BARNSLEY teenager Eleanor Baker won the women’s race at the Great Manchester Run Half Marathon – taking another step on what she hopes will be a journey to represent Great Britain in major events.

The 19-year-old from Barugh Green set a personal best of 74-49 and was more than three minutes quicker than the second female.

She returned to the top of the UK rankings for the under 20 category.

Eleanor has just completed her second year as a history and politics student at the University of Sheffield while also working part-time in a scaffolding yard.

She said: “It went really well. I got the result I wanted.

“In my head, I wanted to better my PB which was one hour 16. I didn’t expect to beat it by almost two minutes.

“I got the gist most of the way through that I was the first female.

“A couple of women set off quite quickly but I stayed consistent and gradually overtook them.

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“Two guys next to me were running a similar pace, trying to get one hour 15.

“I ran alongside until they dropped the pace and I had some more in the tank.

“I was just coming back from a stress fracture in my foot so to win with that time really meant a lot to me.”

Eleanor’s aim is to become a professional long-distance runner and represent Great Britain.

Her ultimate goal would be to compete in the Olympic marathon but she is currently focusing on shorter races.

Qualifying for the 10k at the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo and the half marathon at the World Road Running Championships in San Diego – both in 2025 – are two of her possible goals in the near future.

“I am working towards World Championships and Commonwealth Games in the next few years.

“I am not that far off the qualifying times and improving all the time so hopefully I can do it.

“The LA Olympics in 2028 is something I am definitely looking towards.

“I have plenty of time to get the qualifying time for that.

“At the moment I am focusing on 10k and half marathon to really perfect and finetune then, when I am in my mid-20s, I can move onto the marathon.”

Eleanor, who trains 16 hours per week, will first focus on races closer to home.

“I have the Barnsley 10k coming up on June 30 which I am really looking forward to.

“That will be a really good one to run in my hometown.

“Then there is the York 10k on August 4 and I have also qualified to run with the elites at the Great North Run which is another big achievement.”

Also in the Manchester race, representing England Masters in the over35 age category for the first time was Barnsley AC’s Josh Bird. He finished as ninth over35 in 77-27. Alan Nutton knocked two minutes off his PB with 83-02. In the Great Manchester Run 10k, Morgan Thompson set a new PB of 34-39. There was a PB for Penistone’s Rory O’Sullivan (48-57) in the Manchester 10k and Gemma Nutton (1-51-09) in the Manchester half marathon. Barnsley Harrier Deborah Wilson finished 5,345th in the 10k with 57-05.