Paula Radcliffe has struck the right note to her early call-up to the British Olympic team for London as she romped to a walkover of a 10km in the Cursa de Natale round the streets of Monaco in a huge SB of 32:06.
The outing was actually a very late call on her return from a lengthy altitude training spell at Iten in Kenya along with the likes of Helen Clitheroe and the marathon world record holder was eager to gauge the benefits of her stint with immediate effect on the hilly course, which lends even more credit to her time.
After the race, she sounded quite pleased with her run, saying “The weather there (Kenya) has been unseasonably wet which turned most of roads and trails into mud but training has gone really well. Although I wasn’t feeling very sharp the three climbs on the Monaco course felt really easy because of Kenya.”
By the way, only Iten-roumate and friend Clitheroe has run faster among Britons over the distance on the road this year when she set 31:45 in winning the Great BUPA Manchester Run in mid May.
Elsewhere around Britain…
European silver medallist Mike Rimmer made his second low-key appearance over any distance or surface since early eliminated in the heats of the 800m in Daegu, which summed up a very frustrating track season, to tackle a well-beyond-his-range 10-miler in Stockport, coming home seventh in a debut 55:47.
The 25-year-old said last month that he might require surgery to sort out a mysterious injury that ruined his summer campaign but the very welcome sight of him racing againg could make for an encouraging sign that he is drawing back on track.
Forme miler Matt Barnes was first across the line in also a debut time of 50:55 while Anthony Ford was third in 51:47.
At the Loughborough Students AC Open, U23 decathlete David Guest initiated his indoor competitive trail by way of a three-discipline workout of promising early marks. He completed a brace of 60m hurdles in 8.38 and 8.32 secs, just four hundredths off his best ever, long jumped to 7.18m – his longest in any environment this year – and put the shot at 11.56m.
The Welshman, coached by his father Mike, totalled a classy 7727pts as an U20 with the senior implements last year, top marker in the world, but he was seriously hampered by injuries last summer to miss both the European U23 Championships and, potentially, even the World Championships in Daegu.
Over at the SEAA Inter-Counties on the country at Croydon, teenage sensation Jessica Judd won comfortably from Grace Baker in the U17 women’s race by a sound 27 secs in 18:20 to 18:47 respectively.
Mick Woods’s new charge Jess Coulson, who set a UK U23 best over 10 miles in early autumn, rebounded well from a lacklustre showing at the European XC Trials in Liverpool to get third in 16:06 over 5km in Sion, Switzerland, on Saturday.
The duo of Caroline Chepkwony and Jane Muia made a Kenyan one-two at the top of the race in 15:51 and 15:57 respectively.