STEEL’S BEST BRIT
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