Angela Copson smashes W70 best in London

The weekend saw what we hope to be the start of a great masters series of events being incorporated into mainstream big events being held across the UK, In the UK England Athletics (not GB) have started to acknowledge the role of masters athletes to a greater degree but so far only on the road and as such have started to include Masters in main events.

In the women’s Race

Claire Elms and W40 Charlene Jacobs-Conradie crossed the line together with both given the same 5:09 chip and 5:10 gun time with Elms getting the official verdict in second.

Elms’ time was significantly faster than the official world outdoor W55 record on the track of 5:17.37 by Silke Schmidt and easily a world best, though there are no official world master’s records away from the track but it was an official UK best, bettering Jane Clarke’s 5:38 by almost half a minute.

Elms run picked up 103.3% on age-grading but that was the not the highest of the race.

72-year-old Angela Copson scored an astonishing 107.2 per-cent as she ran 6:27 on chip and 6:30 on gun. That too bettered the world track record (6:38.30) by Sharon Gerl, was an unofficial world best and it decimated the previous UK road mark of Pat Gallagher (7:31) by a minute.

The men’s race

The race started very fast but most runners paid for their indiscretion and it was M40 Craig Sharp who finished the fastest to win in 4:33 (chip 4:32).

Sharp’s daughter Chloe was second in the under-20 women’s mile.

The Central Park athlete finished just ahead of M35 Dave Williams (4:33), M40 Mick Hill (4:35, 4:34 chip) and M45 winner Simon Coombes in 4:37 (4:35).

Close behind came M50 winner Mark Symes. The world masters indoor and outdoor champion got the same times as Symes and that gave him a British M50 record to better Andrew Ridley’s 4:44.

The other British record-setter Nigel Gates has been setting records for 25 years and the M65 ran 5:20 (5:18 chip) to remove Pete Molloy’s 5:27 from the record books.

Runner-up Dave Bedwell, who set a M65 indoor record for the mile this winter, also beat the old record with a 5:25 (5:23).

Other age group winners were M55 Tony Tuohy 5:00 (4:58), M60 Paul Fletcher 5:12 (5:10), M70 Richard Bloom 6:44 (6:39), M75 Ken Chapman 8:07 (8:02), M80 Doug Milsom 7:58 (7:55) and M85 Richard Pitcairn-Knowles 10:58 (10:51).

Symes easily won the men’s age-graded award with 92.5% from Gates 91.9%.

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