The organisers, have in recent times allowed guests and this was beneficial to the overall result. This includes some overage competitors.
In temperatures exceeding 20°C and humidity of about 60-70%, a field of three men (one U/23 and two U/20) and starting a minute later, 5 women (3 and two respectively) toed the line. Three of the starters were guests and of these, Alana Barber (DoB 8/7/87) was the only athlete over age.
Dane Bird-Smith (Australia- DoB 15/7/92) produced a solo performance which can only be described as stunning in 39:48.63. Missing the British all-comers record by less than 23 seconds (39:26.02 Guillaume Leblanc CANADA 1990), but smashing the listed Championship Best (Dominic King 43:27.93 2006) and incidentally well inside the UK under 23 UK Best by Phil Vesty in 1984 (40:53.60). He tore the field apart from the start and showed the spectators what world class walking was all about.
In the Under 20 event, the ever improving Callum Wilkinson (pictured) showed true grit and an immense amount of potential to produce a time of 46:09.84. Born 14/3/1997, Callum had a road PB of 46:36, so this demonstrates a mark of his effort. Callum was introduced to the event by 1966 Commonwealth Champion Ron Wallwork who is be commended for his guiding hand, despite not being his listed coach, he plays a big part in his career.
Behind him Cameron Corbishley (DoB 31/3/97) had a slightly unhappier time, finishing in 51:36.92 after beating his rival on the road at York two weeks ago.
The Leeds based New Zealander Alana Barber not only reversed the York Result but stormed to a massive PB in 48:07.56. Her time spent at the Race Walking Centre of Excellence at Leeds Met University Carnegie has seen her make massive leaps. This is Alana’s penultimate race before heading home with Quentin Rew after two years in the UK, with the UKA championship over 5000m next week in Birmingham.
Heather Lewis after her welsh record at York opened with a 9 minute first 2000m but faded to be caught and passed after the half-way point. She hung on to win the title in 49:06.83. A solid effort albeit slightly slower that the first 10km in her 20km 14 days earlier.
Behind them Maria Luisa Conchella, an Italian studying in the UK walked consistently to finish in 55:24.63. She will benefit from her time in the country one expects, if she too buys into the ‘Leeds Experience’.
Emma Achurch (9/7/9,7 PB 49:31) continues to perform consistently after her World Cup debut and despite finding conditions testing; she hung in to record 51:16.81. She is a much improved walker in the last 12 months. Her team mate, Jasmine Nicholls (DoB 23/8/95) found t
Tom Bosworth, Jamie Higgins and Ellie Dooley all troubled by injuries or niggles found it wise not to start. Tom has the European Championship in prospect, so this is a wise choice.