On a blustery evening at Manchester Sports City nearly a quarter of the competitors still managed to run personal bests despite the difficult conditions.
In the A races, where the BMC had laid on quality pacemakers, many of the athletes though showed a reluctance to follow the pace.
A notable exception was the Womens 800m A race where Charlene Snelgrove (Picture) closely followed the pacemaking of the 1:58 runner Diane Cummins to 600m in just over 90 seconds, but could not quite sustain that speed as she finished in 2:04.64 from a fast closing Katrina Wootton. In 5th place U17 Alison Leonard continued her fine form to set a PB of 2:06.74.
Womens 800m A race - Finish
Womens 800m B race - Finish
Womens 800m C race - Finish
The Mens 800m saw the pacemaker take an early lead as the pack watched him disappear up the track. Despite slowing to pick the pack back up, they were not interested. They paced through 400m in 53 and didn't start racing until the final 250m when Chris Gowell charged away. He still held a 4m advantage until the final strides when he was caught on the line by Jason Stewart (New Zealand) by 1/100th of a second. a fast finishing Jimmy Watkins ran out of track to finish 6/100ths behind Gowell in third.
Mens 800m A race - Finish
Mens 800m D race - Finish1 and Finish2
In the men’s mile the £1000 prize for the first Britain under 4 minutes was apparently not enough encouragement for the domestic runners as they dawdled through 800m in 2:04. The pack was well behind New Zealander Paul Hamblyn and Gary Murray of Ireland, the only two to follow the pacemaker. Hamblyn saw his 20m meter advantage severely reduced over the last 300m, but he bravely hung on for victory in 4:04.6.
Nike Mile - Start and Finish
In the Peter Coe age group mile (Picture) Tom Marley was first U20 with Stephen Broadhurst and Oliver Aitchison being the first U17 and U15 finishers respectively. The girls Frank Horwill mile was won by Emma Pallant (U20) with Blue Haywood (U17) and Sarah Baker (U15) being the first finishers in their age groups.
In the 1500m Mens and Womens races it was a case of the lower order races showing up their A race counterparts as the first 3 in both the men’s and the women’s B races set PB's as did the first two in the men’s C race. In neither A race however were the competitors prepared to follow the pace.
Mens 1500m A race - Carter tracked by Massingham and Finish
Womens 1500m A race - Finish
Mens 1500m B race - Finish - Mellor from Bridger
By late evening the wind had calmed somewhat, and the endurance athletes took advantage with 7 personal bests in the women’s 5000m and 8 in the men’s 10000m. The 5k was won by Jenny Blizzard in 16:09.61 from Laura Kenney, whilst in 6th place U17 Charlotte Purdue recorded 16.46.03. In the 10000m pace man Simon Arusei (Kenya) led from start to finish taking 4 Brits under 30 minutes
Womens 5000m A race - Jenny Blizzard
Thanks to Job King for the Manchester Photos
The results for the final Grand Prix of the season are available here