I want to hear about people I can relate to (ok at least a bit more!) and how else will they become household names without the coverage? Anyway, it got me thinking, and as a result I've decided that I want to take a more active interest in women's racing. Primarily the (semi) elite  field for half / full marathon distance but also at grass roots and amateur level over other distances. So I'm going to try and do a weekly post on here highlighting women's results and telling you the bits and pieces I've found interesting. It's more than likely it'll be a series of links to other people's coverage that you could find for yourself, but I'll try and pull it all together into one spot and comment on twitter too. Bear with me. I'm learning about it all as I go. (Alsoplease tell me if you know of any races you want highlighting or any ladies that you want noting, even if they are just your mates!)

So without further ado. Here's last weekend's headlines:

The IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia was won by Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta (Kebede) in a  women's only World Record breaking time of 1:06:11. The favourite, Joyciline Jepkosgei led at 5k but by 10k the winner was largely decided and second place was 1:06:54 in the end. 

Womens World Half Marathon Record

British team captain Charlotte Purdue (PB 1:10:29) finished in 21st place (1:11:21) which was an improvement of 12 places from the previous World Half Champs in Cardiff. 
The rest of the team were:
31st  Charlotte Arter     1:11:52
42rd Tracy Barlow     1:12:35 PB
48th Gemma Steel     1:13:39
53rd Faye Fullerton     1:13:56 PB

Tracy and fellow TVH Mo Aadan

Tracy and fellow TVH Mo Aadan

Tracy and Charlotte are both signed up for London Marathon next month, so will have been judging their performances with that in mind. Not sure if Gemma and Faye are doing the same or targeting other races, or if this was an A race.
It was pretty windy out there and even rained heavily at the end, though nothing compared to Cardiff the previous time. The support along the route looked rather patchy which was a shame, though sweetly the organisers tweeted me to confirm that it's normally better!

kebede world record valencia
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Also on the 24th were the SIAB Schools international XC ll and Home Countries International XC at at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham

SIAB Junior girls 4k (boys 4.5k) u15 (32 Runners):  1st Bea Wood (England)14:04 and 13 seconds clear of 2nd place. England won the team the team rankings

SIAB Inter girls 4.5k (boys 6k) u17 (31 runners): 1st Ella McNivern (England) 16:24 and9s clear of second place. England won the team rankings.

Home Countries International XC
Junior women 6k (men 8k) u20: 1st Julia Paternain 22:01, 10s clear. England won team rankings
Senior women 8k (men 10k): 1st Elle vernon 28:54, 45 seconds clear. England won team rankings

Full results http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/siab18.pdf
And http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/news/results-home-countries-international-cross-country-2018/
Athletics weekly report :

To look forward to...
31/3 - Two Oceans Marathon  (ultra - 56k) - IMAGINE PACING THAT!)
1/4  -  Dorset Ooser and Alexander the Great, Greece
4/4 - 15/4
8/4 - Paris Marathon
16/14 - Boston Marathon (cracking field, though lacking in any GB athletes - more about this soon)
22/4  - London Marathon (WR attempt  - more about this soon)

By the way: 

The aim of this blog, if you've ever wondered, is to be an un-fluffy voice of women's running. There's plenty of guys out there talking about the logistics and splits of their marathon training, but when I started this I found that there weren't many women out there doing the same. Most fitness / running blogs with a female voice were much more about starting to run,  the gear, self image, reviewing different types of cross training and races, etc. All of these are incredibly valuable, indeed, I've personally found them very useful. However, I wanted to hear from someone who owned up to being, well, a little more openly Type-A about their training . I wanted to know what sessions they were running and what paces they were hitting, especially when it came to Marathon training, and I wanted that person to have a  double X to their chromosomes and a full time job / full time family life . Since starting this blog, I have come across more and more ladies (especially in the ultra-running sphere) fitting the bill, but I still feel like this is in the minority. Perhaps it's because it doesn't make for an interesting blog. Fair enough! But that's what I'll be doing here...