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2020 Outdoors

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  • 2020 Outdoors

    Today the Stirling XC took place. It's no longer the Europe vs GBR vs USA match but is now a leg of the British Cross Challenge as well as being the Home Countries International (which used, I think, to be hosted by the Antrim XC International which also seems defunct!)

    Anyway, there was a shock defeat for Andy Butchart in the Men's 8km, not just by one man but by three - Kris Jones, Jamie Crowe and Adam Hickey.

    In the Women's 8km Kate Avery won by a few seconds from Abbie Donnelly with Bronwen Owen in 3rd. The depth of this field was somewhat affected by 3 of the usual suspects of the British Cross Challenge - Charlotte Arter, Jess Piasecki & Jenny Nesbitt - all being in Valencia to race the big 10km road race tomorrow morning. See the Live Streaming Links thread for info on where to watch that race.

  • #2
    Renovations at the Rome Olympic Stadium mean that Naples will host the Golden Gala Diamond League meeting this year. It will be in the same big stadium that hosted the Universiade athletics last year.


    • #3
      Something of a surprise winner at the WA XC Permit meeting in Elgoibar. Tadese Worku, the World U20 XC silver medalist, handily beat the likes of Aron Kifle, Richard Yator & Paul Chelimo. Milkesa Mengeshu who beat Worku in Aarhus was 5th.
      Fair play to Antonio Abadia, steeplechaser Fernando Carro & Abdessamad Oukhelfen - they've been running Spanish XC events (WA Permit or not) virtually every weekend this season and even fitted in the Madrid 10km on New Year's Eve.

      No such upset in the women's race. Hellen Obiri took off with 2km to go for a comfortable victory. Kate Holt was 6th a few seconds behind Irene Sanchez-Escribano with Lauren Hall (nee Howarth) 8th.

      At the Egmond Half Marathon in the Netherlands they have to run the first few kilometres on the beach so I'm sure the last thing they wanted to make it even harder was a howling headwind. Even though it was a loop course you could see them really battling the wind for much of the course. Bashir Abdi won the men's in 1:08:22 and 21yo Tsehay Gemechu (1:06:00 PB) beat Linet Masai in 1:20:17 (!). In both cases they were the slowest winning times since 1985 when the Africans hadn't yet discovered this race.

      I haven't seen the big 10km in Valencia yet - I'm watching the repeat of that tonight.


      • #4

        In the Valencia 10k Rhonex Kipruto took a sledgehammer to Joshua Cheptegei's recently set 26:38 WR. After passing through 5k in 13:18 (also a WR but not the fastest time ever) he stopped the clock at 26:24! Julien Wanders improved his European Record to 27:13.

        Super fast times in the women's race too with 3 women running three of the 4 fastest times ever, all sub-30.

        Callum Hawkins ran 28:02 and Ben Connor 28:10. No sign of Charlotte Arter or Jess Piasecki on the results though. I don't know what happened to them. Charlotte definitely started.

        So, I think I have to come out of denial about the Vaporfly Next% shoes or whatever they're called. They're definitely allowing the record books on the roads to be rewritten. It's not just at the very top level either. For example, there's a ton of women running 2:25 marathons who I thought of as 2:28 or 2:29 runners and, another example, a load of barely-known American men running 2:10/2:11 when for years the USA has struggled getting that 2nd tier of men under 2:12.

        The horse has definitely bolted out of the stable. I think it's already too late to ban these particular shoes but perhaps WA need to act quick to set some boundaries (e.g., heel height) for the future.

        Or, is it just a natural evolution of shoe technology? After all, the shoes of the 70s and 80s were superior to those of the 50s and 60s but no-one made a fuss then ...
        Last edited by LuckySpikes; 13-01-20, 10:15.


        • #5
          I think it’s just an evolution we have to live with. And hats off to the designers.

          A great illustration of why people put more more store in medals than records.


          • #6
            Hannah England has retired after a good career that included being the NCAA Champion both outdoors and indoors and winning silver at the World Championships in Daegu 2011. She was also 4th in the 1500 at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

            In fact, she's still the only winner (or even participant?) of the Women's NCAA 1500 final who has also medalled in a global championship.

            Of late she's been active in the European Athletics Athlete Commission so I wonder if she'll continue to be closely involved in athletics.
            Last edited by LuckySpikes; 15-01-20, 10:10.


            • #7
              A new Japanese NR for Hitomi Niiya, winning the women's Houston Half Marathon in 66:37, beating a really good field and smashing the 13yo 67:26 NR of Japanese running legend Kayoko Fukushi (who's still running 2:24 marathons at age 36 last year).

              Very well done to Steph Twell who ran around 68:51, beating the likes of Gelete Burka, Sarah Hall & Molly Huddle. That puts her #5 UK all-time on record-legal courses.

              Jemal Yimer won a close men's race in 59:23. I think 8 men went sub-60.

              Yesterday's night race in Jaén, Andalucia was definitely a good addition to the live streaming roster.

              It was a hilly course through the city lined by really good crowds, a lot of them holding flaming torches. Making her 10km debut, Gudaf Tsegay managed to edge out World Half Marathon champ Netsanet Gudeta at the end to win in 32:15. The men's race was loaded with top Spanish talent and, after Chiki Perez had led by about 8s at 7km, Fernando Carro won a good 3-way battle outsprinting Perez to win in 29:26.

              A bad day at the races for Hellen Obiri at the Cross de Italica on the outskirts of Sevilla. She seems to have a few of those. Just 4th, well behind Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo, Beatrice Chebet & Tsehay Gemechu (winner of last weekend's Egmond Half Marathon.) Kate Avery was 10th about 22s behind Irene Sanchez-Escribano with Dani Chattenton a further 10s or so behind Kate.
              Last edited by LuckySpikes; 19-01-20, 15:53.