Kenya’s Wilson Chemweno at the 1st Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Running Championships (Steve Razzetti) © Copyright
Report Keswick, UK

Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Running Champs - REPORT

The 1st Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Running Championships took place in Keswick, UK from 17 – 20 September 2009.

In the 24 hour event, Martin Fryer (AUS) and Sharon Gayter (ENG) respectively won the men’s women’s division with distances of 255.93 km (new Commonwealth best performance) and 226.49 km. Teams from Australia and England won the men’s and women’s titles respectively.

In the 100km event, Jez Bragg (ENG) and Jackie Fairweather (AUS) won the men’s and women’s titles in a time of 7:04:01 and 7:41:23 respectively. Both men’s and women’s squads from England won the team titles.

In the Mountain Running in a surprise result, Kenyan athlete Wilson Chemweno won the men’s Uphill race title beating the favourite, world champion Jonathan Wyatt from New Zealand, then went on to achieve the double by also winning the Up and Down race. All this in his first-ever mountain championship – an incredible talent discovered.

The competition was attended by over 200 athletes representing federations of the commonwealth.

Ultra running races

The 24 hour race took place on 17 September 2009 on a 1005 meter course around Fritz Park.

Martin Fryer (AUS) won the men’s division with a Commonwealth best performance mark of 255.93 km. Jo Blake (AUS) and John Pares (WAL) won the silver and the bronze medals respectively.

Fryer led the race for majority of the run and had a good season coming into the race with earlier victory at Surgeres 48 hour in May. Blake and Pares also ran consistent races to post 249.11 km and 244.38 km respectively. Fryer got himself the Commonwealth Best Performance record.

Australia took the men’s crown followed by strong runs from England and Scotland to take second and third place respectively.

Sharon Gayter (ENG) won the women’s title to cap another amazing season which included strong runs at the IAU 24 hour world Challenge in Bergamo, Italy and Badwater Ultra run in the US. Vicky Skelton (ENG) and Susannah Harvey Jamieson (AUS) won the silver and bronze medals respectively. 

Gayter, Skelton and Harvey-Jamieson exchanged leads for the first third of the race. Following which Gayter solidified her lead and extended her personal best to a new level.

Gayter ran 226.49 km followed by Skelton and Harvey-Jamieson who ran 212.68 km and 206.979 km respectively.

Strong run from the English athletes led them to the gold medal spot in the team event. They were followed by Australia and Scotland in the silver and bronze medal spots.

Runners took advantage of the cool weather conditions to post personal or season bests. 
 
The 100km race took place on 20th September 2009. The course consisted of an intermediate seven 15km loop course sandwiched between an out and back 30 km section.

Jez Bragg (ENG) won the men’s division with a time of 7:04:01. He was followed into the finish by his teammates Matthew Giles and Matthew Lynas. Giles and Lynas ran times of 7:05:28 and 7:09:52.

Bragg and Giles exchanged leads up until the 95th kilometre of the race when Bragg took the lead and went past Giles. Lynas ran a very consistent race all the way through Keswick and neighbouring towns and villages.

England won the men’s title followed by Australia and Scotland in the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Jackie Fairweather (AUS) won the women’s title in a time of 7:41:23. Emma Gooderham (ENG) and Lucy Colquhoun (SCO) finished in silver and bronze medals respectively. Gooderham ran a time of 8:04:09 and Colquhoun ran 8:19:45 to get on the podium.

Fairweather led the race from the start steadily building on her lead during the race. Gooderham and Colquhoun ran a very good race to bring individual titles to their countries in addition to their team medals.

England won the women’s team title. Scotland grabbed the silver and Canada won the bronze.

The course was quite difficult but the athletes took advantage of cooler weather conditions to run very good times.

Mountain Running races

The mountain races took place in perfect conditions. The Uphill-only race took athletes to the top of Skiddaw (931m, 3054ft) with Kenya’s Wilson Chemweno finishing 40 seconds ahead of Jonathan Wyatt (NZ), and Kris Swanson (Canada) in third.

The women’s winner was Anna Frost (NZ) with England’s Katie Ingram and Rebecca Robinson close behind.

In the Up and Down mountain race over Latrigg was Wilson Chemweno’s race again followed home by Adam Grice and Billy Burns from England.

Women’s winners were Katie Ingram and Sara Turnstall from England and Pamela Bundotich from Kenya – another great result, given this was also Pamela’s first-ever mountain event!

Nadeem Khan (IAU) and Clive Allen for the IAAF

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