By Dr Jane Ainsworth
Story of the Event
The Women’s Amateur Athletic Association (WAAA) introduced cross country races for women as early as 1927. However, the prevailing concern for the effect of longer distances on women’s health in the world of the 1920s meant that no distance longer than 880 yards would appear on the championship programme until 1936. The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) would not ratify world records in the 3000m until 1974, six years after this distance first appeared on the WAAA programme. The first world record in the 5000m, detailed below, was not ratified until 1981. Eventually, in 1983, the first World Championships in Helsinki included 3000m on the programme, and the Olympics followed suit in 1984. By 1996, both championships had replaced the 3000m with the 5000m.
The first world record in the 5000m was set in Knarvik in 1981. The ground-breaking athlete who set this record was the 1983 WAAA champion, Paula Fudge, in a time of 15:14.51. Fudge won the first Commonwealth 3000m title in 1978, with her sister Ann taking the bronze medal. A second British athlete, Zola Budd, advanced the record to 14:48.07 four years later.
During the period when the trophies were not presented, two of Britain’s most popular and influential athletes enjoyed success at this distance. Paula Radcliffe’s time of 14:29.11 from 2004 still places her in the top 10 all-time list, with extensive achievements at longer distances from 10km to the marathon. After a silver medal in the 10,000m at the Seville World Championships in 1999, her string of outstanding performances began in the City of Manchester Stadium with victory in the 2002 Commonwealth Games 5000m. Four years later in Melbourne Commonwealth silver was taken by Jo Pavey. In 2014 Pavey added Commonwealth bronze in the event and would later take the European title at 10000m in Zurich. The inspirational examples of Radcliffe and Pavey at national and international level cannot be underestimated.
Percy Price’s donation of the trophy derives from his links with Spartan Ladies Athletics Club, of which Dame Marea Hartman was a member. Hartman played a fundamental role in the development of women’s athletics both at home and internationally in her various roles which included stints as Honorary Treasurer, Secretary and Vice-Chair of WAAA and the British Amateur Athletic Board (BAAB), and Chair of the IAAF Women’s Commission. In addition, she served as women’s team manager at Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games for over 25 years. In his obituary of her in The Independent, her contemporary in athletics administration, Sir Arthur Gold, summed up her achievements:
“in the post-war era women have been fully integrated into the sport, participating in nearly 20 different track and field disciplines, in internationals jointly with the men’s team, in cup competitions and, latterly, at grand prix events. This transformation was due in large part to the work of Marea Hartman”.
Price’s donation of the trophy for 5000m, one of the final track events to be added to a women’s championship programme that now matches that of the men, is a fitting marker to his club colleague’s achievements. At her first Olympics as team manager in 1956, Hartman had to manage competitors in only 9 events, with no track events being run over the distance of 200m.
History of the Trophy
WAAA champions in the 5000m received this trophy from 1981-1995. Since 2010 the trophy has been presented to the winner of the English Senior Championships 5000m.
|1981 K. Binns||1986 M. Samy||1991 A. Wright|
|1982 M. Joyce||1987 C. Newman||1992 A. Wright|
|1983 P. Fudge||1988 J. Shields||1993 S. Rigg|
|1984 S. Samy||1989 S. Crehan||1994 S. Barbour|
|1985 M. Joyce||1990 S. Ellis||1995 A. Wyeth|
|2010 C. Purdue||2013 S. Twell||2016 C. Duck|
|2011 J. Heslop||2014 E. Gorecka||2017 V. Ockenden|
|2012 J. Coulson||2015 J. Hill||2018 J. Judd|
|2019 J. Judd|