Perfect conditions and fantastic pacemaking resulted in a mass of personal best times at Watford.
In the Men's 800m A the standard of British running took a significant leap forward as the all domestic field ripped chunks from their personal best times. Great pacemaking from Ian Lowthian and Wesley Cheryuiyot took the field to 600m in 77 seconds (25 at 200m, 51 at 400m). Richard Hill then powered home, holding off Michael Rimmer and Sam Ellis, to win in 1:45.10. All of the 8 competitors ran inside 1:48. Hill's time puts him 11th all time in the UK and 5th in the World this year. The first three in this race now top the European rankings a feat not seen since the days of Coe and Ovett.
The Men’s B race then produced a further 5 sub 1:49 performances with Chris Reynolds winning in 1:47.57 from Neil Dougal in 1:47.83 after James Brewer had courageously kicked on from 400m.
The women’s race could have suffered from the absence of the leading five competitors in Gateshead, but again a whole string of personal bests came as Joanne Ross won in a PB 2:02.58, with Liz Braithwaite breaking through to 2:03.10, Rachael Ogden and Charlotte Best hitting PBs of 2:03.14 and 2:04.51 respectively, followed by Nisha Desai with a huge best of 2:04.78. Splits were 27 at 200m, 60 at the bell and 1:31 at 600m.
A marvellous run from Lizzy Hall in the 3000m steeplechase resulted in a new British Record of 9:48.51 taking six hundredths from the previous mark. Hattie Dean was second and behind her both Emily Pidgeon and Ruth Senior ran World Junior qualifying times.
The Women’s 1500m was a triumph for the Juniors with Abby Westley and Stephanie Twell recording 4:16.23 and 4:16.30 to run comfortably inside the World Junior qualifying standard. Splits were 2:17 at 800m and 3:25 at 1200m.
The Men's 1500m saw 4 men inside 3:40 and all with PBs with Colin McCourt winning in 3:38.51 from Tom Carter, Stephen Davies and Tom Van Rooy (Belgium). McCourt now tops the UK rankings. Splits were 56 at 400m, 1:57 at 800m and 2:56 at 1200m.
Adam Bowden won the Men’s 3000m steeplechase in a PB by 5 seconds of 8:31.84. He goes second in the UK this year.
The meeting hosted the AAA's Championship 10,000m races, which were won by Hayley Yelling in 32.38.24 and Vinny Mulvey (Ireland) in 28:58.29.
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