Shelly Woods second at Great Manchester Run as build-up to Commonwealth Games begins

Shelly Woods had to settle for second place at the Great Manchester Run in her build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

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Shelly Woods in England team for Commonwealth Games

The Blackpool Paralympian has been selected to race for England in the marathon at the Games in Birmingham on July 30.

But the Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC wheelchair racer couldn't add to her five wins over the 10-kilometre course in Manchester, pipped on the line in the women’s race by Eden Rainbow-Cooper of the Weir Archer Academy.

Shelly Woods in Manchester today

The 35-year-old Woods' time of 25mins, 33secs was just two seconds behind Rainbow-Cooper, but the race can only have helped Shelly as she prepares for her second Commonwealth Games.

The triple Paralympic medallist told The Gazette: “I'm not too pleased to have been beaten on the line but I gave it a good go. I'm happy with my race and I pushed quite well.

“Hat's off to Eden, who has made the jump from juniors to seniors and I remember how hard and exciting that is.

“I'm basically targeting marathons now and was sixth at Boston last month, which was good.

“I've had Covid too, so lost a bit of training time but I feel I'm getting back to my best and I'm enjoying it.”

As for the build-up to Birmingham, Woods added: “I knew I'd reached the qualifying standard but until it's announced officially you never know whether you're in the team.

“I competed at Glasgow eight years ago but missed the last one on the Gold Coast (during her break from racing to raise son Leo). The Commonwealths are always cool.”