Distance Running News, 10-11 March

Cheltenham Harrier Beth Hawling celebrated England selection after an excellent performance to finish fourth at the UK inter-counties cross country championship in Loughborough. Having returned from studying at Virginia University just before Christmas, the 23 year old had been in fine form back on the domestic cross country scene, with a win in the Midland League and a fine twelfth place at the English National Championship. However, her performance in the grounds of Prestwold Hall was yet another step forward for the athlete who trains in Dave Newport’s successful group of distance runners. Putting herself in around tenth place on the opening lap of the quagmire of a course, Hawling then started to progress through the class field on the second circuit. With around a kilometre remaining of the 8km race the Cheltenham athlete was up into seventh and gaining on the pack of three athletes just in front. Passing them with 500m to go Hawling managed to stay clear in the frantic dash for the line to produce her finest ever race on UK soil. Just 24 hours after the race the former GB under 23 international was rewarded with selection for the England team for the Home Countries International in Nottingham later this month. Despite Hawling’s performance the Gloucestershire team could only manage to finish 24th of the 30 complete teams, with club teammate Rachel See the county’s fourth scorer home in 200th place. However, her performance in the grounds of Prestwold Hall was yet another step forward for the athlete who trains in Dave Newport’s successful group of distance runners. Putting herself in around tenth place on the opening lap of the quagmire of a course, Hawling then started to progress through the class field on the second circuit. With around a kilometre remaining of the 8km race the Cheltenham athlete was up into seventh and gaining on the pack of three athletes just in front. Passing them with 500m to go Hawling managed to stay clear in the frantic dash for the line to produce her finest ever race on UK soil. Just 24 hours after the race the former GB under 23 international was rewarded with selection for the England team for the Home Countries International in Nottingham later this month. Despite Hawling’s performance the Gloucestershire team could only manage to finish 24th of the 30 complete teams, with club teammate Rachel See the county’s fourth scorer home in 200th place.

In the men’s race the heavy conditions weren’t to Graham Rush’s liking, but he posted a solid performance to finish in 26th position to lead his Yorkshire team to fifth place. Running for the county of his birth, Alex Bampton was the leading Buckinghamshire athlete home as he completed his successful cross country season with a fine 62nd place. Marc Fallows ensured that all three Harriers in the 12km race led their counties home as he finished as the leading member of the Gloucestershire team in 176th place as the team placed 29th from 31 teams. In the under 20 men’s race George Watson ran well for a pleasing 43rd place whilst Tasmin Carpenter finished 157th in the under 20 ladies race.

On the roads Fee Maycock continued her build up to next month’s Manchester Marathon with the Surrey Half Marathon in Woking. The LV50 runner again won her age category as she beat all her LV40 and LV45 rivals to finish eighth lady home in an impressive time of 85:58. Further afield Andrew van Kints was part of the high quality City Pier City Half Marathon in The Hague where his 74:05 clocking saw him finish in 96th place. Andy Gardiner meanwhile used the Berkeley 20 mile road race as part of his London Marathon preparations and gained a useful workout with 2:10:01 for eighth place. Also on the roads Gareth Edwards finished fifth in the Minchinhampton 10k where he completed the testing course in a time of 38:32 Weekend parkruns saw Alex Lee (16:19) and Marcus England (16:45) finish first and second at the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park where Georgia (20:23) was the first lady home. Dave Tomlin (16:55) took second place in Exmouth whilst Andy Prophett (18:34) took sixth place at the Worcester Pitchcroft event.