AVR Jake Smith in top 20 finish at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland

AVR members (left to right) Margy Pearce, Clare Hansford, Eleanor Wood, Caroline French and Sue Haye

AVR members (left to right) Margy Pearce, Clare Hansford, Eleanor Wood, Caroline French and Sue Hayes at the world virtual half marathon. Picture AVR - Credit: Archant

Last Saturday saw AVR Jake Smith represent GB in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia Poland, writes Dave Mutter.

The occasion marked the first in which Jake wore a senior GB vest.

The race had been postponed from its original date in April, giving Jake a chance to focus on his training over the summer.

Jake started the race well and was in the large lead pack for the first half of the race, going through 10km in 28:23.

The pace increased during the second half of the race, but Jake continued to run extremely well, finishing the race in 18th position in 60:31.

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This was a new personal best, setting a new British U23 record, and Jake becomes the third fastest British runner all-time at the half marathon distance.

While Jake was performing fantastically for GB in Gdynia many AVR’s ran the virtual race that could be any half marathon distance of 21.1 km with runners’ times recorded and uploaded via running apps.

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AVRs ran in groups of six or fewer with some groups choosing more challenging, scenic off-road routes while others took to the streets. Five AVR ladies ran in a loop from Seaton seafront-Musbury-Whitford-Umborne-Colyton-Seaton and all completed the somewhat hilly route in under two hours with Clare Hansford first to arrive in 1:48:12 winning bronze in the F50 category not far ahead of Eleanor Wood in 1:48:13 who won gold in the F60 category.

The other times were: Sue Hayes, 1:48:25; Caroline French, 1:51:08 and Margy Pearce, 1:52:01.

Bob Carter ran his first ever half-marathon distance finishing in 2:01 while Lesley Adams hadn’t run a half marathon for nine years and still managed a PB of 2:18.

Graham and Diane Newton decided to run solo on scenic multi-terrain routes with Graham taking 1:48:55 and Diane 2:51:10.

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