Tag Archive: Justina Heslop

As widely expected, the weekend was short on action due to the New Year on Sunday saving a few races on the road or the country.

Justina Heslop was involved in the most notable fixture as she placed a solid seventh in 16:35.1 in the BO Classic 5km in Bolzano (Italy), also known for a quality multi-event held during the summer, despite an uneven performance that saw her slip well behind into 10th at the end of the second lap but recover considerably to draw in three spots in the late phases.

The race was won by the hottest name in women’s distances nowadays in double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) who had nevertheless to dig deep to hold off a very strong Afera Godfay (ETH) by a mere 0.4 secs, clocking 16:03.0 and 16:03.4 respectively.

The men’s version turned into a close two-horse Kenyan contest where Edwin Soi edged out Wilson Kiprop by half a second to victory in the end in 28:16.6 to 28:17.1 whereas world cross-country champion Image Merga (ETH) was surprisingly blown away into a distant third in 28:57.9.

Multi European champion on the country Sergiy Lebid trailed home even further behind in seventh in 29:20.2.

Over in Madrid, Spain, marathon Olympic hopeful Susan Partridge obtained a sound confidence boost as she came an excellent third at the San Silvestre Vallecana 10km in what would have been a big personal best of 32:44 but for the over the allowable average downhill slope course, gaining the scalp of returning to action global ‘chase champion Marta Dominguez (ESP, 32:49) in the progress.

The Brit felt inspired to even dare track, at a discreet distance, the fearsome duo of double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and top miler Gelete Burka up to the middle stages before the Ethiopian girls took off into the second half to vanish into the distance.

Burka showed as though she was heading for a sensational victory as she ground out a seemingly crucial edge coming into the home straight but Dibaba mustered a last reserve of strength and response to come back and snatch it at the death, both sharing the same time of 31:30 at the end.

The men’s race turned as much of a thriller as last-minute entry Hagos  Gebrehiwot (ETH), just 17, pipped favourite Teklemariam Medhin (ERI) right on the line in an identical time of 27:57 having matched each other stride by stride in the dying stages, over a poorly-designed last lap round a footbal pitch nevertheless.

European cross-country silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem (ESP) came a convincing third some way back in 28:10 followed by veteran marathoner Chema Martinez in 28:34 and former European 5000m champion Jesus Espana in 28:41 in a Spanish array.

Former Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Rui Silva (POR) was seventh well behind in 29:12 as he is still struggling to come to terms with longer distances.

Back in Britain, Andy Baddeley opened the new year in a winning tone as he ran a decent solo 14:26 way out in front at the Bushy Park 5km parkrun while Scot Freya Murray, a recent team European cross-country medallist, came top female and second overall in 16:32 at the Glasgow Pollok Park equivalent.

It is going to be intriguing to see whether ‘Badders’ will stick to the 1500m or has made up his mind on a move up to the 5000m and it won’t be long before the answer arrives.

In the most competitive domestic event at the Nos Galan 5km, Boston-based miler Rich Peters, who left a lot of promise with a 3:58.26 mile indoors last term, saw off Welshman Stephen Davies, a 3:38 performer over 1500m in 2007, by a couple of seconds in a PB of 14:40 to the latter’s 14:42, with also US-based Chris Gowell a close third in 14:44 just ahead of Adam Bitchell (14:45).

James Thie, 5th over 1500m at the World Indoors in 2004, was back in eighth position in 14:56 but somewhere between his racing and coaching duties these days.

Further, ‘Lobo’ Susan Waldron was top woman and fifth overall in 35:09 over 10km at the Hereford New Year event but a most extraordinary turn-up a week ago yesterday was Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu‘s venture over what should have been a first ever 5km outing in 20:43 at the Enfield & Haringey Boxing Day event at the Lee Valley, a rough average of 4:08 per km – not bad for her!

Indoors, the most notable showing was that of Ron Roddan-coached Nigel Thomas who started off his season to a brace of PBs of 6.82 and 6.81 secs over 60m at the New Year Spints meet at the Lee Valley, improving from 6.85 secs posted at the BUCS Championships last February. That augurs very well for a time inside 6.7 secs as the season progresses.

Outdoors, yes, in the hammer ring, U20 Callum Brown flung the 6kg junior implement to a second best ever 66.39m at the Winter Wonderwhirl in Ipswich, ten days after setting a massive PB of 68.05m in Norwich. The 17-year-old thrower of City of Norwich looks bound to reach well over 70m in summer and a new name to look out for.

Amir Williamson was top senior at 61.14m at the same meet.


After a long summer of relentless pulsating action of athletics, we’re going to need to get used to some more ‘spare’ menus over the following few months as far as the new indoor season gets underway in January. Not that this is necessarily bad as everyone around could use a little break, turn our attention on other things and come back with a sharpened up appetite for more after New Year. As of this weekend, it is going to be mainly road, and later cross-country, events that are going to entertain us in the meantime and there are a few big affairs lined up over the next couple of days like the 5th Avenue Mile in New York and the Berlin Marathon, featuring Paula Radcliffe on her return to top notch racing as she attemps to revive her Olympic dream, tomorrow. So let’s catch up with the action as it shapes up around:

5th Avenue Mile, New York, USA, September 24

Great Bernard Lagat (USA) wrapped up a fabulous season of the highest quality in style as he convincingly knocked last year’s winner Amine Laalou (MAR) off  his  prestigious seat by well over a second in a time of 3:50.5 to 3:51.7, the fastest winning time on the course since Aussie Craig Mottram‘s 3:49.9 in 2005. For that matter, Kiwi Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis also set 3:50.5 winning the 2008 edition of the race.

Third was a surprisingly strong David Torrence (USA) in a fast 3:52.4 to hold off astounding compatriot Jeff See who ended up just outside the top three in an excellent 3:52.9. By contrast, noted Kenyan Boaz Lalang sank way down the field in 14th place slightly inside 4 mins (3:59.1).


1.Bernard Lagat (USA) 3:50.5, 2.Amin Laalou (MAR) 3:51.7, 3.David Torrence (USA) 3:52.4, 4.Jeff See (USA) 3:52.9, 5.Craig Miller (USA) 3:54.4, 6.Jon Rankin (USA) 3:54.7, 7.Gareth Heath (USA) 3:55.3, 8.Jeff Riseley (AUS) 3:56.6, 9.Haron Lagat (KEN) 3:57.0, 10.Anthony Famiglietti (USA) 3:57.1, …, 14.Boaz Lalang (KEN) 3:59.1, 17.Nick Symmonds (USA) 4:04.9

Bernard Lagat lays down his law in the men’s mile

World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson, a former steeplechaser, topped off a nearly surreal campaign to winning ways in the women’s version in 4:22.3 as she edged out Sally Kipyego (KEN) and Hannah England, who finished tied for second and third in 4:22.6, although the anticipated challenge of Diamond League winner Morgan Uceny surprisingly never really took shape, coming a distant sixth in 4:26.2 . The winner’s time was the fastest since Lisa Dobriskey‘s 4:18.6 shortly after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 come to that.

England, for her part, must be feeling pleased to wrap up a wonder season on a high with yet another high-profile top three placing to bolster up her foothold in the top tier of the middle distances on the global stage. As a matter of fact, what a trio of milers could Britain field in London if England, Dobriskey, Steph Twell, who made a low-key return to racing this weekend, and Charlene Thomas are all healthy and on top of their game!

Shannon Rowbury, the winner of the previous two occasions, endured a modest display to trail home seventh in 4:27.0 where Daegu ‘chase finalist Barbara Parker enjoyed an encouraging run in 4:31.7 to round out the top ten.


1.Jenny Simpson (USA) 4:22.3, 2.Sally Kipyego (KEN) 4:22.6, 3.Hannah England (GBR) 4:22.6, 4.Ingvill Makestad Bovim (NOR) 4:24.6, 5.Susan Kuijken (HOL) 4:25.5, 6.Morgan Uceny (USA) 4:26.2, 7.Shannon Rowbury (USA) 4:27.0, 8.Sarah Hall (USA) 4:29.1, 9.Brenda Martinez (USA) 4:29.6, 10.Barbara Parker (GBR) 4:31.7, …, 14.Alysia Montano (USA) 4:34.0, 20.Maggie Vessey (USA) 4:44.5

Jenny Simpson tops off a fairytale season winning the women’s mile with Hannah England just pipped on the line for a still excellent third

Course map


IAAF Report



Luckwell hits Olympic A qualifier in the javelin

Merwyn Luckwell, the former rugby player that has turned a javelin thrower, picked up where he left off last weekend to launch his spear to a stunning PB of 83.52m and gain a sound foothold well inside the Olympic A qualifying territory, backed up with his second furthest throw ever of 82.92m in the process. That took place at a low-profile meet in Wales as the 26-year-old smashed his previous best of 81.05m dating back to early 2009 at the European Winter Long Throws Champs at Compiegne (France) and added almost three metres to his SB of 80.60m.

On top of that, Luckwell moves up two places into sixth in the British all-time lists with the new specification while his new lifetime mark is the best landed by a Briton since Nick Nieland, who has made a coy return to action himself this season, set 84.70m in Riga (Letonia) in 2006. Needless to say, he has as good as put one foot in the Olympic team as only James Campbell and maybe Lee Doran look capable of reaching the A standard next summer of the other javelin throwers around the country. Though that could well be subject to change.

Also noteworthy was Richard Shuttleworth‘s substantial PB of 72.52, improving from 71.61m last  weekend, to narrowly miss out on the domestic U20 rankings top held by Joe Dunderdale a mere 3cm higher. Both today performers train under Esa Utriainen.


International Race Walking Naumburg, Naumburg, Germany, September 24

Alex Wright, still 20, walked to a big SB and UK-leading mark of 1h26:42 over 20km to overtake groupmate Tom Bosworth, a SB of 1h27:18m, to the top of the domestic rankings this season, improving from 1h28:07 in Lugano (Switzerland) last March. Both athletes train under Andy Drake by the way.

Irishman Brendan Boyce secured the Olympic A qualifying standard as he clocked a solid 3h57:58 over the far longer tough 50km distance.

Start-lists & Results



Thompson back in good shape in the streets of London

Chris Thompson, the European 10000m silver medalist, showed that he is well back on track as he set a massive PB of 62:11 for third over the Run To The Beat half marathon held mainly round the streets of Lambeth and Greenwich in South London yesterday. According to a tweet by Jemma Simpson it was done in a so-called ‘tempo run’ which makes the display even more impressive, a nice confidence boost after missing Daegu despite a superb start to the season.

Two Kenyans, not anything unusual, finished ahead of him in Milton Kiplagat Rotich (61:19) and Edwin Kipyego (61:57) while their compatriot Alice Mogire impressed with a 69:51 clocking as first woman home.




SEAA Road Relays, Aldershot, 24-25 September

The event marked the low-key return of Steph Twell to action for the first time since suffering that freak injury over cross-country in Belgium last winter and the apparent good news is that she has come off in one piece and unscathed, which may have been presumably her main goal testing her leg over its response in racing conditions.

For that matter, Charlie Purdue showed a sharp return to form as she clocked easily the fastest leg of the day in 12:15, a three seconds faster than last year when she was flying on every surface at this stage.

Both athletes are coached by Mick Woods for good measure.

Fastest legs

1.Charlotte Purdue (U23) 12:15, 2.Emelia Gorecka 12:48, 3.Jess Peterson 12:48,…, 7.Emma Pallant (U23) 13:01, 8.Steph Twell (U23) 13:03


Heslop draws the eye in Swansea

Justina Heslop has remained firm on a trail into new territories as she edged the Swansea Bay 10km in a lifetime best of 32:40 ahead of Kenyan Edith Chelimo (32:48), an 71:21 half-marathon performer this term, to slash 31 secs off her previous marker. Incidentally, she recently set also a best of 73:12 over the half-marathon in the Czech Republic.

Gemma Steel was third in 33:47 and veteran now triathlete Andrea Whitcombe, who was fourth at the 1990 World U20 Championships over 3000m, fourth in 33:53.

On the men’s side, Phil Wicks was second in 29:43 to Kenyan Edwin Kipkorir, who clocked 29:29 some way ahead, with Ben Tickner third in 30:14 and U23 Welshman Dewi Griffiths fourth in 30:22.