Distance Running News, 3 February

Cheltenham Harriers athletes put in some strong performances whilst representing their universities at the British Universities Cross County Championships in Hillingdon. In the ladies race Rachel Longstaff (Cambridge) ran well for 68th place before Jemima Cooper (Bath) and Mia O’Connell (Nottingham) finished 82nd and 96th respectively in a high quality field of over 700 runners. The three Harriers men in action had to settle for places in the B race, as they all attend some of the best sporting universities in the country and each team only has six spaces in the A race. Alex Bampton produced his best race of the season to finish in an excellent sixth place to help his Oxford team to bronze medals before Jacob Pickering (Birmingham) ran well for 81st place and George Watson (Loughborough) was pleased with 95th position.

Weekend parkruns saw the Harriers dominate at Pittville Park in Cheltenham where Alex Lee (16:20), Marcus England (16:34) and Dan Owen (16:44) filled the top three places. Gareth Edwards (19:09) and Oliver Doherty (19:55) also enjoyed a run out before Rachel See (20:59) finished as first lady home and Tamsin Carpenter (22:25) was the sixth woman home. James Wilkinson (19:00) enjoyed a win at the Evesham parkrun whilst Henry James (18:54) finished third at the Hastings event. The inaugural Cirencester parkrun saw Andy Gardiner (19:32) take second place with Matt Lambourne (20:10) finishing one place later on the muddy course. The faster paths of the Worcester Pitchcroft event saw Alex Doherty (16:49) finish second, a position matched by Steve Bradley (19:31) on the grass of Plock Court at the Gloucester North parkrun.