Charlie Purdue, back flying in both training and racing, put in a strong tail-end run to lead a strong Mick Woods-guided quartet to a comfortable win for Aldershot, Farnham & District at the women’s ERRA Road Relays in Birmingham, covering her part in a fluent 13:48.

Emma Pallant put them in front through a solid second leg of 14:16 to open up a 29-second gap on the opposition and drafted-in U20 Emelia Gorecka held her ground well over a third section of 14:30, sustaining a 12-second cushion for the ‘Pocket Rocket’ going into the anchor.

The European U20 5000m silver medalist was pleased with her run as she kept the attacks of Hannah Walker (14:08) and European U20 5000m bronze medalist Annabel Gummow (14:15) at bay.

Surprisingly, the fastest time of the day didn’t belong to Purdue but a surging Gemma Steel in 13:45, taking Charnwood up two places for runner-ups, to follow up on a shocking convincing win over Jo Pavey in Sheffield last weekend. There should also be noted a strong lead-off by return U23 girl Jess Coulson in 13:51 for Stockport.

Fastest legs: 1.Gemma Steel 13:45, 2.Charlie Purdue (U23) 13:48,  3.Jess Coulson (U23) 13:51, 4.Hannah Walker (U23) 14:08, 5.Lauren Howarth (U23) 14:14

Teams: 1.AFD A 57:17, 2.Charnwood AC 58:20, 3.Bristol & West AC 58:50

Full Results

World Student champion Andy Vernon injected a solid 16:58 penultimate leg to place AFD well in control of the men’s contest and set up Ben Moreau to anchor the side to a double of titles by over half a minute. But the man that caught the eye was U23 steeplechaser James Wilkinson who stormed to a 16:38 finishing run for fourth-placed Leeds AC.

Fastest legs: 1.James Wilkinson (U23) 16:38, 2.Andy Vernon 16:58, 3.Zak Kihara 17:02, 4.Keith Gerrard 17:07, 5.Dewi Griffiths (U23) 17:07

Teams: 1.AFD A 1h44:51, 2.Birchfield 1h45:22, 3.NEB 1h45:30

Full Results

Meanwhile, Phil Wicks has gained the Olympic qualifying B standard in the marathon as he ran a decent debut of 2h15:37 to occupy 21st place in a very fast race in the streets of Amsterdam, overrun as it has become a familiar sight this season by Kenyans who filled all five top positions in sub 2h07 times at that!

The Belgrave runner was on A standard schedule for a considerable part of the race but missed his drinks up to the 24km, cramped up at the 32dn and inevitably tailed off in the late stages as a consequence.