ELLIE Wallace’s tremendous start to 2022 continued this week with a record-breaking victory in the Street 5k road race.
This is a low-key club event but one that carries a lot of history; indeed, this week’s edition was the 189th running of the race organised by Wells City Harriers and now named in honour of Clive and Angela Thomas who did so much for the club and local runners.
Well 189 may not be a special number in its own right but Wallace won’t forget it in a hurry as the in-form North Somerset AC runner broke the women’s record as she equalled her own personal best of 16mins 16secs to finish sixth overall.
That record was a special one, too, as it was held by GB international and Olympian Angela Tooby-Smith, who ran 16:19 in 1992 when she was living in south Gloucestershire.
Race spokesman Paul Chadwick explained that Tooby-Smith’s record was set on a slightly different course of four longer laps but as anyone who saw Tooby race in her prime will know – and having trained with her on occasions I can vouch for this claim – she never gave anything less than 100 per cent so this record was a good one.
Wallace can certainly take great encouragement at beating it and it must surely only be a matter of time before she breaks 16 minutes for the distance.
Wallace’s record run wasn’t the only great run that night. Two additional course records were also broken when Running For Times Gill Pearson ran 18.33 to take almost 20 seconds off the F45 course record previously held by Linda Lascelles.
Lascelles also lost another of her age group course records with Team Bath’s Jo Thompson clocking 20:14 to set a W55 best.
Chadwick pointed out that Thompson’s time on the age-related tables comes in at a 99.1 per cent figure.
“I can’t see that being beaten ever!” said Chadwick.
Thompson’s Team Bath clubmates Alice Bridger-Morales and Freya Spruit, who are both juniors, also impressed in the race as they finished second (18:30 and third (18:31) respectively.
Both times were personal bests so further underlining just how good the conditions were – cool but windless and dry – on a fabulous night of racing.
In the men’s race Matt Lusby of Wells City Harriers finished strongly to win in a PB of 15:57 with North Somerset’s William Cheek just a few strides behind in 15:59, also a PB.
“Fantastic running from the endurance group last night at the street 5k 5 lap course; tight bends but a great event,” said NSAC coach Julian Emery.
Westbury Harriers’ Chris Palmer was top veteran over 40 (17:03) with clubmate Vicky Tester first over 35.
Overall Winner Matt Lusby (Wells City Harriers) 15.57
1st Junior(u20): Harrison Willliams (Wells City Harriers) 16.03
1st M40: Chris Palmer (Westbury Harriers) 17.03
1st M50: Jon James (Wells City Harriers) 16.35
1st M60: Kevin Stenner (Yeovil Town RR) 20.49
1st M70: Malcolm Maxted (Yeovil Town RR) 24.37
1st Overall: Ellie Wallace (North Somerset AC) 16.16
1st Junior (u20): Alice Bridger-Morales (Team Bath AC) 18.30
1st F35: Vicky Tester (Westbury Harriers) 19.33
1st F45: Gill Pearson (Running For Time) 18.33
1st F55: Jo Thomspon (Team Bath AC) 20.14
1st F65: Karen Shears (Wells City Harriers) 27.18