Distance Running News, 1-2 March

James Bingham produced his best ever road race as he took over two minutes from his personal best at the Bath Half Marathon. The 36 year old made a huge breakthrough when he clocked 74:28 at the Cheltenham Half last September, but after an impressive cross country season Bingham lowered his pb to 72:27 as he placed 21st in the Bath event to cap an excellent winter.

Cheltenham Harriers completed a Grand Slam of Gloucestershire team titles with victory in the county road relay championship at Elmore. This ensured that the Harriers became the first club to win all five titles in one season, having already secured the cross country relays in September, county road race series in November, cross country championship in January and the cross country league in February.

In Saturday’s race team manager Andy Prophett took the opening leg of the approximately 5km hilly course and recorded a time of 16:51 to close within five seconds of Severn’s Kyran Hale who had opened a significant lead in the opening mile. Meanwhile Steve Maguire clocked 18:16 for the Cheltenham B team to finish sixth on the first leg. Russell Forsbrook took the Harriers into a 55 second lead on leg two as he equalled Prophett’s time of 16:51 whilst Dmitry Nazarenko also clocked 16:51 to move the B team up into third. Leg three saw John Parker clock the fastest leg of the day as extended the Harriers lead whilst James Wilkinson ran 18:36 to maintain third place. Positions remained unchanged on the final leg as James Miller was the fourth Harrier of the day to run a time of 16:51 as he secured gold for the A team. Corin Hughes brought the B team home for bronze with in 17:10. This also meant the Harriers B team had medalled in all four county events at which they were eligible this season, having previously secured silver in the cross country league and bronze medals in both the cross country relays and cross country championship.

Gavin McCaugherty lowered his 5k pb to 17:28 as finished fifth in the Wolverhampton parkrun. Meanwhile, at the Cheltenham parkrun youngsters Ben Williams and Luke Kearns placed second and third in times of 18:11 and 18:14 respectively.