Jane Horder competed at the South West Masters championships at Exeter where she broke the W60 80m hurdles and 300 hurdles world records – 12.97 for the 80 hurdles and 49.80 for the 300 hurdles, smashing the previous records which stood at 13.26 and 51.64 respectively. Horder now owns all the W60 hurdle records as she already have the indoor 60m hurdles record. She will now compete in the British Masters at the weekend and the European Masters in Aarhus, Denmark at the end of July.
Cheltenham & County Harriers sprint hurdlers claim two medals at the England Athletics U20/U23 Championships in Bedford. Competing in her first year in the U23 age group Mollie Courtney won bronze in a closely contested 100m hurdles final in a time of 13.51s. Along the way she won her heat in a season’s best time of 13.44s. That time was significant as it was under the Commonwealth Games Nomination Standard for Northern Ireland for which Courtney is eligible to compete. Courtney, the 2017 NI & Ulster 100m hurdles champion, is the 10th athlete to achieve a NI standard for the 2018 Games to be held in Gold Coast, Austrailia.
In the U20 age group Sophie Yorke competed well through the 100m rounds to finish 5th in the final in a time of 11.99s. However she would have had in the back of her mind that she already had a qualification time for the European Junior Championships in the 100m hurdles. Winning her 100mH heat comfortably in a wind-assisted 13.55s Yorke then went on to claim silver in the final setting a new wind-legal PB of 13.47s. Being second over the line meant automatic selection for the European Juniors as the Bedford meeting acted as the trials for the Championships to be held in Grosseto, Italy in July.
Will New lead Cheltenham Harriers to a team win with a fine second place at the Rose Inn 4 mile road race in the Welsh village of Redwick. New, along with teammates Jon Barnes and Eliot Taylor went through the opening mile in 5:04 in a four man second pack as they lay in sixth to eighth places behind leader Oliver Williams (Les Croupier) and a chasing group of four athletes. Whilst Williams remained unchallenged the two chasing groups had merged into one by the time they had reached the two mile mark in 10:18. New then worked on the front of the group as he split the pack as only GB international Charlotte Arter (Cardiff) kept with him. By the time he had gone through 5km in 16:05 New was clear in second, but a resilient Arter closed the gap again with a kilometre remaining. The duo remained locked together until New pulled away in the final 300m to take second in a personal best of 20:43 after Williams had taken the win in 20:19. With four to score in the team competition Andy Gardiner then completed the victorious Cheltenham team in twelfth place as he showed a notable improvement in form with a pleasing 21:32. New and Barnes followed up their midweek endeavours with a weekend outing at the Shrewsbury Half Marathon where they started steadily and aimed to move through the field. Whilst new finished with his fastest three miles splits to take fifth place in 76:42, Barnes found the hot conditions and hilly course took its toll in the final miles as he crossed the line in 78:17 for seventh place.
Similarly tough conditions were evident at the Bourton Hilly Half Marathon where Shona-Crombie Hicks was the first lady home in 1:30:49. Dave Rantell had earlier crossed the line in fifth in 1:26:32 and Ian Giles recorded 1:38:20 before Sarah Sheppard was the fourth lady home in 1:40:24. Paul Barnes (1:44:01) and Dave Hemmings (1:48:00) also completed the challenging event. Crombie-Hicks had also enjoyed a midweek win at the Malvern 10k multi-terrain race where Hemmings had finished thirty-third. Three days later Malvern brought another Harriers victory as Gareth Edwards won the Malvern Trails Half Marathon. The Cirencester Park Summer Sizzler 10k was a race that lived up to its name as James Wilkinson (38:30), Martin Ford (44:14), Debbie Smith (46:05) and Ken Buckle (56:00) battled against the temperature. On the track meanwhile Dan Owen won the E race at Watford Open meeting in a pleasing time of 1:55.33. Weekend parkruns saw Andy Gardiner lower his parkrun PB to 16:33 as he won the Worcester Pitchcroft event in which Alister Brown (19:15) placed ninth. There were also wins for Fee Maycock (19:37) who was the first lady across the line at the Gloucester North parkrun and for Liam Roarty (19:59) at the River Valley parkrun in Dublin. Toby Wort (17:16) took second at the Kingsway event in Gloucester whilst at the Cheltenham parkrun Steve Hall (18:50), Simon Critchley (19:01) and Carsten Adams (19:21) enjoyed a run out.
Cheltenham Harriers athletes claimed two of the top 100m hurdles spots in area championships over the weekend. Mollie Courtney (U23) was crowned Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Champion after winning in Belfast. Courtney recorded 13.61s but expressed disappointment with her time in a post-race interview. “I had hoped to run faster but the gusty headwind affected my performance today – I’ve definitely got a faster time in me”. In Nuneaton, at the U20/Senior Midlands Championships, Sophie Yorke (U20) was forced to use a 100m heat as part of her warmup for the hurdles. She won her sprint heat comfortably in a wind-assisted 12.11s. Shortly afterwards the wind picked up further for the combined U20/Senior 100m hurdles final which Yorke won overall in 13.31s to be crowned Midlands U20 Champion. Later she was denied a second gold, missing out by just 0.02s, in the 100m final claiming silver in 11.72s again running with a strong tailwind.
Dan Owen claimed a fine double with victories in the 3000m steeplechase and 1500m at the Midland Championships in Nuneaton. A class above the rest of the field in the steeplechase and unconcerned about his time on a windy day, Owen was able to ease down in the closing stages to take a comfortable victory in a relatively modest 9:46.75. However, the 1500m was always going to be a much tougher test as Owen lined up alongside teammate Richard de-Camps. With no athlete wanting to set a pace in the wind, Owen deliberately went to the front to slow things down and the first 800m was covered in a pedestrian 2:24. The pace then started to wind up gradually with the Andy Beadle coached athlete still holding the lead with 450m to go when he was passed by Tamworth runner Stephen Parkes. de-Camps and Aaron Brown (Tipton) also passed Owen on the back straight to leave him fourth position with 200m remaining, a position he still held as they reached the home straight. A strong last 100m then saw Owen reduce the deficit to finally pass Parkes and de-Camps with just 30m to claim gold in 4:12.01. de-Camps then took silver in 4:12.52 with Parkes finishing third in 4:12.84. In the 5000m Phil Beastall led from 400m into the race as the pack behind him gradually dwindled to just four athletes with just three laps remaining. At this point Jack Bancroft (Bristol) made a decisive race winning move leaving Beastall and Joe Smith (Tipton) battling for the minor medals as they in turn pulled clear of Jack Millar (Bristol). Smith then overtook the Cheltenham athlete with 700m to go, but Beastall hung on before sprinting past the Tipton man in the final 100m to claim silver in 15:09.77 just one second ahead of Smith and five seconds behind Bancroft. In the same race Charlie Jones made his 5000m track debut to finish tenth in 16:03.11.
Graham Rush meanwhile made his GB track debut in the European 10,000m Cup in Belarus. The thirty five athletes were seeded into two races with Rush being placed in the faster A race. Very hot conditions meant it was not a day for fast time with Rush claiming thirteenth place from the twenty starters and sixteen finishers in a time of 30:03.97, just one second and one place behind leading Brit Matthew Leach. To put Rush’s performance into perspective, he was the only one of the six GB representatives in the men’s and women’s races to be within a minute of their season’s best.
Earlier in the week at the Hereford 5k road race the Harriers produced a dominant team performance with seven of the first eight finishers. A nine man group pulled clear from the start and remained together as they went through the opening mile in 5:11. Eliot Taylor, Will New, Charlie Jones and Wye Valley’s Dan King all took turns on the front with the strong lead pack also including fellow Harriers Dave Aubrey, Mark James, Jon Barnes and Ben Colabella. Joe Reardon (Aberdare) fell off the pace around the half way point, with the leading eight man group still working well as a pack as they reached the 3km mark. At this point Will New picked up the pace and the group began to fragment slightly as they passed the 2 mile point in 10:19 with the front four of New, Taylor, Jones and King opening up a small gap over their rivals. King was next to make his move with half a mile to go as he and Jones moved a few yards clear. Jones then hit the front with around 500m remaining to open a few metres on King as the race moved onto the athletics track with 350m to go with a procession of Harriers vests in pursuit. Jones maintained his form to cross the line two seconds ahead of King to claim the race win in a personal best of 15:56 and the overall series title. Taylor then took third in 15:58 and New claimed fourth in 16:01. James gained two places in the final run in as he took both the on the day and series veteran title in a new personal best of 16:02. Barnes then crossed the line in 16:04 before Aubrey showed good form with 16:09 and Colabella posted an impressive PB of 16:12 for eighth place. Steve Maguire then recorded a season’s best of 17:52 before Naomi Eaton finished as third lady in a time of 18:35. The Harriers team victory ensured they claimed the team prize for the series after also winning the earlier two races in the competition. The Worcester Pitchcroft 10k saw Fee Maycock claim a win as she finished as first lady in 39:08 at an event where James Wilkinson posted a time of 38:48 and Charlotte Deacon set a PB of 50:24. Andy Gore meanwhile took on the challenge of the 54.2 miles Cotswold Way Race to the Tower where he finished third in 9:36:59. Weekend parkruns saw Wil New (16:54), John Parker (17:03) and Toby Wort (17:31) fill the first three places at the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park whilst Dave Tomlin (17:26) was first across the line at the Kingsway event in Gloucester.
Midland League Divsion 2
1 Wolves & Bilston AC 347
2 Halesowen A&CC 333.5
3 Cheltenham & County H 332
4 City of Stoke AC 326
5 Worcester AC 298.5
6 Leamington C&AC 166
This should mean we remain in 1st place after 2 matches
Jane Horder ran in midland masters championships in Nuneaton, winning the W60 300 hurdles in 50.5 seconds. This performance, had it been electronic timing, would have been a new world record and was faster than the time she run at the county champs which also would have broken the world record if it had been electronically timed. Horder also ran the 200 metres which was just 10 minutes after the hurdles and won that in 30.8 seconds.
There were race wins for Richard de-Camps and Alex Bampton as Cheltenham Harriers contested their Midland League Division 2 fixture at Wolverhampton. In the 1500m de-Camps was content to track the early leader Casey Maddock of Stoke as the pair instantly pulled clear of the field with a 64 second opening lap. Little then changed over the next 700m with de-Camps remaining on the Maddock’s shoulder as they reached the bell in 3:02. With just over 300m remaining Maddock kicked for home and opened up a five metre gap, but significantly this didn’t grow any further with the Cheltenham athlete starting to close the deficit as they hit the 200m mark. Judging his race perfectly de-Camps went past his opponent with about 80m remaining to claim the win by nine tenths of a second in 4:02.4. Further success in the race came with Jacob Pickering placing fourth overall to finish as second B runner in a new personal best of 4:13.9. In the 3000m Bampton hit the front after the opening lap and soon established a gap over the rest of the field as he went through the opening kilometre in around three minutes. Whilst Leamington’s Paul Andrew reduced the gap slightly in the second half of the race, Bampton was never troubled and took a comfortable victory in 9:04.8 with a five second winning margin. Running as a non-scoring guest athlete Liam Roarty took third in a new PB of 9:13.5 before Will New took the B string win in 9:19.7 in fifth place overall. Also racing as guests were Dan Thomas who crossed the line in 9:33.1 and Alex Lindfield who set a PB of 9:42.5. The ladies 3000m also brought good points with new signing Naomi Eaton taking third place in 10:55.5 to finish as second A runner and Fee Maycock placing fifth overall and second B runner in 11:17.0. Maycock also contested the 1500m where she was fourth B runner in 5:23.8 as she finished just behind Ella Burfitt who was the fifth A runner in 5:21.9. In the 800m races the Emma Quekett ran 2:29.9 PB for fifth in the A race and Agata Giles (2:50.6) was the fifth in the B race. Jacob Pickering (2:04.4) was fifth in the men’s 800m A race and John Merrett (2:03.7) took third in the B race. Matt Evans (12:14.6) and Steve Maguire (12:21.1) scored valuable points in the 3000m steeplechase as they finished fifth A and third B runners respectively.
Earlier in the week at the Watford Open Meeting Dan Owen was in good form as he finished twelfth in the 3000m in 8:31.04 whilst George Hawthorne gained the same position in the B race in a PB of 9:24.50. Oliver Powell recorded a time of 4:24.43 in the 1500m E race and Alex Lindfield set a PB of 4:26.99 in the F race. Three days later Owen followed up his performance with a win in the 2000m steeplechase in 5:53.25 at the BMC Academy event in Milton Keynes where Fraser Willmore also impressed with a victory in the 3000m B race in an excellent PB of 8:53.16.
Away from the track Tommaso Migliuolo enjoyed a win as the Harriers hosted the Cleeve Cloud Cuckoo multi-terrain 5 mile race over a challenging course on Cleeve Hill. Ian Porter (CLC) led the race up the opening climb before Migliuolo took the lead which he held to the finish to beat Porter by six seconds. With James Wilkinson seventh and Andrew Kaighin seventeenth the club took the team win whilst Dave Hemmings (28th), Paul Barnes (56th) and first V70 runner Martin Ford (66th) also enjoyed a run out in the 167 strong field. The previous evening at the Aztec West 5k in Bristol Mark James finished as first veteran in 16:22 for eighth place overall. Roger Mullins recorded 17:17 before Martin Soakell set a PB of 18:54 and Fee Maycock won her FV45 category with a time of 19:31. Sunday’s Fairford 10K saw Shona Crombie-Hicks finish as second lady behind Victoria Baker (Forest of Dean) as she was first veteran home in 40:21. Mark James completed the testing course in 35:49 as second veteran in seventh overall before Paul Barnes stopped the clock at 42:18 and Martin Ford’s 43:06 saw him beat all the V60 and V65 runners. There were parkrun wins for Phil Wylie (15:35) at Exeter Riverside, for Andy Gardiner (17:30) at the Amager Strandpark event in Copenhagen and for Phil Beastall (15:48) at Cheltenham where Marcus England (17:25) took second, James Wilkinson (18:33) finished fourth and Simon Critchley (18:51) placed eighth. Liam Roarty (18:55) finished third at the Gloucester North event whilst Rachel See (21:35) was the fourth lady at Swindon.