I’m still trying to come to terms with how much of a huge success the 2nd MK5000 PB Special was! I’ll talk a bit later about how the event went for me personally (I ran 15.24 for a 2019 best), but from an organisational point of view the event went as well as we could possibly have imagined. Year one in 2018 was brilliant, but this was a whole different level! Athletes travelled from all over the country (and abroad) and supporters packed into lane 4 enjoying refreshments from the trackside food and drinks festival.
The two main aims of the event are to provide the perfect platform for club runners to run quicker than they ever have before in their lives and to help boost the standard of British middle distance running. I’m delighted that both aims were met!
After over 6 months of preparation everything came together for an incredible event and one that the whole club is immensely proud of. 186 of the 280 finishers (66.4%) achieved personal bests, with 14 of our 20 MKAC runners (70%) running PBs. The NoblePro Elite races incorporated the England Athletics 5000m championships and they (available to watch back on Vinco here) will live long in the memory of everyone who was there.
In the NoblePro Elite Women’s race, Blackburn’s Jess Judd accelerated into the last km and flew away from the field convincingly winning in 15:37. Louise Small of Aldershot, Farnham & District was second in 15:48, with Nicole Taylor (Tonbridge) just behind in third as five women ducked under 16 minutes and with three of the top six finishers achieving personal bests. As they flew round I really did have to pinch myself to check it was real; an unbelievable line up had all come to MK!
Photos by Brian Graves: Jess Judd storms to the win (left) and the NoblePro Elite Women’s lead train (Nesbitt, Duck, Judd, MacLennan, Carruthers, Small, Chattenton).
In the NoblePro Elite Men’s race, Ben Bradley (AFD) had the race of his life pacing to perfection to win in 13.57. Jack Gray (Cambridge and Coleridge) went with the pacemaker (GB athlete James West) to establish a lead over the chasing pack, but was unable to maintain pace and was caught by the chasing group in the last km (eventually finishing 6th). The race was so exciting to watch with Bradley just outkicking Mohamed Mohamed (Hillingdon), and my new hero John Sanderson (Guildford & Godalming) threw himself at the line to grab third spot by 0.03 seconds over England Athletics 10 000m Champion, Adam Hickey (Southend). Five men ducked under 14 minutes, with four of the top six achieving personal bests.
Video by NoblePro: the incredible finish to the England Athletics 5000m Championships in the NoblePro Elite Men’s race!
More details/photos/results are on http://www.mkac.org.uk/mk5000/
There were so many brilliant performances and special people who helped make this event a success, but I just wanted to highlight a few of my favorites outside of the NoblePro Elite races.
- Claire Elms (17.42) of Dulwich broke her own GB women’s V55 5000m record; what an inspiration!
- Paul Mizon (14.47, part of the organising team) and James Tuttle (14.55) both ran brilliant PBs to get into the MKAC all time top 10 rankings. The club is on a real upward curve at the moment and these two guys are getting better and driving standards up. Hopefully next summer they are up there in the A race.
- The Blaber father and son Gary (16.29) and Alfie (18.56) ran huge PBs and reminded me exactly why I wanted to put on the event. The huge smiles on their faces afterwards were priceless and being able to share the moment with the rest of their family and club mates was exactly the reason why we wanted to put on the event in the first place.
- Stephen Ferroni (Brighton & Hove) emailed the day before the event to try and get into the NoblePro Elite Men’s race based on performances in training. It was just too late for me to make any changes and I think people should have to earn their right to the start lists (we used track/road/parkrun bests since Jan 2018). Stephen responded in the best way possible and in the B race and looked a real class act winning in 14.20. He will now qualify for the A race in pretty much any 5000m meeting in Britain next summer!
So how did my race go? I only decided to race a few hours before the event and knew I wouldn’t be in the best shape to run fast but couldn’t miss the opportunity to sample the atmosphere and race on my home track and race against some of my mates who had traveled from all over the country!
I went in the D race aiming to run as close to 15.00 as possible, but I just didn’t have the energy needed! I wasn’t far behind the pacemaker (good friend Ryan Burling) after 1km, but soon after realised this wasn’t going to be my day (far too early into a race to be struggling!). In the end I faded to 15.24; not what I wanted, but far from the worst result, in fact it’s the quickest 5k I’ve run in 2019 so far! I really appreciated the great support from the crowd, particularly my brother Owen (who ran 14.02 in the NoblePro Elite race) and Tom Comerford who got right up close on the top bend.
That’s certainly not it for my season!
I’m determined to get some PBs on the board starting with the mile at the end of August (4.34; tick!) and then 3000m at Watford first Wednesday in September followed by 5000m as part of the Kent AC club championships on 12 Sept!