The British Milers Club Grand Prix series of graded races inevitably attract some of the country`s finest middle distance athletes, anxious to test their early season form. There were two Liverpool Pembroke Sefton runners at Stretford, Rosie Johnson and Harry Doran. Last year Rosie topped the UK Under 17 rankings at 1500m but this year the 17 year old was in a higher age level and competing against girls up to two years older. Inevitably it was a fast pace led by an Under 23 year old star, Melissa Courtney. Rosie cannily went with the pace and produced a blistering last lap. Although unable to match the older girl she recorded an astonishing 4.18.39 which immediately propelled her back to the top of the U20 national rankings. More importantly this was inside the qualifying standard set by the governing body for selection for the European Junior Championships which will be held in Sweden in July. Another international vest beckons. Coach, Eddie Bairstow, remains quietly confident of her progress.
Harry Doran has edged a little closer to his personal best of 1.49.42 for 800m as he recorded 1.51.18 in his 800m heat. The sprinter turned middle distance hope is well stuck into a training schedule devised by coaches, Ray Twentyman and Trisha Farrell, and is on course again to duck under the tough 1.50 barrier.
At a more prosaic level there were three LPS members, all vets, at the Christelton 5K road race. Mark Wynne is on a run of collecting personal bests and will be delighted with a 16.28 posting. Similarly John Halson ran 17.23 and will be smiling just as broadly. But no words are truly adequate to describe 68 year old John Dobie who came home in 22.32. He sets a fine example to younger athletes.