Georgie makes more waves with a 5km PB in Leicester

Georgie Grgec produced another top level run this weekend eight days after finishing a good second in the Comeback 5000 elite track race in Battersea Park. On Saturday in Leicester Grgec again placed second in probably a stronger overall lineup at the Podium 5k ASICS road race.

The race winner was the favourite on paper as Great Britain World Cross Country Championship team member Abbie Donnelly ran away in 15:25 to go eighth on the UK all time women’s 5km road list. Grgec was 20 seconds behind in 15:45, finishing ahead of 3rd place by an emphatic margin. 

Grgec’s time is a PB and is the fastest road 5km clocked by a Harriers female. Former Australia 1500m champion Chloe Tighe has run the same time, but on a course which not authenticated. Both are excellent runs in their own right, as is Phoebe Anderson’s recent club women’s track 5000m record of 15:44.97.

Anderson herself enjoyed a couple of busy days in the USA racing in the Ivy League Championship in Philadelphia. On Saturday she qualified in third place in her 1500m heat in 4:30.51, then placed second in the 5000m in 16:23.07. Then on Sunday in the 1500m final she won her second medal of the weekend, finishing third in the 1500m final in 4:19.10, her second fastest time to date at this distance.

At the Adidas Atlanta City Games on Saturday, international sprinter Kristal Awuah ran another strong 100m race to place fourth in the second heat. Her 11.64 was her second fastest of her season so far and consolidates her position in the UK top ten females in 2023 to date.

On Sunday morning Gaby Reynolds produced a good 81:05 to finish first female overall and first W40 in the Ranelagh Half Marathon in Richmond as she gets back into her running after her big marathon PB in Manchester last month.

Last weekend saw a match win for Herne Hill’s combined U17/U20 men and women’s team in the UK Youth Development League (YDL) Upper fixture at Lewes.

As well as the already reported UK leading U17 3000m run from Eliza Nicholson and Harry Bell’s multiple event scoring performances, other highlights included a Harriers club U17 men’s 4 x 400m record from a winning team comprising Fred Hake, Keeran Sriskandarajah, Warren Wilson and Jon Goldston who clocked 3:31.98.

These are team fixtures in which filling as many events as possible can go a long way to helping to secure a team win, along with a sprinkling of good quality in other events. It was therefore fitting that a number of relay victories at the end of the afternoon rounded off a fine win. In addition to the U17 men’s 4 x 400m, wins were also recorded by the U20 men in both 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m, the U20 women in the 4 x 100m, the U17 men’s 4 x 100m and the U17 women’s 4 x 300m. 

Whilst the U17/U20 team will now look forward to the next fixture with anticipation, Harriers U13/U15 boys and girls got off to a solid start at their first YDL match at Bedford on Sunday, finishing third in a competitive match. The club had a number of youngsters competing for the first time at this level and acquitted themselves very well in a match that fluctuated throughout the afternoon.

Several young athletes responded to the challenge with PB performances and helped the club finish strongly in the final hour to move into third place behind teams from Woodford Green and Brighton. A year ago the Tooting Bec Athletics Track was closed for refurbishment, but with the facility up and running for a full summer this year the clubs young athletes squads will hope to strengthen as this season unfolds.

Geoff Jerwood