PBs: 54 (31%)
Power of Ten results: Here
2021 ELTHAM GRAND PRIX REPORT
Ellie Baker and Tom Randolph have been crowned the winners of the inaugural Saucony British Milers Club Grand Prix Points Series.
GB international Baker went into the fifth and final Grand Prix at Eltham in pole position and she made sure of overall victory and the £1,000 top prize with an emphatic victory in the 800m in 2:01.66.
It was her third victory this summer in the Saucony Grand Prix series having also won at Watford over 800m and Loughborough in the 1500m. It was also her 11th sub 2mins 02secs time this summer.
It ensured Baker, who is coached by Jon Bigg, finished 14 points clear of Fife’s Jenny Selman, who was fourth in the 800m last night and 5000m winner Jennifer Nesbitt from Cardiff AC. They were jointly awarded second place overall in the series and both received £500.
Baker came into the meeting in terrific form having set a lifetime best of 4:06.54 when winning the 1500m at the BMC Gold Standard meeting at Watford three days earlier, a time good enough to lift her to seventh in the UK Rankings alongside her sixth over 800m.
“It has definitely been a very good week for me,” said Baker.
“The 1500m at Watford was kind of a surprise. I knew I was in good shape but 4:06 is quite fast though it was the perfect race with Adelle (Tracey) taking it out.
“I said to my coach afterwards never again as it hurts a lot more than the 800m. But the more events you have in your armour the better and it is something my coach and I will look at for next year when maybe I can have different events for the different championships.
“It is exciting times ahead as I go into the winter.”
Baker ran a clever tactical race and proved too strong for Ireland’s Katie Kirk, who was rewarded for her tenacity by clocking a PB of 2:02.10 in second to just edge out recently crowned European Under 23 champion Isabelle Boffey.
Indeed, less than a half a second overed Kirk from her compatriot Jenna Bromell in sixth in what proved to be one of the most competitive races of the evening.
“It is so unusual to get a field of British (and Irish) runners where the top nine all finishing inside 2:05 and that is great,” said Selman.
In the B and C races there were convincing wins for teenager Amarisa Sibley, who narrowly missed her PB and Alex Mundell, in a season’s best, respectively.
As with Baker in the men’s points race Randolph went into the meeting as overall leader and the Tamworth runner, who is based at St Mary’s University in West London, likewise he wrapped up the £1,000 bonus with a strong victory in the 800m.
The European Under 23 bronze medallist, who is coached by Craig Winrow, finished almost two seconds clear of Rocco Zaman-Browne with James McMurray third.
“I took it out at Loughborough from the bell while at Watford in the week I went out hard from the start and went through 600m in 77 seconds and died a bit towards the end,” said Randolph.
“But at Eltham I thought that people would sit on me and see what happens so that made the first lap comfortable as we went through in 55 seconds or so and then went just under 52 seconds for the second lap.
“I kept my rivals guessing and I enjoyed that!”
He also enjoyed the nice cheque from the BMC.
“I run because I enjoy it but to get the financial reward adda very nice bonus,” added Randolph.
“I don’t get any sponsorship and I haven’t won any prize money until this season but I have had a decent summer so hopefully someone will notice that and I might get something in the future.”
Randolph certainly had too much for Rocco Zaman-Browne, who finished almost two seconds adrift as he just edged out James McMurray with Tiarnan Crorken fourth.
Interestingly, despite this being the tail-end of the season there were personal bests for winners of the B, C, E and F races.
Blackheath & Bromley’s Samuel Reardon clocked 1:50.68 to shave 0.19secs off his PB to win the B race while in a cracking C race junior Mukhtar Musa clipped 0.7secs off his two-year-old best with 1:51.49 to edge out Thomas Niner by 0.02secs.
Rushcliffe junior Tate Emery Peters clipped 0.4secs off his PB to win the E race and Hallamshire’s Leo Cossham shaved 0.74secs off his best in the F event. Even the D race saw a season’s best of 1:52.67 by Basildon junior Oliver Lill.
In his first race since narrowly missing out on a place in the 800m final in Japan Birchfield Harriers’ international Elliot Giles won the 1500m impressively in 3:37.01 to land a £250 bonus.
British champion Giles oozed class as he surged clear of Kyle Langford, who never gave up the chase and was rewarded with a PB of 3:41.08 which was good enough to secure him second place in the points race ahead of Crorken and a £500 cheque.
“If I’m honest I was hoping to crack 3mins 35secs but I fell short and that was disappointing as I felt the conditions were perfect but I enjoyed it,” said Giles.
Admittedly that won’t make up for the disappointment of Tokyo though if he can maintain, or better, that form in the 800m at the Steve Prefontaine Classic, in Eugene, Oregon, (August 20-21st) before returning to Europe for the Diamond League meeting in Paris then it will make Giles feel a lot happier.
“I really enjoyed Tokyo but the target pre-season was to make the final and be in the swing for the medals but I fell short and no excuses,” added Giles.
“I expected to have to run low or mid 1:44s to make the final and I wasn’t afraid to take it on in the semis with the calibre of people around me. It was a calculated gamble to lead but I didn’t expect to have to run mid/low 1:44s in the heats to get through (1:44.49) the day before.
“But now we have a busy time coming up next year with World Indoors (Belgrade, March 2022), Word Championships (Oregon, July), Europeans (Munich, August) and the Commonwealth Games (Birmingham, July-August) so no excuses, we have to step up.
“If I don’t come away with a global medal next year it will be a failure.”
Giles’s aggressive running ensured PBs not just for Langford in his wake but also Thomas Keen (3:41.34), John Fitzsimons (3:41.66) and Jamie Webb (3:41.88) in third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Like the men’s 800m races Sam Stevens, Joseph Massingham, Rian McCawley and Rikki James ran lifetime bests when winning the B, C, D and E races respectively.
Georgie Hartigan claimed her first Grand Prix A race victory in the women’s 1500m in 4:11.65, the second fastest time of her career after her PB of 4:08.75 in the BMC Regional meeting at Wormwood Scrubs last month.
In the B race Issy Cotham and Pippa Roessler pushed each other to PBs for a one-two and Suzie Monk notched up a season’s best to win the C race.
Jenny Nesbitt’s record in the Saucony Grand Prix events this summer has been exemplary with victories over 5000m at Stretford (15:40.10), Loughborough (15:34.86) and now Eltham (15:39.56).
That record ensured she moved up the points race to share joint second with Selman, with both runners being handed a £500 bonus for their efforts.
Nesbitt finished over 10 seconds ahead of Abbie Donnelly with Annabel Simpson third.
“You can never be unhappy at winning a race and I appreciate that but my goal at the start of the season was to run the Wales qualifying standard (15mins 30secs) for the Commonwealth Games next year and I didn’t do that,” said Nesbitt.
“In every single race I have been within 10 seconds but never quite got there which has been a little frustrating.
“So, this winter I am going to do an indoor season rather than cross country to work on my speed at the shorter stuff and also learn how to race better.”
Nesbitt was certainly delighted with her award of £500 along with Selman.
“That is so generous!” said Nesbitt.
“I would really like to thank the BMC for what they are doing, It is a great help.”
The two men’s 5000m races both witnessed personal bests for the winners. Callum Elson of Roundhay Runners edged out Ireland’s Mitchell Byrne in a super tussle to win in 14:07.71 – a massive improvement on his 15:23.14 on his debut three years ago.
Earlier this season Aiden Lennon finished ninth in the D 5000m clocking 15:04.87 so to win the B race in 14:32.28 and carve eight seconds off his PB represents a terrific success for the Southampton runner.
Saucony British Milers Club Grand Prix Points Series – overall men: 1 Thomas Randolph (Tamworth/St Mary’s) 88 points (£1,000); 2 Kyle Langford (Shaftesbury Barnet) 85 (£500); 3; 3 Tiarnan Crorken (Preston) 75 (£200); 4 James Mcmurray (St Albans AC); 5 Rocco Zaman-Browne (U23 Sale Manchester H) 68; 6 Thomas Keen (U23 Cambridge & Coleridge) 64.
Women: 1 Ellie Baker (Shaftesbury Barnet) 94; 2= Jenny Selman (Fife) and Jennifer Nesbitt (Cardiff AC) 80 (£500 each); 4 Jenna Bromell (Ireland) 76; 5 Sabrina Sinha (U23 Cambridge H) 61.
|Mens 800m A|
|Mens 800m B|
|Mens 800m C|
|Mens 800m D|
|Mens 800m E|
|Mens 800m F|
|Womens 800m A|
|Womens 800m B|
|Womens 800m C|
|Mens 1500m A|
|Mens 1500m B|
|Mens 1500m C|
|Mens 1500m D|
|Mens 1500m E|
|Womens 1500m A|
|Womens 1500m B|
|Womens 1500m C|
|Mens 5000m A|
|Mens 5000m B|
|Womens 5000m A|