Distance Running News, 14-15 March

Martin Ford claimed yet another national title with a victory in the vet 70 age group at the British Masters Cross Country Championship in Ruithin, North Wales. The 71 year old was 75 seconds clear of his nearest challenger and was beaten by just two vet 65 runners.

Dmitry Nazarenko capped a fine cross country season with an excellent sixteenth place in the under 19s race at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Blackburn. Teammate Matt Crew also put in a strong performance for an impressive 37th place in whilst Jacob Pickering finished in 197th position. In the sixth form girls race Rachel Longstaff and Emma Meecham-Jones placed 231st and 271st respectively.

Cheltenham Harriers filled four of the top five places at Severn AC’s White Horse 5 mile road race in Gloucester. Whilst Huw Evans of Welsh club Les Croupiers won the race in 26:10, Will New stuck to his plan of using the event to do a controlled tempo run and cruised to a very respectable 27:16. James Miller had stayed with New for the first half of the race before finishing third in 27:52. Andy Prophett knocked 44 seconds off his season’s best for 5 miles for fourth place in 28:54 before Steve Maguire made a return to action after illness with 31:13 for fifth place.

At the Minchinhampton 10k Gareth Edwards placed seventh over a challenging course in 38:57 whilst Richard Birch was third veteran home in eleventh with 41:08 and Debbie Smith was the first LV45 runner home in 46:24. Meanwhile Lee Groenewegen made a big revision to his personal best with a very pleasing 39:30 at the Fradley 10k in Staffordshire.

Graham Rush was the winner at the Cheltenham parkrun with a 15:46 clocking at Pittville Park where Mike Gray placed fifth and James Wilkinson took sixth in 18:35. At parkrun events further afield Gavin McCaugherty finished sixth in Wolverhampton in 17:06, Matt Evans placed tenth at Woodhouse Moor in Leeds with 18:41 and Jane Thomas was the second lady home at the South Manchester event in 20:46.