Alex Lee took the individual race honours as both the Cheltenham Harriers men’s and ladies teams took victory at the Linda Franks 5 mile road race. Straight from the gun Lee and his Harrier teammates were to the fore, as the field battled against the cold and wet conditions on the flat and fast two lap course around The Reddings and Hatherley. Lee opened up a gap on small gap over clubmate John Parker in the opening mile, with the veteran less than ten seconds adrift after the opening circuit. Having the confidence from his recent sub 32 minute 10k personal best, Lee was then able to up the pace in the second half to record negative splits as he went on to take victory in 26:01. In his first road race as a V45 runner Parker finished second overall in 26:38. Marcus England then made it a Harriers 1-2-3 as he closed his deficit to Parker to just seven seconds by the finish as he pulled clear of Bourton’s Tim Carter on the second lap. County Road Race Series Champion started the defence of his title with a personal best of 27:24 in fifth place before Doug Wight came home in sixth place in 28:18. Gareth Edwards then excelled to set a PB of 28:53 in ninth place before James Wilkinson also set a PB in 29:31 as he finished four seconds clear of Dave Rantell.
The ladies race saw Shaftsbury Barnet’s Rachel Felton run away from the field with an impressive 28:49 whilst a close battle took place behind her. Veteran Shona Crombie-Hicks had Hattie Jenkins (Almost Athletes) tucked in behind until the final quarter mile before the experienced Harrier pulled three seconds clear to take second place in 30:42. Fee Maycock finished as first LV50 runner with 31:05 for fifth place before. The battle to complete the Cheltenham scoring three lady team was a close affair with Hannah D’Ambrosio passing Sarah Sheppard in the closing stages as the duo finished ninth and tenth with times of 32:23 and 32:31 respectively. Emma Silversides completed her debut road race with 34:18 before Paul Barnes was the third over 55 runner home in 34:36. Leah Hopton (38:53), Sam Pickering (40:57), Charlotte Deacon (41:52) and Ruth Bird (52:27) then completed the Harriers contingent. Jo Wilkie meanwhile travelled to Eton for the Windsor Winter Half Marathon at Eton Dorney. However, to her disappointment the organisers were unable to cope with the weather conditions and made a last minute decision to change the race to 10km. Despite her frustrations Wilkie ran well to finish as first lady in a pleasing time of 40:36. Weekend parkruns saw Dave Aubrey (17:28) take the win at the Cheltenham event where James Bingham (18:50) took fifth and Tamsin Carpenter (22:22) was the fifth lady home. James Denne (17:38) won the Kingsway event in Gloucester and Alister Brown (17:50) finished sixth at the Worcester Pitchcroft parkrun.