Distance Running News, 13-18 June

Will New lead Cheltenham Harriers to a team win with a fine second place at the Rose Inn 4 mile road race in the Welsh village of Redwick. New, along with teammates Jon Barnes and Eliot Taylor went through the opening mile in 5:04 in a four man second pack as they lay in sixth to eighth places behind leader Oliver Williams (Les Croupier) and a chasing group of four athletes. Whilst Williams remained unchallenged the two chasing groups had merged into one by the time they had reached the two mile mark in 10:18. New then worked on the front of the group as he split the pack as only GB international Charlotte Arter (Cardiff) kept with him. By the time he had gone through 5km in 16:05 New was clear in second, but a resilient Arter closed the gap again with a kilometre remaining. The duo remained locked together until New pulled away in the final 300m to take second in a personal best of 20:43 after Williams had taken the win in 20:19. With four to score in the team competition Andy Gardiner then completed the victorious Cheltenham team in twelfth place as he showed a notable improvement in form with a pleasing 21:32. New and Barnes followed up their midweek endeavours with a weekend outing at the Shrewsbury Half Marathon where they started steadily and aimed to move through the field. Whilst new finished with his fastest three miles splits to take fifth place in 76:42, Barnes found the hot conditions and hilly course took its toll in the final miles as he crossed the line in 78:17 for seventh place.

Similarly tough conditions were evident at the Bourton Hilly Half Marathon where Shona-Crombie Hicks was the first lady home in 1:30:49. Dave Rantell had earlier crossed the line in fifth in 1:26:32 and Ian Giles recorded 1:38:20 before Sarah Sheppard was the fourth lady home in 1:40:24. Paul Barnes (1:44:01) and Dave Hemmings (1:48:00) also completed the challenging event. Crombie-Hicks had also enjoyed a midweek win at the Malvern 10k multi-terrain race where Hemmings had finished thirty-third. Three days later Malvern brought another Harriers victory as Gareth Edwards won the Malvern Trails Half Marathon. The Cirencester Park Summer Sizzler 10k was a race that lived up to its name as James Wilkinson (38:30), Martin Ford (44:14), Debbie Smith (46:05) and Ken Buckle (56:00) battled against the temperature. On the track meanwhile Dan Owen won the E race at Watford Open meeting in a pleasing time of 1:55.33. Weekend parkruns saw Andy Gardiner lower his parkrun PB to 16:33 as he won the Worcester Pitchcroft event in which Alister Brown (19:15) placed ninth. There were also wins for Fee Maycock (19:37) who was the first lady across the line at the Gloucester North parkrun and for Liam Roarty (19:59) at the River Valley parkrun in Dublin. Toby Wort (17:16) took second at the Kingsway event in Gloucester whilst at the Cheltenham parkrun Steve Hall (18:50), Simon Critchley (19:01) and Carsten Adams (19:21) enjoyed a run out.