Distance Running News, 15-16 November

Graham Rush produced an excellent performance in a top class field to finish an impressive eighteenth in the England Athletics 10k Championship held within the Leeds Abbey Dash. Renowned as the highest quality 10k in the country over a quick course, Rush was one of seventeen Cheltenham Harriers that travelled to Yorkshire to test themselves against high quality opposition. Rush was expecting to break his PB of 31:16 and went through the halfway mark in around 15:15 before exceeded his own expectations with a finishing time of 30:00 that left him both delighted and slightly disappointed that he had not broken the illusive half an hour barrier. Like Rush, Dave Roper was also representing the Midlands team and he came home fiftieth in a time of 30:57. Ben Price’s recent good form continued and he looked like he would break 32 minutes until the final uphill kilometre. However, he still knocked over half a minute off his PB set at Frampton earlier this year as he finished 110th in 32:08.

Anthony Bailey and Will New both started quickly, with New catching his veteran teammate at around 6km and pulling clear at 7km as he went on to lower his PB by 27 seconds with an impressive 32:50 for 147th place. John Parker ran a more even paced race, as he passed Bailey with 200m remaining, stopping the clock at a pleasing 33:01 before Bailey followed six seconds later to equal his PB set at Berkeley in May. Richard Dare passed Tewkesbury 5 winner James Miller with 300m remaining as Dare chipped two seconds off his PB with 33:27 and Miller lowered his best time by seventeen seconds with 33:33. Club stalwart Russell Forsbrook used his experience to pace his race well and pass Dave Aubrey with one kilometre remaining as he clocked a pleasing 34:11 before Aubrey came home in 34:22 for an eleven second PB. Richard Evershed and Jay Dowding reversed their Tewkesbury order as the former triathlete recorded 34:54 before Dowding knocked 54 seconds off his previous best with 34:59. Two more PBs followed as Steve Hall and Gavin McCaugherty came home in 36:17 and 36:28 respectively before James Wilkinson (37:29), Lee Groenewegen (42:32) and Jane Thomas (42:45) completed the Cheltenham squad.

In France Beth Hawling raced superbly at the Cross National Bayard in Pontcharra in a mixed gender cross country race. Currently on her year abroad studying at Chambery University, Hawling finished as third woman and first in the under 23 age group with an impressively fast time of 16:03 on a flat 4.57km course. Closer to home there were parkrun wins for Jon Barnes in 17:01 at Hereford and Darren Jordan in 17:25 at Buckingham whilst Steve Hall (18:14) and Dave Rantell (18:25) placed fifth and seventh respectively at the Cheltenham event.