It has been another important year in the progress of Germany’s Alina Reh and now she has another record to take into her winter season.
Reh broke her German U23 half marathon record with a brilliant performance in Cologne on Sunday where she won in a gun-to-tape 69:31. She lowered her previous mark by 1:50 and already looks in a good place to defend her U23 crown at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg in December.
Reh, who was fourth in the 10,000m at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin in August, has immense stamina, whatever the surface underfoot, and she showed that once again with this win in Cologne. She was more than four minutes in front of Turkey’s Ummu Kiraz, who was second in 73:49.
Raising her arms and producing a smile as she celebrated her win close to Cologne Cathedral, Reh said: “I felt great. I could play with the pace and take my step. It went perfectly.”
And all this without the use of a pacemaker for a woman who is now the fifth fastest in German history - a list topped by Uta Pippig’s 67:58. In 2018, only three Europeans have gone quicker.
Reh, speaking to schwaebische.de, said: "It was just ideal conditions for me. Sure, it was pretty windy in some places. But I like cloudy weather. Sunshine is not my thing.”
It was a good day all round for the German athletes as Karol Grunenberg ran 65:20 to win the men’s race while in the marathon, there were victories for Tobias Blum in 2:16:57 and Rebecca Robisch in 2:46:03.
Krumins storms to road mile victory in Berango
As Reh missed out on a medal by just over nine seconds in Berlin, the Netherlands’ Susan Krumins was two spots in front of her with a gutsy silver medal in the 10,000m.
Like Reh, she was victorious this weekend, triumphing at the 31st edition of the Berango road mile in Spain in 5:02 to secure a narrow win by one second from home star Solange Pereira with Portugal’s Marta Pen in third 5:04.
Krumins has been in excellent form over a range of distances in recent weeks and she will be looking to transfer that form onto a softer terrain in less than two months’ time when she lines up at home at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.
There was home success in the men’s event as Toni Abadia led a clean sweep in 4:24 from Sergio Jimenez (4:25) and European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal (4:26).
A home double for Switzerland in Fribourg
Over 17.17km, from Morat to Fribourg, European half marathon champion Tadesse Abraham won the men’s race at the 85th Murtenlauf in 53:06 while European mountain running champion Maude Mathys took the women’s title in 62:58. They both lifted this crown for a second time.
And in Three Countries Marathon in Bregenz, Austria, Switzerland's Armin Fluckiger won in 2:22:44, to lift the national men’s title, from Kenya's Isaac Kosgei (2:23:57) while home favourite Sandra Urach was first in the women’s race in 2:47:57 with the Swiss women’s crown going to Claudia Bernasconi in 2:50:35.
Gaspar Csere (2:20:10) and Tunde Szabo (2:47:41) were both triumphant in 33rd SPAR Budapest Marathon.
At the 95th International Peace Marathon in Kosice, Tibor Sahajda ran the fastest time by a Slovakian in 14 years as he was eighth in 2:15:59 to take the national title in a race won by Kenya’s Raymond Choge in 2:08:11.
Fast times for Fiskovici and Nyzhnyk in Bila Tserkva
At the 15th International Bila Tserkva Marathon, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday, the pick of the action came in the half marathon.
Moldova’s Lilia Fiscovici won the women’s race in 71:36 - less than a minute shy of her national record of 70:45 - while Ukraine’s Mykola Nyzhnyk broke his personal best of 64.27 to win the men’s event in 63:14 on home soil.
And there was more glory for Ukrainian athletes at the 9th Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon, another five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All. Artem Piddubnyy successfully defended his title in 2:28:29 with Yuliya Tarasova the first woman home in 2:54:14.
The Cardiff Half Marathon, another five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday staged the inaugural edition of the Commonwealth Half Marathon. Mohamud Aadan led England to a bronze medal in the men’s team race in seventh in 62:31 with Tracy Barlow fifth in the women’s race in 72:17. She also led England to a team medal.
Australia’s Jack Raynor (61:01) and Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel (69:45) took the individual titles while Uganda took both team titles.
Nearly 20,000 runners took part in this year’s race which is now the second biggest half marathon in the United Kingdom after the Great North Run.