STEEL’S BEST BRIT

Athletics Weekly - - Action -

GEMMA STEEL was the top Bri­tish ath­lete, fin­ish­ing be­hind the five Kenyan run­ners with 71:32 for her fastest time of the past couple of years.

Lily Par­tridge was sev­enth in 72:10 and lo­cal favourite Alyson Dixon eighth in 72:29.

The Bri­tish trio had been to­gether at 5km which they passed in 16:54, 53 sec­onds be­hind leader Mary Kei­tany. The 10km point was then reached in 34:01 by Steel and Par­tridge, with Dixon three sec­onds be­hind them.

“I re­ally en­joyed that,” said Steel. “I felt like I was in good com­pany at the end with Betsy Saina and I think I ran a good race. I didn’t go off too fast.

“I was quite sur­prised – it has been ages since I’ve been un­der 72 min­utes,” added the 2014 Euro Cross cham­pion, who has a half­marathon PB of 68:13 from that same year. “It’s not quite where I used to be but it’s get­ting there.”

Par­tridge was run­ning as part of her prepa­ra­tions for the Ber­lin Marathon on Septem­ber 24 and said: “I for­got how hilly it was in the sec­ond half! I’ve got Ber­lin in two weeks but I’ve strug­gled in this build-up with hills.

“I think it’s be­cause I came into it hav­ing had an Achilles prob­lem so I wasn’t able to do the hills early on in the build-up, I was re­ally cau­tious.

“I would have liked faster, I haven’t felt as fit as I am in a couple of years,” added the 26-year-old, who hopes for a strong per­for­mance in Ger­many to put her in con­tention for a place at the Com­mon­wealth Games.

Dixon, who fin­ished 18th in the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships marathon a month be­fore, said: “I’m pretty happy, it was a solid run. I al­ways knew it was go­ing to be a big ask so close to the marathon.

“I’d said all along that it would prob­a­bly tell at eight or nine miles and it did. I was clos­ing in on Lily in that last mile but just ran out of road. The legs just wouldn’t go any faster – they went that one pace and that was it!”

Gemma Steel: her best run since 2015

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