Distance Running News, 10-11 September

Megg Brinley enjoyed a fine victory in the ladies race at the Apperley Quarter Marathon after a close battle with her Cheltenham Harriers teammate Shona Crombie-Hicks. It was veteran Crombie-Hicks who started the quickest, with Brinley around 80 metres adrift after 3km. As the route went off the road and alongside the riverbank Brinley slowly closed the gap and caught the former Commonwealth Games marathon runner at around the half way point. The teenager then sat on Crombie-Hicks’ shoulder and bided her time, with the veteran forcing the pace up the long climb back into the village during the penultimate kilometre of the race. Brinley, however, hung on and eventually made her move with around 400m to go, instantly opening up a race winning gap as she took the win in 40:46 with a six second margin over Crombie-Hicks. At the head of the field, fellow Harrier Mike Gray had opened up a lead by the 3km mark. However, he was overtaken before halfway by eventual winner Nathan Smith of Gloucester who recorded 38:15, with Gray 35 seconds adrift in third place.

Meanwhile at the Cardiff 10k road race Marcus England was in fine form as he set a new personal best to finish 56th in a high quality field. After going through the halfway mark in 16:50, England ran an almost identical second half to record 33:39 as he took 25 seconds off his previous best time for the distance. In the same race Dave Aubrey recorded 35:55 and Gavin McCaugherty stopped the clock at 36:37. The Oldbury 10 mile road race Dave Tomilin finished as second veteran in sixth place overall with a time of 57:56. Mark James ran well to break the hour with a time of 59:54 and Paul Barnes recorded 72:33. Further afield Alex Bampton won the Mgarr 10k in Malta as he completed the hilly course in 35:51.

The Cheltenham parkrun saw Graham Rush defy the wet conditions to smash the course record with an excellent time of 14:59. This not only bettered his own previous record by 21 seconds, but also the unofficial times set by the Malawi Commonwealth Games athletes around the course. In second place Phil Beastall also ran his best time on the course with a 16:!7 time that places him seventh on the all-time ranking list for the event which now sees Cheltenham Harriers runners fill the top eight spots. Steve Hall (18:54) and Gareth Edwards (19:16) also enjoyed a run out whilst Andy Gardiner won the Stonehouse parkrun in 17:16.