Harrison is England’s golden girl

BY PAUL OKEY

Sue Harrison was in dreamland after clinching gold at the IAU World 50k Trophy Final in Galway.

The Leamington C&AC runner’s first attempt at the distance saw her beat a world-class field and break the long-standing British record into the bargain.

“I only dreamed of something like this and never dared that my dreams would come true,” said Harrison, whose time of 3hr 15min 43 sec sees her ranked number one in the world this year.

“I can’t express my thanks enough to the England selectors having confidence in me, and the people around me who have helped to make it all possible - especially the support from LA Fitness Warwick, Warwick Sports shop and Stuart Chambers at Athletic Mind

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“Every athlete dreams they might one day set a British record and I’ve now done it.

“I’ll now have a few days break to let my blisters recover before sitting down with my coach to decide on the next challenge.”

Running for England, Harrison’s target was to run 6.15 per mile for the full distance and her early pace judgement proved to be spot-on as she passed the half-marathon mark in 1hr 22mins.

She then reached the full marathon distance in 2hrs 44.17, just 17 seconds behind schedule.

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The last five miles involved four circuits of Galway city centre and, still feeling strong, Harrison pushed on to slice more than three minutes off the previous record.

Harrison’s coach Les Barnett said: “On Sunday morning Sue had never run a 50k race and by that afternoon she was World 50k Final champion, the British record holder and ranked number one in the world for 2010.

“If that is not a near perfect 
performance then nothing ever will be.”