Chris Thompson and Steph Davis win British Olympic marathon trials

Rick Pearson
·2-min read
Photo credit: Tom Dulat - British Athletics - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tom Dulat - British Athletics - Getty Images

From Runner's World

Chris Thompson and Steph Davis took top honours at the British Olympic marathon trials, held earlier today at Kew Gardens in west London.

Thompson and Davis were the only two runners to finish inside the Olympic qualifying time of 2:11:30 (men) and 2:29:30 (women).

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Thompson, who turns 40 next month, won the men’s event in a PB of 2:10:50 – 40 seconds inside the Olympic qualifying time. Ben Connor, 28, will also be in Tokyo after finishing second in 2:12:06; he met the qualifying standard in a previous race. Mo Aadan came in third.

Davis, 30, who only took up running seriously three years ago, won the women’s event in a PB of 2:27:16. Natasha Cockram finished second in the women's race but was 30 seconds off the qualifying time of 2:29:30. Rosie Edwards finished third in 2:31:56.

It was, in many ways, a victory for the latecomers – Thompson for qualifying aged 39, just a week after becoming a dad to son Theo; Davis – who works for an asset management company and remains unsponsored – for qualifying just three years after taking up running seriously.

'This week has knocked me for six, I've been trying to hold it together, but I've never felt so much emotion in my life,' said Thompson, who won European 10,000m silver in 2010.

'I'm 39 for crying out loud - this doesn't happen.'

Davis, of Clapham Chasers in London, runs relatively low mileage (60 miles a week) but supplements her running with lots of cross-training. Clearly, it’s paying off.

'I can't believe it, I'm smiling so much, I'm so delighted,' she said.

'I knew I was in good shape but anything can happen in the marathon and you can't just rely on it being your day.'

Former Runner's World cover star Becs Gentry, who works as a fitness instructor for Peloton, finished fourth in the women's race in 2:32:01 - taking five minutes off her previous personal best.

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