AAA Womens 10km Track ChampionshipsReport by: Bryan Murray
Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Dr.Tim Grose at British Milers Club
Penny Thackray's ambitions to win a major championship title were fulfilled when she lifted the AAA crown at Watford. Irene Limaka of Kenya was a non-championship contender and crossed the line first but the real battle for honours was just behind her.
The opening 3000m were steady with Thackray tracking the Kenyan with 1999 champion Bev Jenkins following closely.
In the fourth kilometre the pace increased but Thackray was still tracking Limaka with Jenkins now down by eight seconds. Halfway was reached in 16:24.09 with Limaka going away from Thackray who tried bravely to hold onto the pace but as seven kilometres went by in 23:58.05 Jenkins then started to make in-roads of her own.
Over the next kilometre Jenkins dug in to cut the gap between her and the Wakefield athlete to just two seconds.
The 9km mark passed in 29:39.04 for the front running Kenyan with Jenkins shadowing Thackray. And that's how it stayed to the bell lap which acted as a spur for the Wakefield distance star. Thackray surged ahead to leave Jenkins in her wake over the last lap.
Before the race, Thackray said: "I'm not too worried about the time, it's the championship I want."
But she will be doubly delighted as her time of 33:25.74 smashed her previous best of 34:48.57