ATHLETICS: Copson breaks world record

World record holder Angela Copson with Olympic gold medallist Haile Gabrselassie at the Great Manchester Run
World record holder Angela Copson with Olympic gold medallist Haile Gabrselassie at the Great Manchester Run

Fastest 10k run by more than a minute

Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club veteran Angela Copson smashed the women’s over 65 10k world record at the Great Manchester Run after completing the distance in 40 minutes and 30 seconds.

The 68-year-old wiped a minute off the previous record at Europe’s biggest 10k race, while also picking up a 5k personal best by running through the half-way mark in 20:01.

The result saw Copson take gold in her age category by nearly four minutes, finishing 21st out of all female competitors and 440th overall. The veteran is now 2:18 ahead of second-placed Janette Stevenson in the all-time UK W65 10K rankings.

Speaking to the BBC immediately after the race, Copson said: “I’m delighted. The weather was good and it [the world record] was just worth going for. My coach told me to go off slow but with such a send off [from the crowds at the race] I thought, ‘I’ll go off pretty quick and when I get around the corner, I’ll slow up’. But I felt OK and just kept going, trying to get a good time.

“I don’t think it was easy but it was one of my better runs and I enjoyed it. Running is just fun for me. I enjoy what I do. I don’t particularly think, ‘I’ve got to go on the track’ or, ‘I’ve got to go on the road’. I just enjoy thinking, ‘what’s next? What would be fun?’”

Elsewhere, Rugby & Northampton’s men’s team took fifth place at the opening East Midlands Grand Prix event of the season.

Taking place over 10k at Silverstone, R&N secured a time of two hours, 31 minutes and 37 seconds to finish in the top five overall and fourth in the men’s competition, just behind Wellingborough & District AC who crossed the line in 2:31:06 and ahead of Leamington C & AC, who totaled 2:31:49. R&N’s veteran’s men’s team finished third in 2:37:35, a minute and a half behind Wellingborough & District (2:36:07).

Jonathan Burke led R&N home in a time of 37:12, followed by Mike Andrews (37:44), Adam Mole (38:01), Alistair McDonnell (38:40) and Terry Egan (39:01).