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Sarah Hopkinson, GBR

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Full Name: Sarah Hopkinson
Sex: Female
Club: Gloucester AC
Coach: David Farrow
Trains: Blackbridge Track, Gloucester
County: Gloucestershire
Event: Middle distance, Cross-country, steeplechase

Personal Bests:

Outdoor Flat - women's only
300m 43.6  May 2004 Gloucestershire, GBR  
800m 2:13.4  13 June 2004  Worchester, GBR
1200m 3:44.5 2003 GBR
1500m 4:33.8 12 June 2004 Watford, GBR
1 Mile 4:59.61 6th May 2004  Oxford, GBR
3000m 10:31.73  30 June 2004  Birmingham, GBR
Outdoor Flat - Mixed
3000m (mixed)       
Indoor Flat
800m 2:15.01  2004 Birmingham, GBR
1500m 4:42.47 4th Jan 2004 Cardiff ,GBR
1500m s/c 4:50.5 23rd May 2007 Southampton, GBR


Sarah holds the UK record for the mile at age 10. 


Sarah won the Cheltenham Race for Life.


Winter 2003 - 2004

Sarah was 2nd in the U13s race at the Reebok Challenge in Birmingham, in a time of 10.59.
Sarah won the U13s race at the Reebok Challenge in Sefton Park,  Liverpool, in a time of 10.06.


Sarah is the English Schools' Junior Girl's Cross Country Cup champion. She won the title at Middlesbrough, where she  ran a superb race to claim victory by four seconds.

"It was nice for Sarah to win because she was third last year," said David Farrow.

She confirmed as Britain's No 1 over 600m, 800m, 1,200m and 1,500m in the UK U13 girls' ranking in December 2003.  She also tops the UK Under-13s all-time list in the 300m (44.5), 1200m (3.44.5) and 1 mile (5.14.1) and features in the top four in the other middle distance events.

Sarah won the junior girls' race in the Gloucestershire Schools' Cross-country Championships over Forest trails at Heywood School in Cinderford. 


Sarah was 5th at the Reebok Challenge in Cardiff in a time of 11:56. She was able to move up from Under 13s because of the different age group rules operated by Schools authorities. 



1st Feb - Sarah (currently) tops the U15 girls indoor rankings 2004 (4th U17/U20) with 4:42.47  for 1500m on 4th Jan 04 in Cardiff, 16 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Kayleigh-Ann Brown (Carm).

Sarah Hopkinson also came away with a personal best in the Under-15s 800m in the AAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham. The 12-year-old Gloucester AC runner finished second in a time of 2:15.01 in a race won by Edinburgh's Lynsey Sharp in a championship record and UK Under-15 best time of 2:12.79.

"It was a fantastic turn of speed for Sarah and her time was only 0.2 seconds outside the European Age 12 record,"
added Farrow. "It was also a great thrill for Sarah as it was her first medal at a major championships."

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire


Inter-counties cross-country

Pre-race: Nottingham:   Sarah Hopkinson (161), the reigning Midland Counties Champion, is fourth in the Reebok Cross Challenge standings with 55 points. She was caught on the line and relegated to second place by Eilish McColgan in Birmingham but a few weeks later had a fine victory at the Reebok Liverpool Cross Challenge, with Lucy McLoughlin second and Eilish McColgan third.

Sarah was a disappointing 21st in the U13s race at the Reebok Inter-counties in Nottingham.


Sarah was 7th in the Reebok 2003/2004 series, with 83 points.


English Schools cross-country

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Pre-race: English Schools, Kent: Sarah Hopkinson will line up in the English Schools for the first time in the junior girls' race and will be hoping for a top 10 place to atone for last week's disappointing result in the Inter-counties Championships.

In March, Sarah took the Bronze in the Junior Girls' race at English Schools in Maidstone, Kent, only 2 seconds behind winner, Joanne Harvey.  

On top of this, Sarah has been selected to represent England in the Home Countries International next month, and will now finish her season by running for England against Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in Ayr on Saturday, April 3.

The 12-year-old Gloucester AC runner trains with Emily Pidgeon in David Farrow's coaching group and it is the first time they have run internationally together.

"I'm really looking forward to running in Ayr with Sarah. It will be nice to go away together," said Pidgeon.

Hopkinson, 12, will be hoping to follow in her footsteps next year and she can be satisfied with her bronze medal on her English Schools debut.

"We were looking for Sarah to bounce back after her disappointing run in Nottingham and she did just that," said coach Farrow.


British Schools cross-country

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

After her training partner, Emily Pidgeon's, withdrawl from the Home Nations Schools Cross country championships in Ayr. Pidgeon's withdrawal was  equally disappointing for her Gloucester clubmate

"I think Sarah was really looking forward to having Emily along and without her it will be more demanding and challenging for Sarah," added Farrow. "It will be an interesting experience for Sarah and it represents another step up the ladder for her."

This upset in her preparations didn't seem to hamper Sarah though, as she was just outsprinted into the silver medal position in the closing 50 metres of the junior girls' race by Devon athlete Joanne Harvey.

Summer 2004

British milers' club PB Classic

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Sarah Hopkinson opened the 2004 summer in superb style by setting a new UK Age record in the British Milers' Club PB Classic at Somerset's Millfield School.

She took full advantage of the conditions and the good competition in Monday (3rd May) night's meeting to set a personal best at 1500m. 

Hopkinson shaved four seconds off her personal best in the 1500m. Her time of 4:35.86 was a new UK Age 12 best and again was only a fraction shy of the European record for that age group.

"It was a terrific run by Sarah in what was a very high quality race," added Farrow.


Roger Bannister memorial mile

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

For the second time in four days Sarah Hopkinson has re-written the track history books. Her latest exploits took place in front of one of the legends of British athletics, Sir Roger Bannister.

On the same Iffley Road track in Oxford - now a modern all-weather surface compared to the cinders in 1954, Gloucester AC runner Hopkinson set a new European Age best times in Thursday (6th May) night's Under-20s mile race, which was held at the meeting staged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bannister's ground-breaking first sub-four minute mile. She finished fourth and just dipping under the five-minute barrier with a time of 4:59.61. Clubmate Emily Pidgeon won the Under-20s race in a time of four minutes 50.68 seconds. Non Stanford was second with Hannah England third.

"Emily's time was a new British and European Age 14 record while Sarah's was a British and European age 12 and 13 record," said proud coach David Farrow.

Sarah was presented with a special commemorative medal to celebrate the Bannister mile by Diane Leather, who was the first British woman to break five minutes for the mile in 1954, and also spoke to Bannister.

Rodger Bannister at the meeting

21st May - Sarah won the 300m and 800m at the Gloucestershire County Track & Field Championships at the Prince of Wales Stadium with times of 43.6 and 2:13.9 respectively. 

Hopkinson, 12, shadowed her clubmate all the way round before falling back slightly over the final 100 in her 800m race. Her time of two minutes, 13.9 seconds was a new stadium age group record and an European age 12 record. Pidgeon's winning time of two mins, 12.4secs was a new stadium under-17 record. 

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire


In Birmingham, Sarah Hopkinson was left reflecting on what might have been.

When the 12-year-old Gloucester AC runner crossed the finish line of the 800m in 2:12.5 it appeared she had set a new UK and European Age 12 record.

But within minutes, it had been confirmed that the unfortunate Hopkinson had been disqualified after breaking from her lane too early on the first lap.

"It was a real shame for Sarah because she ran out of her skin and it was a great time," said coach David Farrow.

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire


Sarah Hopkinson clocked an impressive 2:15.75 in the 800m despite blustery winds that slowed all the times in the British Milers Club meeting in Cardiff.

Sarah Hopkinson, coached by David Farrow, was in gold medal form at the Midland Championships. 
The talented 12-year-old burst clear at the bell of the Under-15s 800m and she raced to victory in a time of 2:15.38.

"It was a very pleasing win for Sarah and nice for her to win a title," added Farrow.

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Sarah Hopkinson ran an Age-12 best at the British Milers Club meeting in Watford on 13th June. Hopkinson finished down the field but clocked a startling 4:33.8 in the 1500m B race.

Sarah Hopkinson set two personal bests at the Worcester Open meeting on Tuesday [15th June] evening.  She ran 13.3 over 100m, which she ran for speedwork, and then ran the 800m, setting a new best and UK age 12 best of 2:13.4. The time shaved half a second off her own UK record that she set earlier this season in the Gloucestershire County Championships and made up for the disappointment of being disqualified from a recent BMC race when it looked like she had run as quick.

"It was a tremendous run because it was only a low-key meeting and there was quite a blustery wind," said coach, David Farrow. "We knew she had the time in her because she ran around 2:13 in the BMC race at Solihull before she was disqualified."

Coming four days after her UK record over 1500m at Watford (4:33.8), it completed a superb couple of days for Hopkinson.

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Sarah had a great race against Devon's Joanne Harvey in the South West Schools' Championships at Yeovil, the pair racing neck and neck until the closing stages when Harvey pulled clear for victory in a new championship best time of 2:12.5, the fastest in the UK this summer by a junior girl, Hopkinson finishing just below her best in 2:14.2.

Sarah set a championship best of 10:31.73 in winning the Under-15 girls 3000m, held in conjunction with the senior championships at the Midlands Championships in Birmingham.

English Schools T&F

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Pre-race English Schools Track and Field Championships, Junior Girls 1500m: Cheltenham Ladies' College pupil Sarah Hopkinson will be competing in the under-15 girls' 1500m. Her best time for the distance is four minutes, 33.8 seconds, and she is favourite to take the title.

12-year-old Sarah Hopkinson was running her first Schools' track and field championship. But Hopkinson, who trains alongside Emily Pidgeon in David Farrow's group, is already a wise head on young shoulders and she proved too strong for her rivals pulling clear for a marvellous victory, predeceasing her training partner Emily Pidgeon in the Junior Girls' category, after winning her heat convincingly. Her time in the final of 4:37.25 was just enough to pip Greater Manchester's Lucy McLoughlin for the top spot!

Gloucester Ac members were on top form in the recent Watford Open Graded and British Milers Club Meeting. In the BMC events, Sarah Hopkinson finished third in the women's 800m B race in 2:13.63, only 2 tenths of a second outside her PB.

Winter 2004 - 2005

Sarah Hopkinson opened her winter season at the Bristol Year of Sport/British Milers Club Road Races.

On a tight five-lap, tr
affic-free course next to the Cathedral in Bristol City centre, the 12-year-old Gloucester Athletic Club was pushed hard by Bristol and West AC's Katie Knowles in the opening stages, but Hopkinson eventually pulled clear to win by 12 seconds in a time of 5:25.

"That was a good start to my winter programme and I enjoyed the race," said Hopkinson.

Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

26th September - Sarah tops the U15 girls' seasons outdoor rankings for 1500m with 4.33.8, and lies 6th on the 800m rankings with 2:13.4 and 4th on the 3000m rankings with 10:31.73.

Pre-race: Natalie Grant (Rotherham Harriers) will be looking to repeat her victory in Falkirk in the Under 15 Girl’s race. Grant, will be joined by Kate Hindle (Preston Harriers) runner-up in Falkirk and last year’s Under 13 Girls Series winner Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers). Gloucester’s Sarah Hopkinson is also in the field.
Sarah Hopkinson won the U15s race at the Reebok Cross Challenge race in Birmingham.
Despite an early lead by Blue Haywood (Lincoln Wellington AC), Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) took control in the final stages of the 3km course, to come home first in 13:21 ahead of Jordan Kinney (Royal Sutton Coldfield) who chased her hard to the line.  Rebecca Gough (Team Southampton) finished strongly to take third spot.

Hopkinson said: “I’m really pleased with how the race went. I felt strong, especially towards the end. I plan to run in most of the Reebok Cross Challenge races this season.”


Gloucester Ac members were prominent at the Nike British Milers Club Four Kilometre Cross-country Classic held on Clifton Downs, Bristol.

Sarah Hopkinson retained her intermediate girls title with a win over three kilometres in a new course record of 10:48.


The top three from the Under 15 Girls race at the Reebok Birmingham Cross Challenge are all in the field: Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC), who also won the Inter Girls race at the BMC Cross Country Classic in Bristol last weekend, Jordan Kinney (Royal Sutton Coldfield) and Rebecca Gough (Team Southampton).  Current Under 15 Girls Series rankings leader Kate Hindle (Preston Harriers) also runs.
Parliament hills


Sarah Hopkinson was 3rd in the U15s race at the Reebok Cross Challenge race in Liverpool.


GLOUCESTER AC runner Sarah Hopkinson finished runner-up in the Under-17s 800m in a personal best time of 2:17 at the Sheffield Indoors meeting on Sunday.   Hopkinson was just edged out in a sprint finish by Danielle Walker, one of the girls who has just spent the last month training with Kelly Holmes in South Africa.




Thanks to thissisgloucestershire

Sarah Hopkinson will start among the medal contenders for tomorrow's English Schools cross-country final in Oswestry.

The 13-year-old Gloucester AC runner is representing Cheltenham Ladies College in the competition, which she won last year in the junior age group.

But tomorrow, due to different age groups used in this competition, she is stepping up into the intermediate girls, so she will face girls at least a year older.

"I think a top three place is a reasonable expectation because Sarah will be up against some good girls," said her coach, David Farrow.
"I think a top three place is a reasonable expectation because Sarah will be up against some good girls," said her coach, David Farrow.

Sarah Hopkinson enjoyed a successful race in Oswestry. Representing Cheltenham Ladies College, 13-year-old Hopkinson, who also competes for Gloucester AC and is coached by Farrow, finished runner-up in the English Schools Cross-Country Cup final.

Despite being one of the youngest girls in the intermediate age group, Hopkinson came a close second to Devon winner Joanne Harvey from Ivybridge.


20 January 2005 - Sarah Hopkinson was a distant 3rd in the UWIC/BMC Indoor meeting 3000m around the tight indoor track in Cardiff behind Emily Pidgeon and top Welsh senior Catherine Dugdale. Hopkinson's time of 10:03.99 was also a personal best and moved the 13-year-old to second on the UK Under-15 rankings - behind, of course, Pidgeon.

Adapted from thissisgloucestershire


12th March English Schools XC Norwich Junior girls 38th



Summer 2005

The Women’s 800m A race yielded two meeting records. Emily Goodall (Crawley AC) won in 2:11.26, becoming the fastest yet Under 17 over the distance at this meeting. Danielle Walker (Royal Sutton Coldfield AC), one of the teenagers to benefit from being On Camp With Kelly, was second in 2:11.59, also inside the previous Under 17 meeting record. And Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) took third place in 2:12.41, the quickest time registered by an Under 15.


13-year-old Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) lowered her PB to 2:10.6 – entering the UK all-time top 10 – in winning the Gloucestershire Under 15 800m title at Cheltenham.


BMC, Manchester: Sarah was 3rd in the Women's 1500m B race in a time of 4:33.60.


Winter 2005/6

Sarah Hopkinson was third in the Under 18 Women's race at the Cinque Mulini in Italy.



Pre-race: Under 15 girls (year 8 & 9) 3km – UK Cross Challenge leader Blue Haywood (Lincoln Wellington) will renew battle with Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham and District), who has already won Challenge races in London and Liverpool this winter; Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester), who is another fine prospect in the same training group as Emily Pidgeon; and Tamara Armoush (Amber Valley), who was second in the Under 13 Girls’ race her 12 months ago and has run so consistently well this winter that she currently holds third place in the UK Cross Challenge standings.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Sarah was 4th in the Under 15 girl's race at the UK Challenge in Cardiff.



25th March English Schools XC Mansfield Intermediate Girls 2nd


Winter 2006/7

25th November UK Challenge Liverpool U17 9th
21st January UK Challenge Cardiff U17 3rd
10th March National XC Sunderland U17 5th
24th March English Schools XC Temple Newsham, Leeds Intermediate Girls 10th


Summer 2007

23rd May Aqua Pura Steeplechase Southampton 1500m s/c 1st 4:50.5


Aqua-Pura Steeplechase speeds-up

Under 17s Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) and Louise Webb (Team Southampton) both ran quicker than Jo Ankier’s Senior Women’s 1500m Steeplechase UK record of 4 minutes 52.5 seconds in an Aqua-Pura Development Race at Southampton on Wednesday May 23. Both were also well inside the UK Junior Women’s mark of 5.13.7 recorded by Bryony Frost at the 2003 European Junior Championships.

From the gun, Hopkinson made her intentions clear and the first 400m was run in a quick 74 seconds with Webb tracking her. Both girls looked very proficient over the barriers and water jump.

Hopkinson’s training partner Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), running the event for the first time, lost ground at each obstacle but was never far away from the leaders, using her strength over 3k and cross country to maintain contact.

Running stride for stride down the home straight, Webb took the last barrier slightly better to have the edge but Hopkinson proved stronger in the run to the line to win by half a second.

These excellent performances bode well for the Aqua-Pura 2,000m steeplechase event during the St Mary’s Relays meeting at Twickenham on 6 June. Both Hopkinson and Webb are young enough to gain selection for the IAAF World Youth Championships to be staged in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where the UK Athletics selection time to chase is 6:48.00.

Race result: 1 Sarah Hopkinson (Gloucester AC) 4.50.5; 2 Louise Webb (Team Southampton) 4.50.9; 3 Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) 4.56.4; 4 Charlotte Bates (Unattached) 5.35.6; 5 Becky Neale (Poole AC) 5.38.8.

Geoff Watkin, Aqua Pura Steeplechase Coordinator, was delighted with the performances of all five competitors, adding it was clear that this year’s Aqua-Pura programme was paying dividends.

He explained: “At the start of the year, Louise Webb hadn’t been over a barrier but through attending the Aqua-Pura sessions at the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary’s University Twickenham, she has already made so much progress in the event. I know that the 1500m steeplechase is not run too often but these were cracking performances.”