Inch and Chamberlain power to PBs at windy Watford Grand Prix

Cara Inch and Ted Chamberlain made their long trips to Hertfordshire more than worthwhile with excellent personal best performances over 1500m and 800m at the BMC Watford Grand Prix on Saturday 1st July.

Watford’s Woodside Stadium is renowned nationally among the middle distance community for being the perfect place to PB although the first few races of Saturday’s BMC Grand Prix – an event attracting athletes from as far afield as Australia, the USA and Chile – were significantly slower and raced more conservatively than expected due to the unusually noticeable wind on what is normally a well sheltered arena.

Inch and Chamberlain are well-versed at training and racing in these blustery conditions so kept calm and remained unphased.

Inch, competing in the Women’s 1500m D race, took to the track first, biding her time at the back of a well strung-out pack before progressively picking up the pace and earning a very hard-fought 4th place in 4:31.00, a big 1.99 second lifetime best and an enormous 6.37 season’s best which is testimony to Cara’s unwavering work ethic and determination after a slightly disrupted early season.

Inspired by Inch’s hugely promising performance, Chamberlain put his best foot forward in a fast Men’s 800m D race, bettering his own 1:50.07 Club Record from Trafford on 13th June with an emphatic 1:49.57 – his first time running 800m in under 1:50, a major personal milestone.

While Inch adopted a patient approach in her 1500m, Chamberlain hit the front early, passing through 400m in 52.8 seconds and 600m in 1:20 before holding on tight, only just being denied a gutsy victory by Sale Harriers’ talented U20 athlete, Elliot Savage, who also earned a PB of 1:49.34 in the process.

Chamberlain added to his collection of high-profile race scalps by beating a strong field including Ireland’s 1:46 800m man Cillian Kirwan and Tonbridge’s Ben Murphy, the current England Outdoor 800m champion and a 1:47 athlete himself.

This was Chamberlain’s fourth personal best in his last five races – a run of form he’ll be looking to extend for as long as possible this summer.

Inch will hope her own phenomenal performance will provide the perfect platform for her outdoor season to take of from.

All smiles for Cara as she powered to a 1500m PB!

Ted with his coach Rob Grew (based in Exeter)

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