Congratulations to Tom Mortimer who ran a superb race wearing his Stroud vest to win the bronze medal at the British National Championships at Manchester on Saturday.
Going into the race he was ranked 16th out of 16 runners. Championship track racing in the longer events is not like pace maker races or road races, there are tactics and sudden changes of pace which tire you quickly and each athlete has to be mentally and physically fit to make decisions.
Tom’s aim and plan was to try and run a PB by hanging back a little from the front for as long as he could, but in true Tom style he wanted to be involved in the race!
As expected, Jake Smith from Cardiff (the same age as Tom and a 62 min Half runner this year) led at a strong pace for 1k before Scott, the hot favourite and British 5k record holder, surged to a 20m lead. Tom did not panic, kept his nerve and 1k later he made a bid to close the gap on the leader which broke the field up leaving a chase group of 3 to fight in out for the 2 remaining medals.
With a lap to go the Silver medal had gone and Jake Smith was all over him, but Tom has developed some speed this summer and he blew Smith away, opening up a 4.5s margin to collect a surprise but well deserved British Championship Bronze Medal!
The winner, Scott, broke the stadium record, but Tom Mortimer improved his PB by a massive 14.5s and this places him on the UK All Time ranking list, in a new time of 13min 43.47s. This time would have won the British title in the 4 previous years!
Well done, Tom, we are all very proud of you!