WHAT a fabulous evening of racing was served up by the On Running Bristol Track Club 5k road race.
Course records by the Ireland pair of Efrem Gidney (13:49) and European and Commonwealth Games medallist plus National 1500m record holder Ciara Mageean (15:24) were the highlights on a top class night of competition at the traffic-free Odd Down cycle circuit near Bath.
Behind 22-year-old Gidney – who ran 27:59 for 10,000m on the track last summer – Southampton’s Zakariya Mahamed also broke 14 minutes – the latter for the first time – while a total of six men ran inside 14mins 30secs.
To further underline the quality of the race, with conditions looking perfect for fast times, 17 men broke 15 minutes, 38 dipped inside 15:30, 56 broke 16 minutes and 119 finished inside 17 minutes.
Surely one of the best – if not the best – 5k road races ever staged in the South West?
Mageean, who slashed 20 seconds off her PB, certainly added a touch of international star quality to the women’s race with North Somerset’s Ellie Wallace chasing hard to finish a fine-up just two seconds off her PB.
Again the depth was impressive with two women under 16 minutes, 4 inside 16:30 and nine beating 17 minutes.
Runners then piled in with 14 beating 17:30, 22 inside 18 minutes, 40 breaking 19 minutes and a total of 52 dipping under 20 minutes.
Course records, masses of PBs, top class, slick organisation – definitely a night to remember for everyone involved