Youth Development League, 23 July

The Harriers under 17/20 team took part in a promotion match at the weekend and finished in 3rd place, thus retaining their position in the Midland Premier South West Division of the Youth Development League The match was won by a very strong Swansea team, with West Wales taking 2nd place. The Harriers men and women produced many fine performances during the day, with the outcome not secured until the final stages of the match.

Distance Running Report, 19-22 July

Cheltenham Harrier Charlie Jones enjoyed a race win as he set a new personal best at the Bristol & West 5000m meeting held in Yate. Jones was content to sit in the main pack in the early stages of the B race as he passed through the opening kilometre in 3:13 in sixth place, three seconds behind the breakaway lead duo of GB international Charlotte Arter (Cardiff) and Will Ruiz (Blackheath). Fellow Harriers Dave Aubrey and Eliot Taylor were also in the main group just behind Jones. By three kilometres Arter had extended her lead as she reached 3000m in 9:24 with Ruiz six seconds adrift. Taunton’s James Watson (9:33) wad just ahead of Jones and Taylor (9:34) with Aubrey a further second back. Jones then pushed on the pace as the race took shape, with Arter starting to fade and the pack beginning to split behind. By the time he had reached 4000m in 12:45 the Cheltenham athlete was now up into second place, just two seconds behind Arter, with Watson just behind him. Jones then took the lead on the penultimate lap with just a small gap over both his rivals as they reached the bell. With pressure from Watson, Jones’ 67 second last lap ensured he took the win in 15:47.4 with the Taunton man less than a second behind. Arter’s challenge faded and she crossed the line eight seconds adrift in third. Aubrey meanwhile produced a solid run for seventh place in 16:11.4 whilst Taylor faded to eleventh in 16:28.8. In the following A race Phil Wylie and Alex Bampton both represented the Harriers with Wylie going through the opening kilometre in 2:57 before falling off the front pack of five just before the 2000m mark. After going through the third km isolated in 9:00 the GB international duathlete continued to slow slightly to 12:05 by 4km. Picking up a place with a strong last kilometre Wylie crossed the line in 15:03.7 for fifth place in a race won by the host club’s Tom Merson in 14:40.1. Bampton meanwhile was attempting to break his 15:08 PB and opened with a 3:01 kilometre before reaching 3km in 9:04. However, by the time he reached 4000m in 12:09 the PB bid was all but over. However, it was another solid performance from the Birmingham University graduate as he took tenth place in 15:14.0. Earlier in the evening Toby Wort lowered his personal best to 17:04.5 as he placed sixth in the D race.

Earlier in the week the track action focused on the 1500m as the Harriers hosted their third Midsummer Open meeting. Mark James’ fine recent form continued as he set yet another personal best with 4:15.5 for third place in a race won by CLC’s Will Ferguson in 4:12.9. Wheelchair athlete Gareth Picken then recorded 4:15.9 whilst Mike Gray was less than a second outside his PB with 4:20.1. Iain Devlin (4:28.6) and Steve Maguire (4:30.2) followed before Matthew Dwerryhouse set a PB of 4:33.1 and Russell Forsbrook (4:38.1) completed the A race. The B race brought then brought a win for Toby Wort in 4:34.6 whilst Martin Soakell ran well for 4:51.0.

On the roads there was a first win in a Cheltenham Harriers vest for Sarah Sheppard as she was the first lady home at the Wye Valley 10k in 41:53 for a 25 second winning margin over the Forest of Dean’s Chloe Wheeler. Dave Rantell finished tenth overall as he completed the undulating course in 38:11 whilst fellow veteran Dave Hemmings crossed the line in 44:26. Phil Wylie meanwhile finished second in the Exeter 10k in 31:29 as he finished fifteen seconds adrift of Bristol’s Tom Merson. Weekend parkruns saw Liam Roarty (17:58) take the win at Eastleigh, Will New (17:23) take second at the Pashanger event in Hertfordshire and Andy Gardiner (18:05) finish as runner up at the Bath skyline parkrun. There was also a second place for James Bingham (18:08) in Cheltenham where Dave Hemmings (20:50) and Martin Ford (21:50) also contested the first event on the new Pittville Park course.

LAG YDL Promotion Match, 15 July

The U13/U15G teams participating in the LAG YDL Promotion match in Swindon recently finished in second place ensuring their continued participation in the Premier League next season.

Highlights for the U13B team were Joe Coley’s winning A string 200m performance in 28secs and his 2nd place LJ of 4.53m. Harry Ineson came 1st in the B string LJ with 4.33m and B string HJ with 1.30m. Chayse Hamilton came 2nd in A string HJ also with 1.30m. In the U13G team Jessica Duncton came 2nd in the A string 70mH in 12.17 secs. Olivia Williams finished 2nd in Shot with 6.97m and 2nd in Jav with 18.97m. Lettie Jeavons came 1st in B Jav with a throw of 18.32m. In U15B team Tom Pritchard put in a strong performance in the sprints coming 1st in 100m in 12.4 and 2nd in 200m in 24.6secs.
The U15G team achieved some excellent results with Ella Hansen and Georgia Palmer winning both 800m races in 2.23.9 and 2.29.2 respectively. Grace Pitman came 2nd in the A string 300m in 43.5secs and Ella Halpin won the B string race with a time of 44.5secs. Lily Crawley won the HJ with 1.50 and came second in LJ with Genevieve Haselden winning PV with a 2.60m vault. Lily Carpenter won A string Shot with 9.71m and the B string Javelin with 20.25m with Issy Kiey-Thomas winning the B string Shot with 9.43m. The U15G came in second in the 4 × 100m Relay and the winning combination of Georgia Palmer, Ella Halpin, Issy Kiey-Thomas and Ella Hansen won the 4 × 300 in 2.58.1, a fantastic performance and club record!

Midland League, 15 July

Provisional Results

396 – Cheltenham & County Harriers
311 – Wolverhampton & Bilston
309 – City of Stoke
295 – Halesowen
282 – Leamington
267 – Worcester

Cheltenham A String wins
Phil Beastall (5000m)
Mollie Courtney (high jump)
Alex Griffiths (hammer)
Sam Griffiths (100m)
Sam Griffiths (200m)
Conor Kearns (pole vault)
Conor Kearns (triple jump)
Dan Owen (steeplechase)
Rob Worman (long jump)
Rob Worman (high jump)
Ladies 4×100m team

Distance Running News, 11-15 July

Cheltenham Harriers distance runners played their part on a day when the full range of the club’s track and field athletes combined to give the team an emphatic win in their Midland League Division Two fixture at the Prince of Wales Stadium. The men’s 5000m saw Phil Beastall, Oli Mott and Ben Price fill the first three places for maximum points. Whilst Beastall ran the whole way on a breezy afternoon unchallenged for a 14:51.7 victory, Mott was content to hold back to help Price challenge his 15:23 personal best once it was clear that the points were secured. However, despite his teammate’s pacing, Price was to just miss out as Mott crossed the line in 15:23.2 with the duathlete exactly one second behind. Liam Roarty (16:14.9) took seventh place before Alex Lee (16:26.7) made a welcome return after injury and Alex Lindfield lowered his PB to 17:03.3. The 2000m steeplechase had also brought maximum points with Dan Owen picking up the pace in the second half of the race for a comfortable win in 6:12.0. Luke Kearns then took the B string win as he finished second overall in a personal best of 6:30.5 whilst guest runner Matt Evans recorded 7:40.6. The ladies 3000m also brought a good points haul with the Harriers impressing as Alice Taylor enjoyed her debut for the team with 10:22.8 for second in the A string in third place overall. Hilary Mott (10:37.9) then finished one place behind for second in the B string before non-scorer Naomi Eaton set a PB of 10:47.0 for fifth place. The 1500m also brought good points with Alex Bampton (4:10.3) taking second and Fraser Willmore finishing fifth overall as second B runner in a PB of 4:17.6. Guests Mike Gray and Iain Devlin posted times of 4:26.1 and 4:27.8 respectively. Mia O’Connell made a welcome return to the team after injury to take second in the ladies race in 4:48.2 before Emma Quekett was fourth B runner in 5:19.5. In the 800m Mollie D’Arcy Rice (2:33.0) and Isabel Ovens (2:42.5) placed second and third in their respective A and B races whilst Yesper Adams (2:03.2) and Mark James (2:09.9) were fifth and fourth in the two men’s races.

Earlier in the week at the second of the club’s Midsummer Open Meetings Mark James was in fine form as he set a new personal best in the 3000m. Tracking long-time leader Noah Lambert (Stroud) for the entire race, James sprinted clear in the final 150m for a 9:15.2 victory. Mike Gray also ran well for a PB of 9:23.4 in fourth before Roger Mullins posted 9:43.6 and Matthew Dwerryhouse lowered his PB to 9:45.6. Steve Maguire (10:04.5) moved through the field to pip Toby Wort (10:06.9) whilst Joe Tandy (10:14.2), Archie Routledge (10:16.1) and Henry James (10:35.4) all raced over the distance for the first time. In the B race Martin Soakell enjoyed a win in 10:34.1, Oliver Doherty ran a PB of 10:57.2 and V70 runner Martin Ford clocked 12:09.3. In the 800m A race Yesper Adams (2:03.2) took second, George Hawthorne (2:04.3) set a PB in third and Fraser Willmore (2:06.8) finished sixth.

Cheltenham Harriers enjoyed success at the Bourton Mile road race as they filled the top three places. Dave Roper returned from injury to claim the win in 4:35 as he finished six seconds clear of Mark James who in turn was three seconds ahead of fellow veteran Marc Fallows. Mike Gray (4:53) and Toby Wort (4:54) followed in seventh and eighth before Steve Maguire (4:58) also broke the five minute mark in eleventh position and Dave Rantell then stopped the clock at 5:22. Shona Crombie-Hicks finished as first veteran lady in 5:31 as she placed third overall behind Elsie Butler (Charnwood) and youngster Emily Field (Bourton). Sarah Sheppard (5:36) finished as fifth lady before Jo Wilkie (5:57) was ninth lady as she matched the time of clubmate Paul Barnes. Debbie Smith (6:20), Adrian Higgs (6:48) and Christina See (9:44) also enjoyed a run out in the picturesque Cotswold village.

Midweek racing had seen the Harriers take the team win at the Rose Inn 4 mile road race in Magor as they packed five runners into the top eleven of the Chepstow Harriers organised event. After the opening two mile lap Phil Wylie was adrift of Carwyn Jones (Cardiff), but whilst the Cheltenham athlete closed the gap on the second circuit he still finished three seconds behind the Welshman as he crossed the line in 19:36. Dan Owen started steadily and moved through the field with a fast last two miles for fifth place in 20:31 before Will New (20:53) and Eliot Taylor (21:03) completed the winning four man team in seventh and ninth respectively. Dave Aubrey (21:19) and Alex Lindfield (22:36) then followed before Alice Taylor (23:26) was third lady home. Graham Rush meanwhile finished first at the Doncaster 5k road race in 14:29 for a twenty second winning margin over Lincoln’s Tom Straw. Weekend parkruns saw Kevin Sheppard (16:48) claim a win in Cheltenham where Steve Hall (18:36) placed fourth whilst Dave Tomlin (17:33) was first across the line at the Kingsway event in Gloucester. Roger Mullins (18:03), Jeremy Bradley and Ian Giles (19:58) filled the top three places at the Dolgellau parkrun in Snowdonia whilst James Wilkinson (18:36) was fifth home in the Worcester event.

Disatance Running News, 3 - 9 July

Cheltenham Harriers athletes enjoyed a success at the British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting in Loughborough where Graham Rush claimed a win on an evening that saw Dan Owen and Alex Bampton claim personal bests. Bampton and Owen were first to line up in the 5000m B race in a twenty-three strong field. Going through the opening kilometre in 2:59 and 3:00 respectively, the pair lay in fifteenth and seventeenth place. The next kilometre saw Bampton gain a few more seconds over his teammate as he went through 2000m in 5:58, but Owen had moved back onto his shoulder as the pair reached 3km in 8:57 in twelfth and thirteenth place. With 1400m remaining the Midland steeplechase champion went past Bampton as he began to move through the field to pass 4km in 11:57, whilst Bampton was now just outside the 15 minute schedule with 12:01. Feeling good and knowing that his PB was within reach, Owen continued to pick up the pace and gain places with an impressive 2:51 final kilometre. Crossing the line in 14:48.6 for fifth place he had lowered his PB by eleven seconds in a race won by York’s Sam Dickinson in 14:38.2. Bampton meanwhile slowed in the final kilometre, but he was still able to take three seconds off his PB as he came home in eleventh place in a pleasing 15:07.1. Having watched his two teammates set PBs Graham Rush was intent to follow suit and lower his PB of 14:05.25 as he lined up for the 5000m A race. As the fastest man in the field on paper, Rush was intent on following the pacemaker closely and went through the first kilometre in 2:47 and second kilometre in 5:37 with only Shettleston’s Lachlan Oates attempting to follow him. With the pacemaker stepping aside after five laps it was down to Rush to keep the pace moving with Oates remaining tucked in behind as they went through 3km in 8:28. The Scotsman finally started to drop off the pace with three laps to go as Rush hit 4k in 11:19 and reaching reached the bell in 13:01. Despite digging in and winning by eight seconds, Rush’s time was frustratingly just 0.72 seconds outside his pb as the clock stopped at 14:05.97.

In the first of the four Cheltenham Midsummer Open Meetings Mark James set a Cheltenham Harriers veteran record as he finished third in the A race that was won by Gloucester’s Harry Wells in 4:32.2. James’ time of 4:36.4 beat Marc Fallows’ previous record mark of 4:37.09. Dan Thomas ran well to take fifth in 4:39.7 before Iain Devlin (4:46.5), Roger Mullins (4:54.3) and Matthew Dwerryhouse (5:01.3) crossed the line. After wheelchair athlete Gareth Picken had recorded 4:42.1, Toby Wort was the first runner across the line in the B race with 5:06.4. Martin Soakell posted a pleasing time of 5:20.8 and Emma Quekett stopped the clock at 5:55.2. The same evening also brought success for Liam Roarty at an open meeting in Dublin where he lowered his 5000m personal best by eight seconds with an impressive 15:37.18 for seventh place.

John Parker made a welcome return to race action with two wins in a week as he led Cheltenham Harriers teams to victory at both the Frampton and Evesham 10k road races. Lining up in a road race for the first time this year the veteran was straight to the fore at Frampton where only Alastair Cambell of Stroud kept him company through half way. At that point Parker upped the pace to drop his rival and go on to take the win unchallenged in 33:38. With Cambell dropping out not long after get dropped by Parker, his Stroud teammate Lee Stopford took second some 48 seconds behind Parker. Mark James ran well to take third in 34:55 before Steve Maguire completed the winning Harriers team in thirteenth place in 37:16. Dave Rantell was the third over 45 runner across the line in 37:27 and James Wilkinson then recorded 38:21. The battle to be the first lady saw Shona Crombie-Hicks start quickly and establish a lead over teammate Naomi Eaton who opted to start steadily to try and run negative splits. Easton’s plan worked well as she closed the gap in the second half to catch and pass the veteran with just a quarter of a mile remaining as she recorded 39:26 for a nine second victory. Debbie Smith’s 45:46 ensure the Harriers ladies finished as second team behind host Stroud. Dave Rantell (37:27), James Wilkinson (38:21), Gareth Edwards (40:31) and Sue Townsend (49:22) also contested the event. John Parker ended his week as it had begun with a victory at the Evesham 10k. Cirencester’s David Bell kept him company for 4k before falling off the pace as the Cheltenham athlete went through halfway in 16:35. Crossing the line in 33:52, Parker had a 30 second margin over team-mate Marcus England who overtook Bell in the final mile. Dave Rantell the completed the winning team in eighth place in 37:31 before Ty Berg recorded 38:13. Shona Crombie-Hicks was a comfortable winner of the ladies race in 39:37 before Ian Giles (40:31) and Agata Giles (53:25) completed the Harriers contingent. There was also a race win for Richard Dare at the Gloucester 10k where he won by over a minute and a half in 34:54 whilst Gareth Edwards placed tenth in 40:15. The weekend’s parkruns saw Phil Beastall (16:11) take the win in Cheltenham where Will New (16:47) and Steve Hall (18:51) finished third and ninth respectively. Dave Hemmings (20:36) and Martin Ford (20:56) also had a run out in Pittville Park whilst Andy Gardiner (17:55) was claiming the win in Wotton and James Wilkinson (18:06) took third at the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester.