UK Athletics have announced that three of the World Cup medal-winning Marathon team from Helsinki will travel to Edmonton for the 14th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships as part of the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team.
Mara Yamauchi, Hayley Haining, and Debbie Mason will be joined by Susan Partridge in the hope of repeating their team success in Helsinki over the shorter distance. The team faces a tough test however, as the race takes place in Edmonton, Canada on Saturday 1st October - just seven weeks after their Helsinki exertions
Jon Brown is Great Britain’s only representative in the men’s race and he will be keen to repeat the form that saw him breeze to 2:09.31 at the Flora London Marathon in April, particularly after a disrupted build up forced the Olympic fourth-placer to withdraw from the World Championship team.
Yamauchi, who won the English National Cross Country Championship in 1997 (when she was Miss Myers), was the second UK athlete in the Flora London Marathon in 2:31:52, a massive personal best by 8 minutes 24 seconds, she then went on to run 71.52 at Blackpool in June over the half distance and was the first British finisher behind Paula Radcliffe in Helsinki with an improved PB of 2:31.26.
Haining, a Bronze medallist with the GB Team at the 1998 World Cross Country Championships, completed this year’s Flora London Marathon in 2:35:33 to win World Championship selection. She too set a PB during the race with 2:34.41, and ran 73.31 over the half marathon distance in January.
Mason, fourth in the 2002 Commonwealth Games marathon, earned her GB debut for Helsinki by finishing the Flora London Marathon in 2:36:59. Despite being unable to complete the race in Helsinki with a hamstring injury, Mason has shown excellent half marathon form this year with 73.02 at Liverpool in March, and has a personal best of 71.57.
Partridge, who ran a personal best of 73.10 at Bath in March also ran well at the Flora London Marathon setting a PB of 2:37.50 - qualifying for Scotland’s Commonwealth Games Team in the process.
Jon Brown Sheffield AC
Mara Yamauchi Harrow AC
Hayley Haining City of Glasgow AC
Debbie Mason Tipton Harriers
Susan Partridge City of Glasgow AC
Sue Harrison (Leamington C & AC) is named as non-travelling reserve