This weekend’s (3 May) National 100K and National 50K 2014 ultra races produced some truly outstanding performances with podium winners in both events running PBs and a new all-time British record.
The Cyclopark venue in Gravesend hosted the races which incorporated the British Athletics 100k National Championships and the English Athletics National Ultra (50K) Championships. The Anglo Celtic Plate was also on offer to the winning male and female national teams of England, Scotland and Wales. The races were organised by the same tzruns team who are responsible for the popular annual Kent Roadrunner Marathon held at the same venue.
The outstanding performance of the day came from pre-race favourite Steve Way (ENG) - pictured in action - who led from the start and finished in a new British 100k (road) record. His time of 6:19:20 supersedes the previous British best time of 6:24:05 from 1999. Donald Ritchie holds the British Best (also a World Best) for 100k on a track - 6:10:20 run in London in 1978. Less than three weeks ago Steve finished third in the England Athletics Marathon Championship finishing in a Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 2:16:27.
Craig Holgate (ENG) finished in second place and Paul Giblin (SCO) third.
Magali Reymonenq (FRA) dominated the early stages of the women’s 100K race before being forced with withdraw at 54km. Helen Taranowski (ENG) picked up the lead, followed closely by Sarah Perkins (ENG) then the closely packed group of Philippa Taylor (ENG), Jen Salter (WAL) and Karen Rushton (ENG). Following a conservative start Salter picked her way through to lead the race from 69km. She would not relinquish the lead and took victory just 25seconds ahead of a fast finishing Perkins. Taylor pipped Rushton to the final podium step by just 24 seconds.
The Anglo Celtic Plate was won by England in both the Men and Ladies’ competition.
The 50K entry list contained some highly experienced ultra runners and a host of ultra debutees. Two first-timers lead from the gun – Phil Anthony (East Invicta) and Val Sesto (New Forest) - pictured post-race. Despite fears from some quarters that their pace was unsustainable, each dominated and won their races. Anthony possesses a marathon personal best of 2:16:40 and Sesto 2:50:50. Their victories secured them both the England Athletics National Ultra Championship gold.
Full results available soon at the event website.
Images courtesy Julian Porter Photography