Female athlete smiles and holds her arms high. She is blonde, and is wearing a red top. Her race number says The Big Half, and her surname in capital letters, THACKERY
First placed for the women's elite category Britain's Calli Thcackery celebrates as she crosses the finish line in 'The Big Half' half marathon in London, on September 3, 2023. Big Half 2023 are British trials for World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon. The start is close to Tower Bridge and finish at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

A team of 12 athletes has been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia on Sunday 1 October.

The athletes have been selected to compete in the one mile, 5km and half marathon races at the first staging of these Championships.

Calli Thackery (Hallamshire) leads the women’s half marathon quartet after her Trial victory at the Big Half last week. She will be joined by Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis, Lincoln Wellington), Clara Evans (Pontypridd) and Samantha Harrison (Vince Wilson, Charnwood) in the women’s race where individual and team medals are up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Trials winner, Jack Rowe (Tim Eglen, Aldershot Farnham & District), Mahamed Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton) and Jonny Mellor (Liverpool) will take on the men’s half marathon around the streets of Riga.

Following the UK Road Championships in Newcastle / Gateshead on Friday, Scott Beattie (Mike Bateman, Morpeth) and Tom Mortimer (Chris and Sonia McGeorge, Stroud) take the spots in the men’s 5km race, while Verity Ockenden (Swansea) assured her place in the team after a road 5km personal best of 15:26 at the trial.

In the shorter distances, Callum Elson (Cambridge & Coleridge) will represent GB & NI in the men’s one mile race, while Sarah McDonald (Andrew Walling, Birchfield) is called-up for the women’s contest.

Team Leader, Mark Pollard, said, “The World Athletics Road Running Championship is an excellent opportunity for these athletes to gain valuable experience at the global level. After two competitive trial events over the past week, we are pleased to be selecting several athletes to represent the country in Latvia next month.”

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia on Sunday 1 October:

Senior women

One Mile

Sarah McDonald (Andrew Walling, Birchfield)


Verity Ockenden (Swansea)

Half Marathon

Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis, Lincoln Wellington)

Clara Evans (Pontypridd)

Samantha Harrison (Vince Wilson, Charnwood)

Calli Thackery (Hallamshire)

Senior men

One Mile

Callum Elson (Cambridge and Coleridge)


Scott Beattie (Mike Bateman, Morpeth)

Tom Mortimer (Chris and Sonia McGeorge, Stroud)

Half Marathon

Mahamed Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton)

Jonny Mellor (Liverpool)

Jack Rowe (Tim Eglen, Aldershot Farnham and District)

Team Staff

Mark Pollard – Team Leader

Tom Craggs – Team Coach

Liz Yelling – Team Coach

Laura Moss – Physiotherapist