The appropriately named Gemma Steel (Charnwood) made a successful return to the Steel City yesterday to win the women’s race in the BUPA Great Yorkshire 10K.
Steel clearly has a soft spot for Sheffield for this was her fourth successive win in this popular race.
Three weeks on from her breakthrough world class half marathon run for second place behind Mary Keitany in the Bupa Great North Run, 28-year-old Steel led the elite women’s field from start to finish, winning by two minutes and 54 seconds from Julie Briscoe of Wakefield Harriers in 33 minutes 19 seconds.
“It was good to win it again but I wasn’t going to break any records today,” she said. “Unfortunately Jess Coulson pulled out just before the start and I was on my own pretty much from the start.”
Coulson had been expected to provide Steel with some tough opposition.
“I was a minute outside the course record I did last year but in the circumstances I was pretty satisfied. I ran PBs in my three previous races. You can’t do them all the time.” Only five men ran faster than Steel.
Runner up, Barnsley nurse Briscoe was, at 38, easily the top veteran among the women.
The men’s race was a much closer affair, with Stockport’s Ross Millington, Tipton’s Ryan McLeod and Matt Hynes of Gateshead Harriers all in contention until the closing stages.
Millington attempted to break clear with two kilometres to go but was caught and passed by McLeod and Hynes. The New Mexico University graduate managed to dig deep, though, and regained the lead on a climb near the finish and hung on to win by two seconds from last year’s winner McLeod with Hynes close behind.
“I just wanted to get a hard run in my legs and gauge where I’m at,” said Millington. “I ran the Northern road relays last week but that was for the club, so this is my first proper race of the season.
“I’ll see how training goes before deciding on my next few races,” added the 2011 European Under 23 5000m silver medallist, “but I’m looking towards the European Cross Country trials in Liverpool.”
Philip Hoole (Rotherham) had a fine run in fifth place whilst other local runners dominated the next few places led by Hallamshire duo Gavin Keight, 6th, and Adam Dyson, 7th. It was a significant return for Keight, a very good track runner whose only races for the last two years have been in low key park runs which he invariably wins.
There was a superb run from Alfie Manthorpe (City of Sheffield) who finished 11th in 35:07 just two days after his 15th birthday. Only one place separated City of Sheffield twins Paul and John Rice who were 13th and 14th.
Results - men: 1 R Millington (Stockport) 30:20; 2 R McLeod (Tipton) 30:22; 3 M Hynes (Gateshead) 30:26; 4 W Indelbu 31:04; 5 P Hoole (Rotherham) 32:15; 6 G Keight (Hallamshire) 33:55; 7 A Dyson (Hallamshire) 34:18; 8 A Plant (Sheffield RC) 34:29; 9 N Baker (North Derbyshire RC) 34:30; 10 Z Mellard (Hallamshire) 34:37; 11 A Manthorpe (City of Sheffield) 35:07; 13 P Rice (City of Sheffield) 3528; 14 J Rice (City of Sheffield) 35:43; 24 S Dale (Steel City Striders) 36:34; 25 D Furniss (Hallamshire) 36:35; 26 E Webb (City of Sheffield) 36:43;27 J Sweetnam-Powell (Sheffield RC) 36:56; 29 S Frazer (Steel City) 37:14
Women: 1 G Steel (Charnwood) 33:19; 2 J Briscoe (Wakefield) 36:13; 3 J Maddick (Kingston upon Hull) 36:25; 4 S Cowper (Lincoln Wellington) 36:39; 5 B Penty (Highgate) 38:16; 6 K Spilbury (Vale Royal) 38:17.