Perse teacher picks up pace at national road race championships

Jonathan Escalante-Phillips put his best foot forward at the inaugural UK 5km Road Race Championships.

The Perse economics and maths teacher was among an elite field featuring the country’s top runners in the men’s race at the event in Newcastle.

With the prize of a place representing Great Britain at the first World Road Race Championships in Latvia up for grabs, Mr Escalante-Phillips narrowly missed out by finishing sixth in a time of 14min 22sec.

However, he was satisfied with his performance on a tricky course, held over part of the same circuit as the AJ Bell Great North Run.

“For me, getting into the trial race itself was really the main achievement and I’m pleased to have come sixth,” said Mr Escalante-Phillips, who does much of his training by running his 10-mile round trip to and from school each day.

“Invitations to take part were only sent to people who have run under 14min 10sec – broadly speaking, that’s the top 30 in the country.

“From what I know of the other runners, many of them are fully sponsored, full-time athletes, so I’m pleased to have mixed in with them. I even had a stint at the front of the race.

“I had a good race and ran strategically very well. It was warm and there were steep inclines in the loop involved going over the bridges (on the Tyne) with some tight bollards coming down a hill.

“It was quite a technical course, but that makes it exciting to race because you have to get yourself in good positions.”

With the Great North Run being held on the same weekend, there was added razzmatazz around the British Championships.

“It was shown live on BBC iPlayer, so there were drones flying overhead, a motorbike cavalcade taking you through and a guy on the back of one of the motorbikes with a big camera,” said the Cambridge & Coleridge athlete.

Mr Escalante-Phillips’ athletic achievements include winning the Cambridge Half Marathon and representing England at road racing.

This weekend, he will be heading to Copenhagen to act as a pacemaker in the elite women’s race in the Danish capital’s half marathon.


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