The final Run Jump Throw Event of 2023 at the English Institute of Sport on December 29th saw an attempt on the World 4 x 800m relay record in the W45 category. Four of the top W45 athletes in the country travelled to Sheffield for the attempt – Kirstie Booth (European 2000m steeplechase champion), Maria Shaw (European 800m silver medalist), Nikki Sturzaker (European W50 800m champion) and Zoe Doyle (European W45 800m and 1500m champion).
The world record criteria require at least one other team to participate, which is where the Striders contribution came in. Jed Turner and I were paired up with a couple of other grizzled veterans to provide the women with some “opposition” – there was even some wild suggestions about “pace-making”. In reality our role was to make them look good by being old, slow, ugly and getting the baton round without dropping it – four tasks we achieved with a high degree of success.
Given the calibre of the female athletes involved it was no surprise when they smashed the existing record, averaging 2.23 per leg and reducing the previous mark by a full 38 seconds. We didn’t exactly run them close but what we lacked in speed we made up for in support from the trackside – it is always exciting to play a role in a new world record however small the contribution.
Later on in the day Seth Kirby ran a fairly isolated sub-10 minutes for the 3000m – a dizzying 15 laps of the 200m track – followed up by a 2.20.0 800m.
Jed also returned to come second in his 800m heat in 2.24.3 and second again in his 400m heat in 63.5 – very solid markers for the upcoming track season.
Full results (not including 3k) here
For anyone tempted by giving the indoor track a go there is another Run Jump Throw event at EIS on 20th January and the British Masters 3k champs, also in Sheffield, on 28th January – entries now open for both events