Distance Running News, 17-19 August

There were impressive personal best performances for Phil Beastall and Dan Owen at the final British Milers Club Grand Prix of the season at Stretford. Contesting the 10,000m A race that also incorporated the England Championships, Beastall was looking to better his road 10k personal best of 30:43 that he set in March. With a fast early pace he was content to sit towards the back in the opening stages with a 3:02 opening kilometre. With further consistent thousand metre splits of 3:01 and 3:02 the Gloucestershire cross country champion reached the 3000m mark in 9:05. He then moved through the twenty-three strong field with 3:03 and 3:02 splits to reach the halfway mark in 15:10. The pattern of the race then continued as many of those ahead started to slow as Beastall put in splits of 3:01 and 3:03. A quicker eighth kilometre of 3:00 gained the Harrier further places before a 3:03 penultimate split left him at 27:17 with just two and half laps of the track remaining. Picking up his pace after the bell allowed Beastall to record his fastest kilometre of the race with a 2:55 split to stop the clock at 30:12.24. Not only was this a huge PB, but it also earned the Cheltenham athlete ninth place in the race and seventh in the England Championship which saw Aldershot’s Chris Thompson take the win in 28:40.40.

Earlier in the evening Dan Owen lined up in the 3000m A race in fine form having ran 8:31.34 in a tactical race at the Midland Championship the previous weekend. Therefore, his three year old personal best of 8:26.63 was clearly within Owen’s sights as the race was to be paced at a much quicker pace than this. The Midland Champion wisely went straight to the back of the sixteen man field with a 2:48 opening kilometre and moved up a single place with 2:49 for the next thousand metres as the main pack pulled away. However, over the next 600m Owen started to catch the runners ahead and reached the bell in 7:20. A typically fast final lap of 62 seconds saw the Cheltenham athlete gain further places as he lowered his PB to 8:22.86 for eighth place in a race won by Preston’s Pat Dever in 8:09.09.

At the World Duathlon Championships in Canada Phil Wylie finished seventh in the elite race that comprised a 10k run, 40km bike and a final 5km run. Naomi Eaton struck gold in the shorter age group sprint duathlon with victory in the 30-34 age group. On the roads Alex Bampton continued his fine consistent form with a fine time of 15:16 for twelfth place in a high class field at the Ipswich 5k. Weekend parkruns saw Alex Lee (17:08) win the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park in which James Wilkinson (18:13) finished fourth and Henry James (19:03) ran well. Andy Gardiner (17:17) was first home at the Kingsway event in Gloucester whilst Fee Maycock (19:30) was second overall and first lady home at the Gloucester North event.