Distance Running News, 1-7 May

Richard de-Camps enjoyed an excellent week of results with a personal best at the Hereford 5k road race and a Midland League win over 1500m on the track. A strong Harriers squad again lined up for the second race in the Hereford midweek series and they were quickly prominent at the head of the field. Alex Lee lead a six man pack through the opening mile with his teammates de-Camps, James Chantler-Mayne, Dan Owen and Eliot Taylor joined by opening race winner Stuart Hawkes of Tipton. Lee continued to set the pace until just after two miles where Hawkes hit the front to up the pace and split the pack. de-Camps tried to match the recent Brighton Marathon winner as Lee fell a few yards adrift. As Hawkes pulled clear the two Cheltenham runners then swapped places as Lee tried to close the gap ahead. Whilst Hawkes had the race won as they turned onto the athletics track with 350m to go, Lee was ten metres clear of de-Camps. However, the track specialist hit back with a big finish to take a fine second place just six seconds behind Hawkes. de-Camps’ time of 15:23 was a nineteen second road PB and also twelve seconds faster than his best time over 5000m on the track. In third place Lee recorded a pleasing time of 15:28 before Taylor came through to record an impressive PB of 15:41 for fourth place. The wave of white vests continued as Marcus England lowered his PB to 15:50 and Owen took sixth in 15:53. Chantler-Mayne (15:59), Charlie Jones (16:02) and Dave Aubrey (16:11) then continued the dominance as they made it eight Cheltenham athletes in the top nine. Alice Taylor then repeated her win of the opening series race as she was the first lady home in an impressive 17:43 as she finished 38 seconds clear of the Forest of Dean’s Victoria Baker. Dan Minor then finished as second V45 runner with a season’s best of 18:00 before Martin Soakell quickly followed in a personal best of 18:04 and Scott Jones completed the Harriers contingent in 18:09.

The weekend then saw de-Camps play a key role as the clubs’ distance runners made a strong contribution to the team at the opening Midland Track and Field League Division One fixture at Yate. Having already placed second in a tactical 800m A race in 1:59.05, de-Camps was well placed as a large group reached the bell in the 1500m. In the closest of battles down the home straight the Cheltenham athlete edged out Bristol’s Kurt Taylor by 0.1 seconds to take the win in 4:03.6. Dan Owen ensured maximum points in the event as he took the B string win in 4:06.7 for sixth place overall whilst non-scorer George Watson took eighth in a PB of 4:09.4. Owen had earlier won the 2000m steeplechase in 6:21.0 as he kicked clear on the final lap. Luke Kearns made it a Harriers double by winning the B string in 6:41.2 for third place. The hot weather wasn’t conducive to fast times in the 5000m where Oli Mott (15:49.6) was second A runner in fourth place and Dan Thomas (16:30.4) was the second B runner in fifth position. In the 800m B race George Hawthorne made his senior debut with third place in 2:05.5. The ladies 3000m brought good points for the team with Hilary Mott winning the sprint for the line to take second in 10:44.4 and Naomi Eaton taking the B string win in 10:49.2 as she finished in fourth place. In the 1500m Rachel See impressed with a personal best of 5:13.7 to finish as fourth A runner in fifth position whilst Ella Burfitt was fourth B runner in 5:27.8. At the Bank Holiday Monday Brewer Games in Cheltenham Matthew Dwerryhouse finished second in the 1500m in 4:34.2, a position matched by Dan Minors in the 3000m in 10:41.9. Parkrun success over the weekend came at a variety of locations with Alice Earle (19:40) finishing as the first lady home at the Newcastle event and Alex Lee (16:28) winning in Cheltenham where Tamsin Carpenter (22:33) also had a run out. Marc Fallows (17:20) set a new course record on his way to victory in Cirencester whilst Ian Giles (19:32) enjoyed crossing the line first at the Gloucester North event. At the Gloucester City parkun Gareth Edwards (18:33) and James Bingham (18:49) finished second and third respectively.