Reading Half Marathon to act as official trial race for IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen
Athletes hoping to secure a spot on the British team for next year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen will be setting their sights on the Reading Half Marathon as it has been confirmed as the event’s official trial race.
Held on March 2 ahead of the championships on March 29, the Reading Half Marathon is the first event in the 2014 Run Britain Grand Prix series and also incorporates the England Championships.
The top three eligible athletes at the trial in Reading will be automatically selected for the championships, provided they have also run an eligible qualification standard (64:00/2:15:00 for men and 72:30/2:32:00 for women) during the qualification period from January 1, 2013, to March 2, 2014.
Mo Farah and Ben Moreau have so far run the men’s half marathon standard, while Susan Partridge, Alyson Dixon, Helen Clitheroe and Freya Ross have met the women’s mark.
A total of five athletes can be selected for each team, leaving UK Athletics with the opportunity of selecting up to an additional two athletes provided they have met the qualification standard.
More than 300 elite runners from around 50 nations are expected to compete in Copenhagen to run a flat World Half Marathon Championships course that passes famous landmarks such as the Royal Theatre and the National Gallery.
“The level of competition in Copenhagen will be very high and we have set qualification standards to reflect this,” commented UKA event lead for endurance, Martin Rush.
“The Reading Half Marathon has attracted strong British fields in recent years and I am confident it will continue to do so,” he added. “It is the ideal choice as a trial race for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships due to its reputation and timing.”
Revealing that the 2014 Reading Half Marathon will also see a new prize structure which will guarantee over £20,000 for British athletes, Nick Pearson, managing director of the event organiser Sweatshop, commented: “Being the official trial race for the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships is a real coup for Reading and an event that we are very proud to host.”
On the new prize structure he added: “We see this as an investment into British distance running, ensuring that Reading will attract the best domestic fields and provide top class competition for British distance runners, alongside next year’s status as the official British Athletics trial race we believe it will be the best domestic road race on the calendar.”