JENNIFER Beckingham’s sixth place overall and first local runner in the South West PB 5k road race at the weekend may have surprised some but it shouldn’t have.
The Southville Running Club athlete has quite a pedigree that goes far deeper than the form she has shown in 2022 with three wins in the Weston Prom 5 miles road series – including a PB of 28:00 in February.
As a youngster with Team Southampton Beckingham was an accomplished middle distance track athlete who, among her many achievements, can boasts a national title after winning the England Athletics U17 Indoors 800m in 2011 and won a bronze at the English Schools’ Championships in 2009.
Beckingham also has impressive PBs of 2:07.80 for 800m (2012) and 4:18.32 for 1500m (2016) to her name though her track days seem to be behind her now as her last competitive 800m was in 2016 when she was a student at San Jose State University.
Beckingham has raced sparingly since then with more a focus on the road with a PB of 36:50 at the Run Through Battersea Park 10k in 2019 and only joined Southville Running Club from Southampton this year.
Her performance on Saturday was arguably her best of the year though her time of 17:43 was not a PB; Beckingham’s best time of 16:44 was set seven years ago at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in California.
But clearly Beckingham has much more to offer and with the general feeling that the windy conditions at the Odd Down circuit was worth 20-30 seconds it would be no surprise if she went a lot quicker at the distance this year.
We’ll watch her progress with interest.