Phoebe Gill Runs BMC Women-only 800m Record

Phoebe Gill runs BMC women-only 800m record

The 17-year-old clocks 1:58.07 at Sportcity in Manchester after a 55-second first lap as runner-up Ciara Mageean runs an Irish record of 1:58.51

Showing no fear or inhibitions, Phoebe Gill ran a women-only 800m British Milers’ Club record and BMC all-comers’ record of 1:58.07 after a blisteringly fast opening lap on Saturday (May 25) in Manchester.

Phoebe Gill

Gill, who only turned 17 last month, followed her 1:57.86 at the Irish Milers’ Meeting in Belfast earlier this month with another brilliant run in Manchester. This time, though, she boldly followed pacemaker Seren Bundy-Davies through the bell in 54.95 before inevitably dying but hanging on to win from Ciara Mageean, the runner-up setting an Irish record of 1:58.51.

Gill broke Alex Bell’s women-only BMC 800m record of 1:59.28, which was set by the Olympic finalist last year at Birmingham University, in addition to breaking Australian Abbey Caldwell’s BMC all-comers’ mark of 1:58.92.

Only Laura Muir has run quicker with her 1:57.23 but in a mixed race at Trafford in 2022.

Phoebe Gill (James Rhodes)

“It was nice to get another sub-two minutes under my belt and that is so cool to learn I broke the BMC record, I didn’t realise that at the time,” said Gill.

“I remember running this race last year when the top two women broke two minutes (Caldwell and Mageean) but some others fell and I ended up having to jump over them like in a steeplechase!

“I was disappointed with that (she finished sixth in 2:06.37).”

In third, Erin Wallace ran a PB and Olympic qualifying time of of 1:59.19 as three women broke two minutes in a BMC race for the first time ever.

A top-class field saw Sarah Healy of Ireland fourth in 2:00.86, Issy Boffey fifth in 2:01.14, Khai Mhlanga sixth in 2:02.10 and Ellie Baker seventh in 2:02.99.


Ciara Mageean (James Rhodes)

“It took the BMC 55 years to get our first sub-two-minute 800m in 2017 then a further five years until 2022 to get two women sub-two in the same race,” said BMC treasurer Matthew Fraser Moat. “Now in 2024 we have three women sub-two minutes for the first time in the same race.”

On the blistering first lap, Gill said: “I had intended to go through 57-58 seconds pace but I think we both made a mess of the pace and got confused.”

“I was a bit stressed at the bell when I saw the split and I knew that the last 150m would be painful. But I had something similar at the English Schools’ last year when I blasted through the first lap and ended up almost walking across the line!

“It was not my favourite way to run an 800m race and I really felt it afterwards. It was very tough but I’m learning all the time.”

She added: “I’m just so happy to be running qualifying times but I know there is much more to it than that. Britian has such high-calibre runners in the 800m and for me it is just amazing to think about it.

“Obviously my coach (Deborah Steer) and I have had to completely re-look at our training and race programme after Belfast as I was not expecting this at all. It has been a nice surprise though!”


Reece Sharman-Newell (James Rhodes)

In the men’s 800m Reece Sharman-Newell had hoped to dip inside the European Champs qualifying standard of 1:45.20 after having recently run a season’s best of 1:45.50 in Los Angeles. But he ran 1:46.77, albeit winning comfortably.

“Unfortunately a few people didn’t turn up so I knew it would be a solo run from the get-go,” said Reece.

“It wasn’t the result I was after at all but I only just got back from the USA so a solo 1:46 wasn’t the worst. But I know I’ve got a lot more time to come off that 1:45.”

In the men’s 5000m Hillary Bor of the United States was a class apart as the steeplechase specialist won with a front-running 13:29.79 with Matt Ramsden second in 13:48.11 and Alfie Manthorpe third in 13:49.26.


Beth Morley beats Alex Millard (James Rhodes)

Elsewhere Beth Morley won the women’s 1500m in 4:11.84 from Izzy Fry as Laura Galvin of Mexico was third with youngsters Innes FitzGerald fifth (4:15.50), Lyla Belshaw sixth (4:16.07) and Shaikira King eighth (4:18.18).

Max Wharton took the men’s 1500m in 3:43.72.

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