Course records smashed by Goolab and Weightman at Ipswich Twilight 5K races
- Credit: Archant
Nick Goolab and Laura Weightman were crowned English Athletics National 5K champions, by clocking a pair of blistering times at the prestigious Ipswich Twilight races, held on the Waterfront yesterday evening.
Many of the country's top athletes, from the world of both track and road running, converged on the sun-kissed Suffolk town to make the most of a super-quick, dead flat course of two-and-a-half laps.
There were various races throughout the afternoon and evening, but the two main events were the last two - the elite women with the sub-20-minute men, followed by the elite men.
Goolab, of Belgrave Harriers, was the defending champion, having clocked a winning time of 13mins 50secs in Ipswich last year, easily a personal best.
And his return was even more impressive, leading home a good-quality field in a cracking 13:34 on a fine night for running, with dry and sunny conditions.
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Not only was it a big PB for Goolab, by 16 seconds, and a course record, but it also propelled the all-smiling Middlesex athlete to joint seventh in the UK all-time road 5K list.
Rob Denmark (from 1996) and Mo Farah (from 2006) head that list, both with a time of 13:30.
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"It's a great event," enthused Goolab.
"There's good support from the crowd and we as athletes get taken care of - the co-ordinators treat us really well.
"So when the organisers asked me whether I would like to come back this year, I said 'of course I would.'
"The course is flat, and there wasn't much wind at all. I'm happy with my time," added Goolab, who is a former junior champion at the English National and Inter-Counties Championships, in 2009,
The top three were completed by runner-up Phil Sesemann (Leeds City) in 13:43, and Essex athlete Adam Hickey (Southend AC), who posted 13:46.
Suffolk athlete Kirean Clements, who comes from Hadleigh, was ninth in 13:54. The former Ipswich Harrier, who now runs for Shaftsbury Barnet, was just one second outside his PB.
Aaron Scott, a former winner of the Woodbridge 10K and ex-member of Woodbridge Shufflers, was 28th in 14:38, while former Haverhill RC athlete Michael Gilbert stopped the clock at 15:30.
Meanwhile, the familiar figure of Weightman, who has competed for Great Britain on the track at all the four major championships, including the Olympics (over 1,500 metres), smashed the female course record with a superb personal best of 15:22.
This cemented her position in fourth, in the UK all-time list, eclipsing her previous landmark of 15:25, set at Barrowford last year.
Only Paula Radcliffe, Liz Nuttall and Yvonne Murray have run faster 5K times, as UK athletes, than Morpeth-based Weightman.
Claire Duck, of Leeds City, was second in 15:53 and Tonbridge AC's Nichole Taylor was third with 15:58.
Holly Archer, a former member of West Suffolk AC, was a fine fifth in an excellent 16:05, in the colours of Cambridge & Coleridge.
Colchester Harriers' Rebecca Cooke was 37th with 19:21.
Earlier in the day, this Ipswich Twilight event, sponsored by Ipswich Building Society, also hosted a Daily Mile race for Suffolk primary children, a 5K Business Challenge, and other 5K events for different standards.