CALLUM Hawkins will return to racing for the first time since collapsing whilst leading the Commonwealth Games marathon when he takes on Mo Farah over 10,000m at the Vitality London 10,000m this bank holiday Monday.
The 25-year-old, who was on course for victory when he fell over just a mile out from the finish line on a scorching day on the Gold Coast, has been training in Glasgow since and clearly feels he is ready to test his conditioning over the shorter distance in a high profile race which starts on the Mall and finishes in front of Buckingham Palace.
Hawkins ran a stand-alone 10km personal best time of 29 minutes and three seconds in the Netherlands in February. Farah’s 10km personal best is a rapid 27:44 which he ran on the London 10,000 course in 2010 and he will be going for his sixth victory in this event.
The four-time Olympic champion showed he remains in good shape following his third place at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon by running 28:27 to win Great Manchester Run 10km last Sunday. In the women’s race, last year’s Vitality London 10,000m champion Jo Pavey, 44, has been added to an exciting field which also includes Scotland’s Steph Twell.
Beth Dobbin, meanwhile, hasn’t shelved her plans to move up to the 400m after shattering her personal best at 200m on her home track at Loughborough this weekend then admitted it hasn’t altered her plans to specialise in the 400m. The 23-year-old, whose dad hails from Dunfermline and mum Jean comes from Doncaster, works at the town’s university so perhaps it was unsurprising that her victory – one of nine Scottish event wins on the day – was well received.
Her time of 23.14 would have been comfortably within the qualifying standards for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, a marker which she missed by only a hundredth of a second.
“I missed out on the Commonwealth Games qualifying time for the 200m by 100ths of a second,” Beth said. “I recorded a PB of 23.31 at the British champs last year and I half thought they’d take me anyway. But they didn’t and I understood the selection process. I did do a couple of 400m runs and thought about the relay but, six years ago, my coach told me to get under 23 seconds and then move up to 400m .That is still the plan and it is on schedule. Next year I’ll move up to 400m.”