Posted By Kev on March 13, 2012
Antony Ford and Elle Baker took impressive wins at the Trafford 10k this weekend as a host of the country’s top distance runners descended on Partington, Cheshire, showing once again why many athletes are willing to forego the Intercounties Cross Country in favour of the chance of a 10k PB. Five of the top ten in the men’s race came away with personal best performances, whilst three more ran a season’s best.
Sale Harrier Ford came away to win from Joe Macdonald in a time of 29.04, whilst Elle Baker’s 32.44 represented a new course record. In the men’s race, a pedestrian first 100 metres was quickly rectified as Salford’s Andi Jones took up the running and set a blistering pace, as large group of runners passed the first mile in 4.26. The pace was always likely to let up from there, but by the two mile mark it was becoming clear that a quick time could well be in the offing. A group led by Ford began to break clear of the field as Macdonald and Jones were joined by New Marske’s Andrew Wiles and Altrincham pair Andy Norman and Mohammed Abu-Rezeq.
By the halfway point, Ford and Macdonald had pulled well clear, passing 5k in 14.20 with Ford leading and Macdonald following close behind. The chasing group was beginning to fracture, and Alex Hains, outside the top 20 after the first mile, had started to move through the field. As the race wore on, Ford began to apply the pressure, finally breaking Macdonald, who admitted he had been hanging on for much of the second half, in the final mile. He came through to take a 4 second victory in 29.04, as Macdonald finished close behind but well beaten in 29.08. Alex Hains was perhaps the only man to run a negative split as he came through to take third place in 29.34, his slower start and the strength gained from his marathon build-up proving decisive.
The race for the women’s title appeared to be much less of a contest, as Elle Baker ran away from the field early on, breaking well clear of rivals Kate Avery and Felicity Milton before the halfway mark. In the end, it was an impressively dominant victory, as she came home to win in 32.44, a time that meant she went to the top of the UK rankings and set a new course record. She finished almost a minute clear of 20-year old Shildon athlete Avery, who recorded a PB 33.39. Milton finished a further 50 seconds back in 33.31, just under 10 seconds clear of fourth placed Emily Wicks.
Altrincham took the team prize through Norman, Abu-Rezeq and 14th placed Matt Barnes (30.32).
Full Results can be found here.