Paris Marathon, 3 April
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) recorded a three-minute personal best to win the women’s elite wheelchair marathon. After two seventh place finishes at the Silverstone and Lisbon Half Marathon, the double European medallist will have high hopes for this summer with the Paralympic Games on the horizon.
Stanford Invitational, Palo Alto, California, USA,1-2 April
Scot Beth Potter (coach: Mick Woods) lowered her 10,000m personal best by just shy of half a minute to nail an Olympic qualifying time on the west coast of the USA. The 24 year old Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier finished fourth in 32:03.45, a significant improvement on the previous lifetime best of 32:33.36 that she clocked when placing fifth at the Commonwealth Games two years ago. In finishing one place ahead of Ireland’s former European Cross Country champion Fionnuala McCormack, Potter became the first UK athlete this year to achieve British Athletics’ Olympic qualifying standard of 32:15.00. The race was won in 31:51.94 by Laura Threat of the USA and there were two other British finishers: Katrina Wootton (Harvey Rose), who was 12th in 33:07.93, and Elle Vernon (Steve Vernon), who was 19th in 33:24.60.
There was a strong UK presence in the men’s 5000m, with two Brits in the first three. It took a 56.25 sec final lap by Kenya’s Paul Chelimo to deny Scot Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) victory. Chelimo crossed the line first in 13:36.63, with Butchart second in 13:37.95 and Stockport Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) third in 13:38.43. Alex George (Paul de Camps) was eighth in a new lifetime best of 13:49.46, Tom Lancashire (Steve Vernon) 14th in 13:57.90 and Sam Stabler (Darren Gauson) 18th in 14:30.91. Cardiff’s Michael Ward (Paul Darney) clocked a PB of 13:54.49 in seventh place in the 5000m B race.
Aldershot’s Oliver Aitchison won the men’s 1500m in 3:43.62 while Southampton’s Jennifer Buckingham (Trevor Painter) triumphed in the women’s 1500m B race in 4:18.32, a PB. In the women’s 5000m, Elinor Kirk (Steve Vernon) was tenth in 15:50.73 and Lennie Waite (Steve Sisson) 18th in 16:24.92. Bristol and West’s Bethan Knights (Shayla Houlihan) won the B race in 15:52.91, with Alice Wright (David Walker) sixth in 16:01.67. Zac Seddon finished runner-up in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in 8:33.09, while Molly Renfer (Joe Franklin) was second in the women’s chase in 10:11.33, a PB. Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Zivile Pukstiene) was third in the men’s long jump with a windy 7.43m (+2.2), while Matti Mortimore (Justin St Clair) was fourth in the men’s javelin with 71.80m.
Carlsbad 5000, California, USA, 3 April
Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan-Nuttall) continued her comeback with a sixth place finish in the women’s race in 15:59. In the men’s race Luke Caldwell (Nic Bideau) was eighth with a new PB of 14:06, while there was an encouraging performance from Charlie Hulson (Steve Vernon), who was a place further back in 14:08.
Florida Relays, Gainesville, USA, 31 March
Former World Youth 200m champion Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) stepped up in distance to good effect with a significant new 400m PB. The 20 year old finished runner up to American Ebony Eutsey’s winning 52.08 in 52.27 – just 0.07 outside the British Athletics Olympic Qualifying standard and a major improvement on her previous best at the distance, 53.13. Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) was runner-up in the men’s 400m in 46.38 while there were victories in the women’s 800m B races for Hannah Seagrave (Chris Layne) in 2:07.70 and in one of the men’s series of 110m hurdles races for Jahisha Thomas (John Vernon) in 13.67. Sarah Holt (John Pearson) finished fourth in the women’s hammer with a throw of 65.47.
Texas Relays, Austin, USA, 2 April
Commonwealth pole vault champion Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) matches his season’s best of 5.60 for sixth place in a competition won with a world outdoor lead 5.91m clearance by Canada’s world champion Shawn Barber.
Battle of the Blues, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 1-2 April
Cindy Ofili (James Henry) scored a hat-trick of victories, winning her speciality, the 100m hurdles, in 13.12 (-1.0), plus the 100m in 11.66 (+0.9) and the 200m in 23.46 (+0.1).
All Comers Meet, Kingston, Jamaica, 2 April
British 200m champion Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills) battled into a stiff headwind to win the 100m B race in 10.53 (-2.0).
Prague Half-Marathon, Czech Republic, 2 April
Susan Partridge (Steve Jones) clocked her fastest half marathon time for three years, finishing 12th in the super-fast women’s section in 71:54, the quickest by a Briton at the distance in 2016. Kenya’s Violah Jepchumba won in 65:51, the fourth fastest of all-time.
Reading Half-Marathon, 3 April
Worcester’s Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker) made a winning debut at the half marathon distance, clocking 72:54 to go second on the UK list for 2016 – behind Susan Partridge’s 71:54 in Prague the previous day. Kenya’s Lenah Jerotich was second woman home in 75:19, with Team Bath’s Rebecca Hilland (coach:unknown) third in 76:20. In the men’s race, Kenya’s Robert Mbithi won in 63:57, with Scott Overall (Alan Storey) second in 65:13, Chris Thompson (Mark Rowland) third in 65:14 and Paul Marteletti (Nick Anderson) fourth in 65:15.
Northern Counties Road Relays, Sunderland 2 April
Commonwealth and European 1500m medallist Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) clocked the fastest short leg time of the day, 11:07, to help Morpeth Harriers to third place in the women’s six stage event. Leeds City retained their title in 1:35.41, with Claire Duck (Mike Baxter) recording the fastest long leg, 22.01. Rotherham were second in 1:37.12 and Morpeth third in 1:37.47. In the men’s 12 stage race, Salford (2:46.39) won from Leeds City (2:47.36) and Morpeth (2:47.39). Gateshead’s Olympic 1500m runner Ross Murray (Craig Winrow) ran the second quickest short stage, 10:10 – behind Trafford’s James Bowness (William Parker), who clocked 10:09. Morpeth’s Peter Newton claimed the fastest long stage time, 18:57.