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Steel, Wicks take RunBritain titles

Gemma Steel

Gemma Steel

Gemma Steel (coach: John Nuttall) and Phil Wicks are the winners of the inaugural runbritain Grand Prix which concluded with the BUPA Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 23 October.

Steel – impressive winner in Birmingham in a PB time of 72:21 – was third in the Series going into the final event but took the overall victory and £3000 prize money.

“I’ve enjoyed every race on the calendar but missed the Reading Half Marathon due to running in the World Cross, however, I would love to do it next year!” she said.

“The runbritain Grand Prix has given me some fantastic opportunities such as meeting and beating my idol Paula Radcliffe and standing on the podium with the great Haile Gebrselassie, which will stay with me for a long time to come.

“I love the way the Series has raised the profile for road running. I am not known as a track runner and it has given me a platform to showcase my skills and do what I do best on the road. I have gained more recognition as an elite athlete. The races were well spread out on the calendar and that helped me to keep focused towards the end of the season. It has set me up nicely for the cross country season.”

Wicks, who clocked 2:15:37 in Amsterdam Marathon earlier this month, established a lead from the start of he 2011 runbritain Grand Prix which was unassailable, enabling him to opt out of the final race in the Series.

“I’m delighted to be the winner of the inaugural runbritain Grand Prix Series,” he said. “Road running has always been my first love and so I was delighted to hear about the formation of a domestic road racing series in the UK. In its first year the series has had a great impact on attracting high quality domestic fields to some of the UK’s premier road racing events and everyone involved, including the respective race organisers of the Reading Half Marathon, Bristol 10km, BUPA London 10000, Admiral Swansea Bay 10km and BUPA Great Birmingham Run, should be congratulated for their efforts in producing a fantastic series of races for UK athletes.

“Given the success of the Grand Prix in 2011 I’m sure that it will continue to grow over the coming years and in doing so help to improve the standards of British road running on the world stage.”

The races that made up the series were:

Reading Half Marathon (Sunday 20 March)
Bristol 10k (Sunday 15 May)
BUPA London 10,000 (Monday 30 May)
Admiral Swansea Bay 10k (Sunday 25 September)
BUPA Great Birmingham Run (Sunday 23 October)

Points were awarded at each race for the leading 250 British finishers from the men’s and women’s separate individual results (i.e. those eligible to compete for Great Britain & Northern Ireland at the date of the race).

250 points were awarded for the first British finisher, down to 1 point for the 250th British finisher.

A runner’s best four individual points scores from the five races counted towards their overall runbritain Grand Prix score, in addition to time bonus points where relevant.

Prize money will be awarded as follows:

1st: £3,000 Phil Wicks; Gemma Steel
2nd: £1,500 Ben Tickner; Justina Heslop
3rd: £1,000 Paul Richardson; Emily Wicks
4th: £500 Jon Pepper; Emma D’Alton
5th: £400 Kojo Kyereme; Annabel Granger
6th: £300 Ian Williams; Julia Belyavin
7th: £250 Matthew Barnes; Lucy MacAlister
8th: £200 Simon Jones; Kate Goodhead
9th: £150 Dean Lacy; Robyn Matson
10th: £100 Matt Ellis; Giuletta Vitale-Cumper