Distance Running News, 14-18 May

Mia O’Connell and Dan Owen produced impressive performances as they lowered their personal bests at the British Milers Club Grand Prix at Watford. Nineteen year old O’Connell took three and a half seconds off her previous best to finish seventh in the women’s 1500m B race in a time of 4:32.75. In the 3000m steeplechase Owen clocked 9:19.94 to take just under three seconds from his previous best for seventh place whilst James Miller opened his season with 4:06.17 over 1500m.

Phil Beastall claimed the Gloucestershire title as Cheltenham Harriers filled the top ten places at the county 5000m championship at the Blackbridge athletics track in Gloucester. Beastall and Marc Fallows shared the early place as they took the lead for alternate laps with Richard Dare and Dave Aubrey in pursuit. After reaching the halfway in just over eight minutes the pace picked up and Beastall soon pulled clear to claim the gold medal in a new personal best of 15:46.0. Fallows also ran a good second half of the race to break the 16 minute barrier with 15:57.6 for second place. Dare took the bronze in 16:16.6 with Aubrey smashing his personal best with 16:21.8 for fourth place. Will New ran an isolated race for fifth in a season’s best of 16:26.0 before Gavin McCaugherty set a big pb of 17:11.5 as he caught and then outsprinted Andy Gore who crossed the line in 17:12.5. In eighth place Miguel Mundinano set a new Cheltenham Harriers vet 45 record of 17:!9.8 as he broke Ken Buckle’s mark. Steve Maguire then set a pb of 17:30.6 and Mike Gray’s 17:32.6 ensured the top ten places for Dave Newport’s training squad.

Harriers also dominated the Cheltenham parkrun with Dmitry Nazarenko claiming his tenth win in the event in a time of 17:07. Matt Evans finished third in 17:30 and Miguel Mundinano set a course pb of 17:38 in fourth place. Will New in fifth (17:41), Alex Lee in seventh (17:42) and Mike Gray in eighth (17:48) quickly followed before Steve Hall came home twelfth in 18:39. At the Cambridge parkrun Jane Thomas was the third lady home in a course pb of 19:46 whilst Rachel See was the first lady home in the Northleach 10km multi-terrain race. Russell Forsbrook finished fourth in the Yeovil 5k road race in a time of 16:15.