BMC/Glasgow AA Metric Miler Meeting (inc. Scottish 3000m Championships), Glasgow, 4 January
In what has now become something of the norm, Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young; club: Dundee Hawkhill) kick-started her indoor season shortly after the turn of the year with an impressive display on the boards inside the Emirates Arena, in her home town of Glasgow. Beth Potter (Andrew Henderson; Shaftesbury Barnet) was on pacing duties for Muir’s 5000m race, taking her compatriot to 3000m in 9:02, with the double European champion left to do the rest.
As she did over this distance two year ago, Muir pressed on, eventually stopping the clocking in 14:52.02, just three seconds shy of what she ran last time she raced the distance indoors. Also incorporated into the race was the Scottish 3,000m Championships, won by her training partner Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) who just keeps on getting better and better. She crossed the line in 9.16.48, an indoor personal best, to take the title.
There was yet more success for the Andy Young coached training group as Sol Sweeney (Perth Strathtay) took the men’s 3,000m title in a new personal best of 7:56.78, dragging Adam Craig (Bruce Scott; Edinburgh AC), Phil Sesemann (Andrew Henderson; Leeds City) and Andrew Heyes (Steve Vernon; Hallamshire) inside 8 minutes.
Team Scotland flag-bearer Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle; Pitreavie) got proceedings underway on the night as she opened up her 2019 campaign with a good run in a 200m guest race, crossing the line in 24.29. That was just quicker than the 24.35 she ran at exactly the same stage 12 months ago, which set her up nicely to win medals at the World Indoors and the Commonwealth Games.
England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Indoor Combined Events Championships, Sheffield, 5-6 January
It was a first national title for John Lane (Toni Minichiello; Sheffield & Dearne), something that has been a long time coming, as he produced two consistent days to win the senior men’s heptathlon. Lane led after the second event on day one, having run a 7.02 60m and leapt to 7.33m in the long jump. Keeping that lead overnight, the Team England Commonwealth Games athlete imposed himself on proceedings from the first event of day two, closing out the title with a 2:54.07 1000m giving him a 5758 point total.
The women’s event saw a very different story unfold, the lead constantly changing hands, but in the end Ireland’s Kate O’Connor prevailed. Loughborough University student Ellen Barber (David Feeney; Yeovil) took silver thanks to a personal best points tally of 4020 points, with Lucy Turner (Sam Stanislaus; Gateshead) securing bronze thanks to a great 800m, the fifth and final event of the pentathlon.
City of Manchester Open Meeting, Manchester, 6 January
60m specialist Andy Robertson (Sale Harriers Manchester) wasted no time in going top of the 2019 Power of 10 rankings for his favoured distance as he raced to a 6.75 clocking at his club’s open meeting on Sunday. Running in a mixed race there was also a quick 7.46 time for U20 Amy Hunt (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood), who returned to the track later in the day to go even quicker, a 7.44 time just 0.01 outside her personal best and putting her top of the senior national rankings. In the field events another U20 was in good form, Hannah Moat (David Walker) of Scunthorpe clearing 1.75m to go second on the national rankings.
BMC Grand Prix, Sheffield, 6 January
Joseph Reid (Cardiff; Matt Elias) prevailed in a high quality 800m showdown at the opening BMC meeting of the year, winning by almost a full second in 1.50.29, the fastest he’s ever run indoors. Chasing him home were the likes of Alex Botterill (Andrew Henderson; City of York), George Mills (Jon Bigg; Brighton Phoenix), Sean Molloy (Tonbridge) and Finley Bigg (Jon Bigg; Brighton Phoenix) who all ran 1.51. 800m specialist Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb; Liverpool) stepped up to 1500m to set a personal best of 3.43.59 in winning by a full two seconds, whilst there was a mightily impressive 3.48.83 effort for u20 athlete Thomas Keen (Mark Vile; Cambridge & Coleridge), just a fraction of a second outside his lifetime best.
Campaccio Cross Country, San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy, 6 January
On an unseasonably warm and sunny January day in Italy, Ross Millington (Steve Vernon; Stockport) more than held his own in this IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting, eventually finishing 7th against world class opposition, just 20 seconds back on the leading European.
Essex Cross Country Championships, Chelmsford, 5 January
Jess Judd (Mick Judd; Blackburn) made light work of the 10km distance that the senior women race over at the Essex Cross Country Championships, as she stamped her authority on the race to win by over a minute. Undoubtedly the class act of the field she was away and gone from the gun, with Lauren Steadman (Bill Foster), herself a GB internationalist, forced to run for silver. In the men’s race Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin; Southend) defended his title, although the winning margin was much narrower than in the women’s race.
Kent Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch, 5 January
In a hotly contested senior men’s race Ben Cole led a Tonbridge clean sweep of the top four places as he bagged the biggest win of his career to date. He was chased home by GB mountain running international Max Nicholls (Peter Brenchley), whilst remarkably Tonbridge won seven of the ten team titles on offer over the course of the day.
Cardiff parkrun, Cardiff, 5 January
2019 has started pretty well for Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff) as she broke the parkrun female record on home turf in Cardiff. Crossing the line in 15.50, just one second behind the male winner, Arter took five seconds off the previous best parkrun time by a female, which sets her up well for the Great Stirling Cross Country next weekend.