Herne Hill Harriers’ “special K’s”, Great Britain international athletes Kristal Awuah and Katie Snowden made winning returns to the track as both took opportunities to make their racing comebacks as the government and the athletics governing bodies relaxed some of the guidelines for Covid secure training and competition.
British women’s World Championship sprint relay squad member Awuah ran her first race back on 5th August at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre at an early pilot meeting in very windy weather conditions which saw her winning 100m time of 11.99 affected by the negative 4.5 metres per second headwind.
This was, however a very useful low key reintroduction before her return to a bigger stage in Dortmund over the weekend at the Puma Jump ‘n’ Run Meeting. Here Awuah improved to clock a season’s best for 100m of 11.53 in winning her heat, backed up by a 11.59 winning time in her final. Arguably more impressive was her season’s debut over 200m at the same Dortmund event as she scored an emphatic victory in 23.56, one of her fastest times for this distance and her fastest season opener at the longer sprint as she builds towards the British Championship in Manchester in early September.
Earlier last week on Tuesday, Commonwealth Games women’s 1500m finalist Katie Snowden made a very welcome return as she raced at the British Milers Club Gold Standard meeting in Manchester, her first race on the track since the indoor season before last in January 2019.
Showing no signs of race rustiness, Snowden positioned herself perfectly throughout the women’s A 1500m race before finishing strongly in the home straight to claim a good win against a couple of in form women, one of whom has since broken a British women’s steeplechase record over the weekend. Despite a slow first lap Snowden’s winning time of 4:13.9 by almost a full second was easily enough to earn her an invitation to the upcoming British Championship at 1500m following a long period of absence due to a plantar fascia injury which has challenged her determination and persistence over the past 18 months.
Awuah is currently third in the UK women’s 100m rankings for 2020 and second in the 200m, while Snowden is lying 7th at 1500m and plans to race at 800m this Friday at the Bromley Twilight Meeting against good opposition.
Last Wednesday also saw the first local track meeting for distance runners since lockdown at the Belgrave Harriers Endurance Night in Battersea Park, where Herne Hill athletes claimed wins in three of the eight races on the night which were all at 3000m.
Carl Delaney clocks 8:43.48 to win what was only his second track race, Jack Brotchie won his race in 9:09.27 and Matt Cartwright was also first past the post in 9:39.40.
Julia Wedmore did her best to also win her race leading out from the gun and although ending up fourth she was very close behind second place Tony Macdowall as they ran 10:50.14 and 10:48.92 respectively. Other Harriers competing in Battersea were Jonny Whittall, whose 9:46.54 placed him third in the race won by Cartwright, Marc Geraghty in his first ever track race recording 9.17.75 and Eriç Dol 9:49.26 as all enjoyed finally being back in racing action after the Covid hiatus and will be pleased that more events are now being given permits to take place in a very careful and gradual roll out which can hopefully now continue.