Mini Marathon report: Course records fall as stars of the future shine on Race Day
Josh Dickinson set one of three course records as the stars of the future took part in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon on Sunday morning.
The event, which kicks off proceedings on Race Day at the Virgin Money London Marathon, sees athletes aged between 11 and 17 run in a series of races as part of the British Athletics three-mile road championships.
In an event that has seen the likes of Mo Farah, David Weir and Non Stanford win in the past, it was Dickinson of Yorkshire and Humberside who caught the eye, breaking the under 15 boys’ record set by Josh Cowperthwaite in 2016 by one second with a time of 14:47 as he finished ahead of Charlie Brisley and Abdi Hasan.
“It’s a privilege to represent the region,” Dickinson said. “I started running properly when I was 10 and two years ago I came third in this race.
“I’m looking forward to going back home to see the grandparents. The crowd out here gives you a big lift and it makes the finish extra special.”
The under 15 girls’ race also saw a course record fall. Charlotte Alexander, representing the South East region, beat Lily-Jane Evans-Haggerty and Olivian Mason as she won in 16:23, taking five seconds off the previous best jointly held by Katy-Ann McDonald and Annabel Mason in her first ever Mini Marathon.
The swimmer-turned-runner said: “It was an incredible atmosphere. I didn’t notice the hurt because of the crowd. I’ll definitely do it again. This is my favourite distance so far.
“I forgot about everyone else and kept my stride going. I’m new to running so I’m working on my arm technique and focusing on sprinting.”
The top-ranked runner in her age group, Naomi Toft of Kensington and Chelsea won the under 13 girls’ race for London and also set a course record on her way to a personal best 17:01 time. Eva Holland, also of London, and Lizzy Edge of the East Midlands finished second and third respectively.
“I was at the back of the pack at the start,” said Toft. “Just before Westminster I moved up and at Westminster moved out at the front. I just kept overtaking everyone else.”
London also claimed victory in the under 13 boys’ race, as Jaden Kennedy crossed the Finish Line in 15:57.
In the wheelchair races, it was a case of ‘as you were’ as all four 2016 winners retained their titles. Jack Agnew and Kare Adenegan won the under 17 race while Andrew Greer and Shauna Bocquet were again the under 14 winners.
“I wanted the course record (12:39, held by Jade Jones) but I think I’ve just missed it,” said Adenegan, who holds the under 14 girls’ wheelchair record. “I’m hoping for better luck next year. The conditions were good today.”
Elsewhere, there was another victory for Yorkshire and Humberside as Toby Osman won the under 17 boys’ race ahead of Thomas Keen and Jeremy Demsey from the East region, while Scotland’s Erin Wallace was victorious in the under 17 girls’ category over Julia Paternain and Grace Brock.