British Athletics Championships 2019 Review

The 2019 Müller British Athletics Championships was set for explosive action. Many athletes were racing not only for their country’s highest accolades. A place on the Great Britain team for the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha in a months’ time was also up for grabs. The surprisingly hot and windy conditions at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham made qualifying times and positions even harder. 

Butchart Regains his 5K Title

After injury ruled Andrew Butchart out of the 2018 British Athletics Championships, he wanted to show his class in the 5,000m. Despite not running hard from the start, Butchart made a decisive (possibly pre-planned) long kick for the finish line with two and a half laps to go. Butchart’s impressive 2:28 last kilometre meant he finished in 13:54.29. He was the only man to run under fourteen minutes. Knowing that he had booked himself a spot at the World Championships, the Scot even showed off to the camera before officially claiming the title.

McColgan Claims First British Title

The race was even more emphatically won in the women’s 5,000m. Eilish McColgan dominated the race from the start, forging a sizable lead within the first lap. Perhaps, knowing that competitors such as Laura Weightman and Melissa Courtney were not at their best, McColgan ran a superb race alone. She never looked behind her shoulder. It was a gutsy performance and gave the 28-year-old her first British 5k title in a time of 15:21.38. It was more than fourteen seconds ahead of Jessica Judd in second place. 

Lively Sprinters Show Remarkable Quality

Expectations were high for Dina Asher-Smith, who has run so consistently well throughout the Diamond League season. She comfortably won her semi-final in 11.03 then broke her own Championship record from the previous year to record 10.96 and retain her 100m British title. Her dominant performance reminds her competitors to watch out in Doha.

After relative disappointment for Adam Gemili at narrowly missing out on the gold medal in the 100m men’s final, he came blasting out of the blocks for the 200m final. After the bend, Gemili maintained a strong arm drive, quick leg turnover and relaxed posture to comfortably win the title in a new championship record of 20.08. His huge grin showed how ecstatic (and most likely relieved) he was with such an outstanding performance, one that he so richly deserves.

Matthew Hudson-Smith also shone in his home city by clocking a season’s best of 45.15 and winning the 400m title comfortably. Despite recent injuries he is peaking at the right time for an opportunity to excel in Qatar’s capital.


There were so many outstanding performances over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend. But with the World Championships so close, athletes will either have to finish their last training or find another race to attempt to qualify for the event. There is still a lot more running to do before Britain can feel confident they can podium on one of the biggest stages of all.

Serious Racing at my First 5 Miler

2 May 2016

There was no pressure to run or undertake any core exercises as soon as I woke, as was my usual routine.
I felt good as I walked with my family from my home to race headquarters. To reach it we walked what would be the final 400m uphill to the finish line.
I found the 6:00 per mile starting section. There were club runners from the area beside me.
I felt a little intimidated, closed in by serious runners. But I reminded myself that I had trained on the route many times.
I made a flying start, running with fresh legs at a 5:30 per mile pace.
I was soon charging up a long hill, passing my family who cheered me.
I stayed in a group of runners as I ran the first mile in under six minutes. But my breathing and pacing became erratic as I tried to focus.
A stitch developed on the right of my stomach but I refused to let the pain slow me.
I alternated the strike of my feet, forefoot to heel.
I was soon passed halfway and heading back to the start. I ignored the water station and a previously fast runner who was now walking.
My first 5km was 18:48, equivalent to 6:04 per mile. I passed more struggling runners and felt hope I could run the race in under 30 minutes. But I needed to keep a faster pace.
As I made the last turn up the winding, steep incline to the finish I looked back. I was alone.
I avoided the potholes and gravel, as volunteers and spectators cheered me on.
I sprinted but could not catch a couple ahead of me.
I told my family that I could have gone quicker, and was a little disappointed that I was sixteen seconds from running under 30 minutes.
However, I was pleased that I had felt strong at the end of the race. As I applauded the last of the runners I knew I could improve my future performances at this uncommon distance.


Witham May Day 5 Mile 2016

This was my first race over 5 miles, and, located a half an hour’s walk away, was the most straightforward to enter. The race exposed me to many quality club runners as the race was also the Essex Road Running 5 Mile Championships. It is the shortest distance recognised by my home county, but I was not eligible to compete as I was not affiliated with a running club. I finished as the fastest non-affiliated runner and would have placed in the top 35 if I had been.

I took many positives from the race, especially my mental resolve to continually remove doubt that I would beat 32 minutes (my original goal) and not allow other runners to disrupt my rhythm. Similar to when I lived in Southend-on-Sea, my place of residence (and the familiarity of the route) gives me greater self-confidence.

Finish Line of Witham May Day 5 2016