Sophie sparkles and Kenny improves her PB once again

IT was interesting to note that the fastest west woman in the Telford 10k on Sunday was Bristol University student Sophie Birtles.

Birtles (pictured right) smashed her PB by 1min 29secs as she clocked a very swift 34:01 to put her ninth overall in a very strong field and good enough to lift her into the top 50 in the country.

The Taunton AC pair of Elle Twentyman (34:20) and Kate Drew (PB of 34:42) were 11th and 12th respectively with Devon runner Kirsteen Welsh of Sidmouth 16th (35:02).

Of particular local interest through was the young woman in 27th, namely Victoria Kenny.

We reported on the blog last month of Kenny’s welcome return to action as she won the Castle Combe Chilly 10k in a personal best time of 35mins 39secs, smashing her seven-year-old best of 39:19.

Centre stage: Victoria Kenny (2143) after winning the Chilly 10k

The former Westbury Harrier and Bristol & West AC athlete, who was a top young athlete in her day, continued her successful return to the racing area with another PB at Telford as she clocked 35:29.

“A PB is always nice,” said Kenny.

“I would have liked to go under 35 minutes today but it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve been training really well and enjoying it. It’ll pay off down the line.”

Enjoyment is clearly the key here for Kenny after some years away from the sport and now that she is training with a small group of friends in Bristol having set up her own club the future looks very exciting.

“I’m so early in my ‘comeback’ so every race is a learning experience,” added Kenny.

“For me it’s the tough ones that motivate me in training. I’m pleased to have raced some awesome girls today!

“Now I’m looking forward to settling into marathon training for Seville in February.”