Athletics News

Six Brits qualify for half-marathon in Riga

Six Brits qualify for half-marathon in Riga

All podium finishers run under the qualifying standards at The Big Half, ahead of World Road Running Championships

Jack Rowe and Calli Thackery emerged victorious at the The Big Half, with all six athletes on the podium qualifying for the half-marathon at the inaugural World Road Running Championships [October 1].

Off the back of Great Britain’s most successful World Championships in 30 years, this race in London, just a week after the final day of action in Budapest, was also a sign of the strength in depth of British distance running on the roads.

In a measured race which produced an explosive kick in the last 5km, Rowe clocked 61:18 and decimated his personal best in the distance of 62:04.

Even though he has qualified for the half-marathon in Riga, Rowe states that his main aim will be to race the 5km in Latvia.

First, he has to qualify. So Rowe will race the 5km at the UK Road Championships on September 8, an event that is part of the build-up to the Great North Run.

His 5000m personal best of 13:20.00 was set back on May 23 so all Rowe will have to do is finish inside the top three on Tyneside.

“I thought a time like that [61:18] was doable,” he told AW. I’ve done three half-marathons now and I’ve found not to concentrate on the times but on the field and how you progress. I’m really happy with it but there’s some more there.

“My main aim is to run a fast 5km. I’ve been aiming to become a 5km athlete over the past couple of years and that will be a great tool to race on the roads [in Riga] but if not then I’ve got a great full-back option to race the half at the Worlds as well.

“I’ve kind of dabbled with the road in the past few years. I think I’ll continue to progress that and I feel in a great shape and I’m in a good place.”

Men’s podium at The Big Half (Mark Shearman)

Mahamed Mahamed was the closest challenger to Rowe but finished eight seconds back in 71:16.

For Andy Butchart, who announced he’ll be making his New York Marathon debut on November 5, it was perfect preparation. The Scot clocked 62:15, much quicker than his previous best of 62:58…

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