British distance runner tackles the half-marathon at this week’s World Road Running Champs
Sam Harrison leads the British challenge in the World Road Running Championships in Riga on Sunday (Oct 1) and hopes to build on a terrific year that has already seen her run PBs of 30:51 for 10km, 67:17 for half-marathon and 2:25:59 for the marathon.
“It’s my first time in Latvia, so I’m not quite sure what to expect,” she says. “I’d like to run a solid time but it depends how the race pans out.
“I’m not sure the course is going to be super-fast so I’ll probably try to go for a good position. Finishing in the top 10 would be amazing as it’ll be a tough field. But if I’m capable of more once I’m in the race then I’ll push for it.”
Her half-marathon best, which was set in Berlin in April, puts her No.4 on the UK all-time rankings whereas her marathon PB in London a few weeks later ranks her No.6. After seeing the words “mostly flat” on the course description for Riga, she is not expecting an amazing time this weekend but generally she hopes she has stepped up a level from the early part of this year.
After London she clocked another PB with 31:11.40 at the Night of the 10,000m PBs but after another 10,000m in Hengelo (31:37.97) she took a short break before building back into training in the past three months.
“Training’s gone really well over the lats few weeks and I even ran a 5km PB (15:11) at the end of August,” she says. “Going into a full track season wouldn’t have been wise. I needed to recover a bit from the marathon as it took it out of me physically and mentally.”
She is not sure when her next marathon will be but it’s unlikely to be this year now. “I’ll see how training goes,” she says. “At the start of the year I was going to do two marathons in 2023 but after London I thought it was a lot to do another marathon block during the second half of this year. I didn’t think I was ready to do it again so soon.
“Being injury-free is most important, especially with Olympic year coming up. My main targets for now are to target the half-marathon and 10km and run some PBs.”
Based in Nottingham, she often trains at Loughborough University and is coached by former middle-distance international Vince Wilson. She also works one day a week as a dental nurse. “It means I can switch off from training for one day a week and mix…