Top three (L to R): Runner-up Annabel Gummow, winner Kate Reed and Laura Gent.
GREAT Britain international Chris Thompson completed a West Country double with victory in the Simplyheath Great Bristol 10k.
It was only seven weeks ago that Thompson cruised to victory in the Bath half marathon and returning west from his London base he enjoyed another emphatic victory.
While the win was routine for Thompson runner-up Merson, who competing in the colours of his home town club Exmouth Harriers, will take great encouragement that he was only two seconds off his four-year-old personal best, since when he has suffered from a series of niggling injuries related to a broken big toe.
Top men (L to R): Tom Merson, Chris Thompson and Jonathan Cornish)
Locally B&W packed four runners into the top ten led by Maciej Bialogonski in fifth, clocking a PB of 31:40 just a week after his big PB of 2:23.40 in the London Marathon. Now that represents considerable powers of recovery.
In sixth came Callum Jones in 31:54 and seventh was Andrew Warr, with a PB of 31:55. David Awde was 10th in a PB of 32:32.
Top Weston AC runner was junior William Fuller in 22nd, clocking a PB of 33:49 and one place behind was Bitton Road Runners’ leading man, Robert Farley (33:56).
Best-placed Westbury Harrier was Alex Hamblin 36th as he celebrated a PB of 34:44.
To complete the Bath half story B&W international and 2008 Beijing Olympian Kate Reed also notched up a notable double as she finished first woman in 33:11, placing her 15th overall.
“Couldn’t believe the amount of support I had during the race and it was so lovely having my family, coach (Alan Storey) and friends there-always nice to win in front of the people who have supported me for so many years!” said Reed.
The Cornish-born runner, who was briefly a member of B&W, had a period of struggle with injuries and general disillusionment with the sport but over the past year or so has rediscovered her passion for athletics and enjoyed an injury-free spell of training.
That more than anything explains why she finally ended an 11-year-wait to clip 13 seconds off her PB – which stood at 34:29 from winning the Newquay 10k – so it is terrific to see Gummow back and smiling again.
“Second place and a new PB 34:16! Small steps,” said Gummow afterwards.
Laura Gent of Aldershot, Farnham & District was third in 35:18.