Distance Running News, 14-15 November

Graham Rush finished a fine sixth place in the England 10k Road Race Championship as seven Cheltenham Harriers set personal bests times at the championship held within the Leeds Abbey Dash. Running into the wind in less than ideal conditions, the lead pack went through the 5km mark in a relatively slow 15:20 with Rush sitting in around tenth place in a large pack. Once Rugby’s England international Jacob Allen took on the pace the pack split, with Rush finding himself at the front of the second group. The Dave Newport athlete then pulled back a few places in the later stages to cross the line as sixth Englishman in an impressive seventh place in a race won by Bristol’s Dan Studley in 29:46. Rush’s time was agonisingly recorded as 30:02, as he again just missed out on a first sub 30 minute clocking after running 30:00 last year, a time that he surely have beaten in better conditions. Joining Rush in the Midland team that won the inter-area match was fellow Cheltenham runner Phil Wylie who recorded 30:36 for 21st place.

Having set personal bests as they finished in the top five at the Tewkesbury 5 mile road race two weeks ago, the Harriers quartet of Alex Lee, Anthony Bailey, Will New and Richard Dare were all looking to run PBs under 33 minutes. Lee had pulled clear of his teammates before the halfway mark and went on to smash his personal best by over a minute and a half with an excellent 32:16, a time which saw him finish just outside the top one hundred. Bailey had been ahead of New and Dare, but it was New who was the fourth Harrier home with an impressive 32:42 PB. There was also a first sub 33 clocking for Dare who lowered his best 10k time to 32:49 whilst veteran Bailey was just one second outside his PB with 32:56. Seventeen year old Alex Chantler-Mayne enjoyed a 34:22 debut over the distance before James Miller crossed the line in 34:44 and Marcus England took 33 seconds off his PB for pleasing 34:53. Andy Prophett ran his fastest 10k of the year with 35:30 before Mark James and Gavin McCaugherty lowered their PBs to 35:48 and 36:14 respectively. Gareth Edwards followed in 37:15 and Alister Brown set a PB of 37:34. Steve Hall (38:16) edged out Matt Evans (38:22) before Steve Maguire (39:14), James Wilkinson (39:17) and Lee Groenewegen (39:21) crossed the line in close proximity to compete the nineteen man squad.

Representing the England over 70s team in the British and Irish Masters International in Dublin Martin Ford finished in a fine third place to take the bronze medal as he helped the team to victory. Richard Birch placed fifth in the Newent 9.5km road race where Debbie Smith was the fourth lady home in 44:15. Paul Horsfall won the Gloucester North parkrun in 18:49, James Wilkinson took third in the Tewkesbury parkrun in 19:22 and Steve Hall was the leading Harrier at the Cheltenham parkrun with 19:16 for eighth place.