Quick times expected at Bute Park as some of Britain’s best road runners are in action on Saturday
The Adidas Podium 5km Home Nations International takes place in Cardiff for the second time on Saturday evening (August 12) over a lightning fast course in Bute Park, writes Alex Donald.
Some of the UK’s top road athletes will be testing their form ahead of the selection races for the World Road Running Championships in Newcastle in September.
Athletes will be competing for national, composite and club teams with bonuses for course records and Welsh all-comers’ records. The men’s course record sits with last year’s winner Jake Smith at 14:05 and the Welsh all-comers’ mark with Geoffrey Koech at 13:51.
Tom Mortimer (13:25) leads a strong England team that includes Adams State Universities Cameron Allan (13:42), Jack Goodwin (13:51) and winner of the Mid Cheshire 5km in April, Jack Gray (13:47).
Stroud AC’s Mortimer is the fastest entrant on paper owing to his track best set at the Schifflange International last week that displays great current form, backed up by two further sub-13:45 clockings in July. The current BUCS champion was also third at the UK Championships in Manchester this year.
Sponsors Adidas are probably the strongest composite team on paper with Omar Ahmed (13:42), Max Hayden 13:50, Richard Allen (13:51) and Kadar Omar (14:03). Both Ahmed and Omar are regulars to racing in South Wales having claimed victories at the ABP Newport 10km, Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run, Ogi Porthcawl 10km and the Cardiff 5km – Race For Victory already in 2023.
Allen has previously finished on every rung of the rostrum at the classic Podium venue in Barrowford with his victory there coming in 2018 and more recently winning the Trafford 10km in March this year.
Welsh interest sits with Osian Perrin (13:47) who won the 5000m at the Natwest Island Games last month, joined by Dewi Griffiths (13:33) who is the current Welsh champion over 10km, half-marathon and marathon and is rarely beaten on Welsh soil.
Jon Hopkins, the 2018 Welsh 5km champion and 2022 Commonwealth Games ninth placer in the 3000m steeplechase, joins Griffiths in the Swansea Harriers team.
The women’s course record rests with last year’s winner Annabel Simpson of Scotland at 15:51. The Welsh all-comers’ record is slightly faster, set by Charlotte Arter at 15:29.
Calli Thackery (14:58) is the standout favourite here leading the Adidas team with a sub-15 minute best set when winning at Barrowford last year, a further Podium win at Leicester and notable performances including a third place at the Armagh Road Races in February and multiple BMC Grand Prix victories at Manchester in 2023 and at Trafford, Watford and Loughborough in 2022.
Kate Axford (15:49) has seven race victories to her name this year including over 3000m at the Loughborough International and along with Rebecca Johnson (15:46), will also appear for race sponsors Adidas.
Ellie Wallace (15:39) is joined by Holly Dixon (15:59) and Kate Maltby (16:03) in the English team.
Jenny Nesbitt (15:17) was the runner-up behind Simpson in the inaugural edition last year and is familiar with the route, based in Cardiff and at home on the course around Bute Park. Beth Kidger (15:37) is the next fastest Welsh athlete.
Holly Archer (15:50) has superb track form that includes a silver medal at the 2021 European Indoor Championships over 1500m and is joined in the Puresport team by Becky Briggs (17:00) who has a 2:29:04 marathon best to her credit which secured victory at the 2022 Therme Manchester Marathon.
Further entrants in the women’s contest include Rebecca Murray (16:00) who was fifth at the English National Cross Country Championships in February and Gemma Steel (16:00), who will compete for Adidas Podium, adding further pedigree to the field as a former European cross country champion.
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