Jacob Pickering produced his best ever performance to make a significant breakthrough with a win at the British Milers’ Club regional event in Tipton. The 20 year old had started his track season with a victory and a personal best of 4:08.8 over 1500m in April, but after a month long break from racing to focus on his exams, he started his track season in earnest with the 800m B race at the West Midlands event. Having only broken the two minute barrier on two occasions last season, and with a personal best of 1.57.6, the Birmingham University student was looking to set a new PB as he went through the bell in last place in around 57 seconds. With 300m to go Pickering made his move and starting moving through the field before taking the lead in the home straight. Stopping the clock at an impressive 1:54.80, the Cheltenham athlete finished 1.22 seconds clear of Stockport’s Grant Anderson in a time that was only bettered by one athlete in the A race. At the same meeting Richard de-Camps contested the 3000m A race and put in a good performance to finish just under 1.5 seconds outside his personal best with an 8:45.20 clocking that earned him fourth place in a race as Birchfield’s Jonathan Goringe took the win in 8:38.21.
Both Pickering and de-Camps then followed up their midweek outings by racing at the weekend BMC Grand Prix event in Watford, where de-Camps was joined by teammate Dan Owen in the 5000m B race. The pair were mid pack in the early stages with de-Camps just behind Owen who managed to stick to his 15 minute schedule for the first three kilometres. Whilst both athletes slowed in the final 2000m, Owen could still take heart from a respectable 15:06.79 for ninth place and de-Camps lowered his personal best to 15:20.82 for fourteenth position as Ryan Burling of Guernsey took the win in 14:45.58. Pickering was seeded in the 800m I race, but whilst he was finishing faster than any of his rivals in the home straight, he had timed his run too late. Just failing to make up the ground needed for the win, he crossed the line in third place in 1:56.14, a mere 0.2 seconds behind winner Beck Grover of Herts.
Eliot Taylor was in action in Hereford where he raced The Crocodile 8.8 miles multi-terrain race where torrential rain throughout the day made for horrific conditions on the off-road sections. Taylor was content to sit in a four man lead group through the opening road and field section of the course before they entered the woods for the infamous 97 steps. At the highest point of course and with around 4.5 miles left to go, the Dave Newport coached athlete made his move and quickly opened up a substantial gap throughout the descent before finishing back on the roads where he crossed the line 1:40 ahead of second placed Barry Reynolds of Hereford. Weekend parkruns again saw many Harriers enjoy a run out with first place finishes at four different venues. There was a double win in Tewkwsbury where James Bingham (18:27) and Kaitlyn Sheppard (20:07) were first man and lady home whilst Gareth Edwards (19:00) placed third. Similarly at the Cheltenham event Ollie Jones (17:26) and Hannah D’Ambrosio (21:06) claimed first places whilst Milly Foster (22:04) was third lady and Dan Minors (19:26) placed thirteenth. Marc Fallows (17:20) was first home in Cirencester where Simon Crew (18:21) and Tom Keylock (18:32) finished fourth and fifth respectively. Liam Roarty (18:55) meanwhile made a welcome return to action at the Riverside parkrun in Dublin where he claimed the win whilst Dave Aubrey (17:22) placed second at the Newport event.