Distance Running News, 10-14 May

Oli Mott lowered his 5000m personal best with an impressive performance at the British Milers Club Grand Prix event in Solihull. Seeded in the A race that was to be paced at just under 14 minute pace, Mott sensibly stuck to his own race plan towards the back of the high class field as he went through the opening kilometre in 2:53. As the field fragmented Mott’s small group slowed over the next two kilometres with a 3000m split of 8:57. Realising that this pace was not quick enough to challenge his PB the Cheltenham athlete moved up and pushed on as he ran the next mile isolated. Picking the pace back up to 71 second laps Mott reached the bell in 13:41, meaning that a fast final 400m was required if he was to beat either his track PB of 14:51 or his recent road PB of 14:47. Yet again Mott’s kick produced the goods, as he produced a 65 second last lap to stop the clock at a very satisfying 14:46.49 for twenty-third place. The 5000m B race saw Phil Beastall, Dan Owen and Alex Bampton all line up for the Harriers with Beastall placing himself in the leading group from the start. Whilst Shaftbury’s Jamie Dee opened up a decisive race winning gap, Beastall was prominent in the ever diminishing group and had moved up to third when they reached the 3000m mark in 8:50. Shortly after this point the Gloucestershire Cross Country moved up into second as he pushed on for the time and moved clear of third as he hit the 4200m mark in 12:27. However, whilst the chasing pack picked up the pace Beastall faded slightly and he was overtaken by three runners in the final 200m to record a time of 14:53, just five seconds short of his personal best time. There were also good performances from Owen who finished thirteenth in 15:09.27 and Bampton who placed seventeenth in 15:18.08.

With his faster teammates competing over at the BMC event on the same day, Jacob Pickering took his opportunity to win the 5000m at the Gloucestershire Championships that were held at the Prince of Wales stadium. The teenager was content to let his teammate Mark James do the majority of the pace setting as they passed the 3000m mark clear of the field in 9:49. Pickering then pushed on in the final kilometre to take the win in a personal best of 16:20.1 with James recording his fastest time for the distance on the track with 16:23.7 in second. The fast finishing Roger Mullins took fourth in the closing stages with 17:06.1 as he overtook Alex Lindfield who lowered his PB to 17:08.1. New club member Toby Wort recorded 17:39.3 on his track debut whist Steve Maguire posted a time of 18:00.6 in a race where wheelchair athlete Gareth Picken headed the runners with his 15:30.8 clocking. The B race saw Ian Giles claim the win in 18:55.9 and Jo Wilkie finish as fourth lady in 20:27.6. In the 3000m Hilary was the first lady home in a new PB of 10:21.5 whilst Matt Evans placed second in the 2000m steeplechase in 7:27.9. Competing over 1500m Ben Williams and Iain Devlin finished second and third in time of 4:30.5 and 4:31.5 respectively.

There were race wins for both Will New and Charlie Jones at the Hereford Running Festival. New started steadily and worked his way through the field in the half marathon, taking the lead at 9 miles as he established an 83 second winning margin with his 75:28 victory. Fellow Harrier Ben Colabella also ran well to finish fourth in 78:35. Jones meanwhile had a close tussle with teammate Dave Aubrey in the 10k race as the pair pulled clear of the field and matched each other stride for stride until into the final kilometre. Jones then pulled away in the closing stage to take the win in 34:19 with Aubrey crossing the line just four seconds later. The Harriers also enjoyed success at the Tewkesbury Half Marathon where Dave Tomlin led the club home in fourth place overall as he finished as second veteran runner in a time of 78:57. Matt Evans and Shona Crombie-Hicks enjoyed a close battle with Evans finally pulling clear to finish in 86:37. Just one place and nine seconds later Crombie-Hicks finished as the second lady home behind Bristol’s Annabel Granger. Fee Maycock made it two Cheltenham runners in the top three as she finished third in a time of 88:10. Earlier in the week Mark James placed fifth in the Yeovilton 5k in 16:15 to finish as the leading veteran runner. Weekend parkruns saw Andy Gardiner (17:15) take the win at the Riverfront parkrun in Newport and Dave Tomlin (17:44) cross the line first at the Kingsway event in Gloucester. Steve Hall (17:40) finished second in the Cheltenham parkrun where Dave Hemmings (20:41) also enjoyed a run out whilst James Wilkinson (19:02) took fifth place at the Evesham event.