Paul Forbes smashes 800m world masters record – weekly round-up

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Scottish veteran and three-time Commonwealth Games competitor smashes M65 indoor mark with 2:15.30

Glasgow 12’s Fun Day & Glasgow AA Yuletide Open Graded Meeting, December 18
Almost 40 years since he reached the 1982 Commonwealth Games 800m final (a feat he repeated in 1986), Paul Forbes broke the world M65 indoor 800m record with a 2:15.30 clocking.

The time is half a minute outside his lifetime best – 1:45.66 set in Florence in 1983 behind world silver medallist Rob Druppers’ 1:45.12.

Forbes finished third in his heat behind Cumbernauld’s Dylan Drummond, who is 45 years his junior and who won in 2:01.49, plus Scottish M40 Stephen Brown (2:09.25).

Showing the great range of ages in the race (a 51-year age gap), behind Forbes came 14-year-old Lydia Simon in sixth and first woman in 2:20.75.

Forbes began as a cross-country runner and won the Scottish East District Junior Boys Championships in 1969 and he was sixth that season in the Scottish Championships. In 1973 he won the Scottish Schools 1000m steeplechase title and then won over two laps in 1974 in 1:58.0.

In the Scottish Under-20 Championships he was second in 1:56.5 but ahead of future Commonwealth Games 1500m medallist John Robson and in 1975 he won the AAA Junior title in 1:50.1 and made the European Junior final that year in Athens where he placed eighth.

Forbes won the UK title in 1982 in a championship best 1:46.53 narrowly ahead of Steve Caldwell (1:46.65) and Peter Elliott (1:47.76) and he also ran for Scotland in the 1978 Commonwealth Games where he was a semi finalist.

After his successful senior career – spanning three Commonwealth Games – he had a complete break in his 30s before later returning as a master and he was involved in a stunning battle with Alastair Dunlop in the Scottish Championships in his first major race as a vet with Dunlop edging home in 2:00.60 to Forbes’ 2:00.61.

After that 1997 race Forbes said he felt he was capable of a world masters record if he could train seriously but the world record ultimately took nearly another 25 years with injury regularly scuppering his ambitions.

He competed in the European masters 10km as an M45 in 2005 and ran a few other masters road championships before eventually re-focusing again on the track.

He made another comeback as a M60 – finishing sixth in the World Masters 800m at Toruń in 2019 and winning the Scottish and British masters indoor titles in 2021 at the age of 64 – but it was turning 65 in November that gave him the opportunity to make a real mark in the masters.

The previous best was held by Ireland’s multiple world age-group champion Joe Gough with 2:16.65 in Dublin in 2018.

Forbes’ 2:15.30 is his fastest in recent years, equalling his outdoor best of 2021 and is even faster than the outdoor UK M65 best.

The Scot’s run took an astonishing nine seconds off of Pete Molloy’s UK indoor best of 2:24.48 set in 2014 and is even fractionally quicker than Dave Wilcock’s M60 UK indoor record of 2:15.60.

Friday Under the Lights Christmas 5, Battersea Park, December 17
In excellent conditions, the first 13 broke 24 minutes and 12 of them set PBs as former UK cross-country champion Mahamed Mahamed won in 23:20 ahead of Liam Dee’s 23:24 which put the pair top of the UK rankings for 5 miles in 2021.

Tonbridge pairing Lucy Reid (26:26) and Nicole Taylor (26:30) did likewise in the women’s race to head the UK women’s rankings.

Hofu Marathon, Japan, December 19
Kenya’s Dominic Nyairo won in a sprint finish from Daichi Kamino with both given the same time of 2:09:34.

The 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi was third in 2:10:11, just two weeks after running 2:11:33 in Fukuoka.

Reia Iwade won the women’s race in 2:31:32.

Venta de Banos, Spain, December 19
Rodrigue Kwizera from Burundi won over 10.575km in 32:30 ahead of Ethiopia’s Nibret Melak (32:37) and Uganda’s Albert Chemutai (33:04).

Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok won the women’s 7.975km in 28:44 by more than one minute from Spanish-based Ethiopian Likina Amebew (29:53) and Turkey’s Emine Mechaal (30:53).

Nathan, Australia, December 18-19
There was a decathlon PB of 8336 points for Daniel Golubovic to go fourth all-time in Australia.

His individual results were 100m of 11.03/-1.3, 7.22/1.3 long jump, 14.86m shot, 2.00m high jump, 48.58 400m, 14.09/0.7 hurdles, 47.66m discus, 4.90m pole vault, 56.95m javelin and 4:22.52 1500m as he frustratingly missed the World Championships qualifying mark by just 14 points

Ella Connolly clocked a 11.27/1.5 to win the 100m ahead of 16-year-old Torrie Lewis’s PB 11.33.

Taipei City Marathon, December 19
There was an Ethiopian double for Demeke Kasaw Biksegn (2:11:41 ) and Alemtsehay Asefa (2:30:44).

Sanyo Ladies Half-Marathon, Okayama, Japan, December 19
Zeytuna Husan from Ethiopia won in 69:31 from Desta Burka (69:31) and Kenya’s Joan Chepkemoi (69:38). Yumi Yoshikawa was the top Japanese finisher in fifth in 70:07. Kenya’s Agnes Mutuku won the 10km in 31:11 from Naomi Muthoni in 31:15.

São Silvestre de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, December 18
Samuel Barata won the 10km in 28:43 while European under-23 cross-country medalist Mariana Machado (33:09) easily won the women’s race with Lia Lemos and Jessica Augusto.

Irish Walking Championships, Dublin, Ireland, December 19
Perseus Karlstrom won the 35km in a Swedish record of 2:31:54 ahead of home athlete Brendan Boyce’s 2:32:49.

Jakub Jelobek was third in 2:35:42 and Nick Christie with fourth in a US record 2:38:16.

Poland’s Agnieszka Ellward won the women’s race in 3:05:10 from former world under-18 champion Kate Veale in a 3:07:03 national record.

German Cross-Country Championships, Sonsbeck, December 18
Alina Reh followed up her third in Dublin last week at the European Championships with a clear win over 6.1km in 21:44 from Lea Meyer in 22:25.

Samuel Fitwi won the men’s 10.1km in 33:00 from Davor Bienenfeld’s 33:16. The men’s short distance 4km was won by Johannes Motschmann’s 12:47.

Brazilian Cross-Country Championships, Sao Paulo, December 19
There were wins for Justino Pedro da Silva and Núbia de Oliveira Silva in 32:54 and 40:09 respectively.

Auckland, New Zealand, December 19
Zoe Hobbs improved her New Zealand 100m record from 11.32 to 11.27/1.7. She also won the 200m in a very windy 23.05/5.9.

South of the Thames Cross-Country Championships, Beckenham Place Park, December 18
This event, one of the oldest cross-country championships in the world being first held in 1888, saw a return after a Covid break in 2020.

In an exciting race, Tonbridge’s Kent League winner Jamie Goodge won with a strong finish in 39:10.

Jamie Goodge (Steve Smythe)

Ross Braden, a 2:19 marathoner who had been well behind the leading group at halfway, finished second in 39:25 with Ed Chuck third in 39:40 getting the better of multiple Sussex League winner William Cork.

Kent AC won both the 6- and 12-to-score team contests from Chuck’s Dulwich.

The women’s title went to Belgrave’s Rachel Brown, although she was caught late in the last kilometre by English National 18th-placer Amelia Pettitt, who was guesting as a Kent second-claimer.

Pettitt timed 46:23 to Brown’s 46:27 with the latter leading Belgrave to a clear victory.

Rachel Brown: on her way to the women’s title

Kent’s Katie Rowland took silver in 47:14 to lead her team to second with Belgrave’s ultra international Sam Amend third in 48:06.

The 2009 champion Clare Elms finished fifth and won the W50 gold and led Dulwich to third team place.

Tri-County Championships (inc Avon, Somerset & Wiltshire Championships), Bath, December 19
Recent Gwent League runner-up Felix McGrath went one better in winning this multi-county championships event.

Former junior star Amber Amber Gascoigne – she ran in the 1998 World Junior Championships at 3000m in Annecy – is now a W40 athlete and she ran 24:35 in narrowly defeating Chelsea Clark (24:42).

South East Lancashire Cross Country League, Heaton Park, December 18
Joseph Hudak dominated the men’s race with a time of 34:37 and headed leading M40 Andy Norman (34:55) and first M45 Andy Burrett (35:03).

Joseph Hudak (right): battles with Andy Norman at Heaton (Harry Shakeshaft)

Hudak led East Cheshire to a narrow team win over Prestwich.

Hayley Simpson won the women’s race in 31:00 and led East Cheshire to another team victory and she was followed home by leading under-20 Bethany Reid (31:14) and top W45 Michelle Vaughan (31:45).

Hayley Simpson (164); on her way to South East Lancs League victory (Harry Shakeshaft)

Berkshire Championships, Cookham, December 19
There were senior titles for Sam Hart (30:35) and Kirsty Walker (34:00), the latter winning women’s gold by over five minutes.

Madrid, Spain, December 19
Bruno Hortelano won over 300m in a PB 33.30 while there was a Spanish women’s record of 37.19 for Paula Sevilla.

Bompas, France, December 19
The 2019 European under-20 long jump champion Jules Pommery set an indoor PB of 7.90m.

Frankfurt, Germany, December 18
Marc Reuther won the 800m in a quick 1:46.41.

Pisa Marathon, December 18
Burundian M40 Jean Baptiste Simukeka won in 2:20:32 with Kenya’s Lenah Jerotich first woman in 2:37:30.

The third woman was Britain’s Melissah Gibson, who ran a PB chip time of 2:46:57 in her eighth marathon of 2021 and all times have been inside 2:55.

Manchester Open, SportCity, December 19
Henry Fisher won the 600m in a PB 79.96.

Former world masters champion Darren Scott showed he is still in sharp form at the age of 52 with a double of 7.46 at 60m and 38.15 at 300m.

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