Distance Running News, 28-29 October

Fee Maycock produced the fourth fastest marathon by an over 50 lady in the UK this year with an excellent performance at the Frankfurt marathon. Since running a time of 2:56:21 at the Manchester Marathon in April, which earned her fifth place in the national over 45 rankings, Maycock has celebrated a birthday that moved her up an age category and she was keen to prove that she could still break the three hour barrier as a 50 year old. Five kilometre splits of 20:41 and 20:43 took the Cheltenham athlete through 10km in 41:24 as she headed off at personal best pace. Splits of 20:19 and 20:41 then followed before Maycock went through the half marathon mark in an impressive 1:26:59. She then kept her rhythm through the 25km and 30km marks with 20:40 and 20:54 before a 21:06 split on the way to 35km showed the first signs that her pace had dropped slightly. However, a determined 21:44 up to 40km meant that Maycock was going to be close to her Manchester time and by digging deep in the final 2km she crossed the line fractionally outside this in a very pleasing 2:56:40. Maycock’s run earned her third place in the LV50 category as she finished just twenty seconds behind the Norwegian winner and a single second behind the German runner up. Her time also places her fourth in the UK over 50 rankings for 2017 that are headed by Les Croupiers’ Angharad Mair with 2:54.49.

With no races on the club fixture list for the weekend several Harriers incorporated parkruns into their training plans ahead of their upcoming road and cross country races. The standout performance of the weekend came from Alex Bampton at the Aldenham event at Elstree. In the previous 123 parkruns at the venue only three runners had ever broken the 17 minute barrier for the demanding route, with the course record standing at 16:33. Bampton’s own best time on the course was previously the 17:01 that he ran in January, but the Oxford University student obliterated both this and the course record with an impressive time of 16:12 as he enjoyed a comprehensive three minute victory. There was also a win for Phil Beastall with a time of 16:11 at the Tewkesbury parkrun where Russell Forsbrook finished third in 18:36 and V60 athlete Mike Ede posted a time of 21:27. Further Harriers wins came at the Kingsway event in Gloucester where Mark James crossed the line in 17:23 and at the Gloucester North parkrun where Marcus England was the first man home in 17:53. At the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park Gareth Edwards led the club contingent home in 19:10 and Dave Francis recorded 19:31. V70 runner Martin Ford then ran 21:09 before Tamsin Carpenter set a personal best of 22:14 as she finished as the fourth lady home. Elsewhere Dave Aubrey earned third place at the York parkrun with 17:11 and Alister Brown‘s 18:26 earned him seventh place at the Worcester Pitchcroft event.