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Well that was quite the weekend for speed, wasn’t it?
If you’re reading this you’re probably a little bit interested in women’s distance running and therefore you probably already know what Brigid Kosgei did. I’ll come to that, but do you know anything about Sheila Chepkirui and Dorcas Kimeli ?
BIRELL 10K, PRAGUE
Kosgei wasn’t the only speedy Kenyan hitting the roads this weekend. On Saturday Chepkirui and Kimeli became the second and third women to EVER run sub 30 minutes for a road 10k.
Watch this from 38 minutes in to see Sheila zig zagging across tram lines to try and shake Dorcas off. She goes on to grow a lead and is working all out, hands splayed, full on sprinting but Dorcas keeps hanging on end eventually comes along side her to run the same time (29:57 )but finish second. They get a bonus for sub 30 too. The world record stands at 29:43 and was set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017 at the same race.
I really wish I could find out more about the life and times of Sheila and Dorcas but alas the internet gives me very little. If we trust wikipedia there’s an interesting note about Sheila dropping out of athletics from 2008-2015 when she failed to see any improvement from her junior times. Apprently it was then that she joined the Kenya Defence Forces and began competing at their track competitions. I wonder how that break plays into the overall fatigue on her as athlete and the mental side of things. There have been a few articles recently about people who’ve either had a break or come to sport late and how the lack of built-up fatigue is a good thing. A break like that would gcut her lifetime mileage but still keep the experience of youth athletics etc. But that’s just a pondering on my part!
It looks like Dorcas is managed by UK athlete management comapny Run Fast who have links with Tom Payne, an ultra ruyner who I’ll mention a bit later http://run-fast-management.net/athletes/dorcas-kimeli/ ah the web of connections that is the running world.
Third place was taken by a steeple chase runner, Norah Jeruto and Kenya took the top 6 spots. 7th was Ukranian Darya MYKHAILOVA who ran a 1:14 half marathon earlier this year (as we reported). Clara Evans from Wales was 9th first GB female over the line in 33:50 which is a little way off her PB set earlier this year at the Vitality 10k in London.
GREAT NORTH RUN
Joyciline Jepkosgei’s records were in the sights of multiple runners this week. After the 10k in Prague getting close, Brisgid Kosgei took 23 seconds off her half marathon world record of of 1:04:51 (Valencia 2017). The reigning London marathon champion ran the fastest ever half-marathon by a woman to finish over three minutes ahead of any of her challengers.
Now, that’s not technically a World Record because of the elevation profile of the course and the fact that it’s point to point (a-la Boston marathon) but everyone knows that the Newcastle to South Shields course is not an easy half. I think we can say that’s one tasty Chicago Marathon build up happening right there. Brigid said “I was not expecting to run a record time. I just tried my best – that was all. Today was great preparation for Chicago.”
Magdalyne Masai came second in 67:36 (5s off her PB) with her sister Linet following in 67:44. I totally missed Magdalyne in the buildup. To me it doesn’t feel like Madalyne was bigged up much in the previews compared to her sister and yet she had a faster PB than Linet.
Last year’s winner and 5th placer at London, Mary Keitany finished 4th in 01:07:58 but if you watch the end of the race, Charlotte Purdue had her in her sights. Purdue was gaining on her near the end but didn’t have long enough to get there. That’s great news though to know that she can out-pace Keitany at the end of a half marathon (in a way). Now, Keitany is running New York later in the year so it may be that her she wasn’t going for it but still - GB’s top marathoner was running a faster pace than the women's-only world record holder. Even if that were not the case, I think that we could have confidence in the quality of Charlotte’s build up for the World Athletics Championships in Doha later this month given that she ran well over a minute’s PB of 68:10 for fifth place. That time means she’s not only GB’s third fastest marathoner of all time but also holds that honour for the half marathon too. Her training partner Sinead Diver had a good race, coming 6th.
Also training for Doha, Italy’s Sara Dossena came 9th, just 18s outside her PB.
Things are generally looking good for team GB in Doha as Steph Twell is also on the way there, though for the 10,000m, and ran a PB to finish in 70:52 and 10th place. Personal bests continued to fall further down the ranks with Hayley Carruthers continuing her rise in the elite field to run 71:05 (11th) and Notts AC’s Samantha Harrison should be mightily pleased with a stunning 12th place and more than three minute PB of 73:09.
ALY DIXON IS A HERO!
Normally on the elite start line, GB marathonerAly Dixon gave herself a very different experience of the race just a week after winning the world 50k champs in a record beating time. She ran as Wonder Woman to finish in 1:18:27, a time that not only obliterated the previous World Record for Half Marathon Dressed as a Superhero (1:24:16, also a wonderwoman) but was also incredible given the miles in her legs from the previous weekend.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tweet from legend and World Record holder for Marathon Dressed as a Superhero, Camille Herron
Elsewhere ther are half marathons in Stockholm and Budapest and a IAAF gold label marathon in China in the form of Taiyuan International Marathon. There’s also the Birell 10k in Prague which is known for swift times.
IN OTHER NEWS
AUSTRALIA SQUAD FOR DOHA
Australia have announced Rochelle Rodgers as their only marathon runner for the World Athletics Championships in Doha. Back in February of this year, Rochelle won the Shizuoka Marathon (Japan) in 2:34:45 and took nine minutes of her PB in the process. Doha won’t be an easy place to build on that with the heat, but it’ll be exciting to see how she gets on. Read more about her here
If you’re reading anywhere other than in the UK you probably won’t care about this, but let me assure you that for brits this is a.big.deal. Drum roll.
NEUTRAL ATHLETES APPROVED
Marathoner Sardana Trofimova of Russia has been approved as a neutral athlete for World Athletics Champs
MARATHON BARS ARE BACK! For a limited amount of time.
Marathon bars had their name changed to match the global nomenclature back in 1990 when they made the switch to Snickers. But we love a bit of nostalgia, so whilst they are busy making protein version of everything (seriously… don’t get me started), Mars have decided to give the Brits a chance to reminisce for 12 weeks starting from September 9, before the name switches back. Since we’re Brexit stockpiling medicine, fresh fruit, dairy etc etc (again, don’t get me started), I guess it can’t hurt to load up on the chocolate too.