Katie smashes club 3000m record in Boston New Balance Grand Prix meet

Katie in action in Boston photo credit Fast Women
So good I posted it twice!

Herne Hill Harriers leading middle distance track star Katie Snowden opened her season on Saturday at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold standard meeting with a new club women’s 3000m record.

Few knew what to expect from this race, even from an athlete who is world class at 800m and 1500m as Snowden had only ever raced this longer distance once on the track, back in 2018. One reporter had even asked her if she was pacemaking.

But Snowden has been training well at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona and placed an excellent third as part of an impressive Great Britain 1-2-3-4 led by Commonwealth and European 1500m champion Laura Muir. She clocked a rapid 8:47.41, which is a qualifying time for the European Indoor Championship in Istanbul next month, a PB by almost half a minute and eight seconds inside the previous Harriers female record set by Australian Chloe Tighe.

While delighted with such an improvement in her time, Snowden had actually hoped for slightly faster, but after the the way the race panned out her second km in 3:02 was slow, followed by a very impressive final km of 2:47 to grab third place from fellow Brit Hannah Nuttall.

Her post race reaction was that “The first two just broke away from the gun and I didn’t go with it as that was too fast, so I just ended up with Hannah running our own race, but I can’t complain! I thought I could run low 8.40’s, but hopefully I can give it another crack at some point and go quicker as I felt really strong”.

The first race of any track season can always be a bit unsure, but this will be a big confidence booster before Saturday’s prestigious Millrose Games one mile indoor race in New York, where Muir will again be in the starting line up.

Herne Hill’s student athletes also impressed on Saturday at the British Universities and Colleges Cross Country Championships in Swansea.

Saskia Millard captained her strong Birmingham Uni team to a win, finishing in eighth place in the women’s 8km race, while middle distance track athlete Annabel Hobday had an excellent run in the women’s 6km race, placing ninth for St Mary’s. 

Just behind Hobday in 11th was 18 year old Cambridge Uni fresher Poppy Craig-McFeely in what was her third hard race in as many weekends. Millard and Hobday will now focus on indoor track racing, while Craig-McFeely will aim to do well in the National Cross Country Championships in Chester at the end of this month.

Also in the women’s 8km race Jenny Nandi finished 68th for the St George’s team from Tooting. St George’s team were 18th in the women’s 6km, led by Grace Leyland 46th and Madelaine Parmar 169th. James Brown was 222nd in the men’s 10km race and Oxford Uni representative David Moyse was 104th in the men’s 8km.

On Saturday morning Dulwich Park was the scene of both the fastest male and female times recorded for the weekend in any parkrun in the UK. The female first finisher was Herne Hill’s Georgie Grgec, whose time of 16:15 has only ever been bettered by four women on this course, three of whom are Olympians. 

Also in Dulwich Brandon Dewar was fourth male in a good 15:13 and Natasha Lodge third female in 18:44. Julia Wedmore ran around the more challenging terrain at the Beckenham Place parkrun finishing fourth overall and first female in 19:01. 

Lee Valley Athletics Centre hosted the South of England indoor championships for which few results are yet online, but one outstanding performance came from Rajay Robinson, who won a silver medal in the Under 20 men’s 60m with 7.03. Saskia King placed fifth in the U20 women’s 60m final.

On Sunday morning the London Winter Run 10km road race featured at least a dozen Harriers turning out, with some good PBs. 

Finishers included Ryan Willmott 34:14, Alex Jack 34:28, Ben Paviour 34:31, William Ellison 37:32, Jennifer Clancy 37:50, Andrew Georgeson 37:50, Laura Donnelly 38:36, Sophie Gunning 38:49, Ian Jack 40:09, Pedro Henrique Pinto 41:31, Andrew Simms 42:18 and Helen Oldfield 43:37. Well done all ?

Geoff Jerwood