Distance Running News, 17-20 August

Oli Mott built on his fine recent form by claiming a bronze medal at the Midland 3000m Championship in Coventry. Windy conditions meant that the pace was relatively steady from the start, with the lead group down to six runners as they went through the opening two kilometres in exactly six minutes. Mott was content to sit in the pack for the next 600m before making his move and hitting the front fractionally before the bell as the six leading athletes remained together. After initially opening up a few yards gap at the front, the Cheltenham athlete was passed by Jonathan Goringe (Birchfield) on the back straight and then by Freddie Hessian (Notts) with around 80m to go. Finishing third Mott stopped the clock in 8:50.93 with a sixty second last lap. In equally windy conditions on the same evening at the British Milers Club Grand Prix in Manchester, Graham Rush contested the 3000m A race and was content to sit towards the back of the large leading pack as they went through the opening kilometre in a relatively modest 2:50. At this point he race kicked off as Morpeth’s Jonny Taylor picked up the pace with a 60 second lap that spread the field as Rush put in a 64 second lap. After reaching the 2km mark in 5:32 Rush managed to pick off several athletes in the final kilometre to finish seventh in a personal best 8:24.53 as Taylor took the win in an impressive 8:05.37. At the same meeting Richard de-Camps ran in the 1500m C race where he ran a time of 4:07.27.

The previous evening Cheltenham Harriers athletes dominated the Gloucestershire 10,000m Championship as they filled the top five places at the Prince of Wales Stadium. Windy conditions meant that fast times were going to be hard to come by with no athlete willing to set a fast pace during the early stages. A four man pack of Phil Beastall, Marcus England, Marc Fallows and Alex Lee pulled clear of the field as they hit the 2k mark in 6:48 whilst new Harriers recruit Andy Gardiner lay isolated in fifth. The leading quartet were still locked together as they reached halfway in 16:59 with Beastall and Lee doing most of the work at the front. It wasn’t until the eighth kilometre that the pace really picked up as pre-race favourite Lee made a decisive move with nine laps remaining. This instantly pulled him clear of Beastall who in turn went clear of England who himself had a gap over Fallows. Lee then got quicker for each of the final three kilometres to stop the clock in 33:18.3 to win his first county title. Beastall followed in second with 33:42.4 before England crossed the line in an impressive 34:04, a time 12 seconds quicker than his 10k road personal best on his track 10,000m debut. Fallows (35:21.0) was overtaken by Gardiner in the final kilometre as the former Cambridge and Colerdige runner marked his Harriers debut with a 35:10 PB. Jacob Pickering (37:20.9) and Dave Rantell (37:41.5) were also in action as they finished ninth and tenth respectively. In the accompanying mile races Roger Mullins took second in the men’s race with 5:00.4, a position matched by Katerina Horrocks who recorded 6:05.0 in the ladies race.

On the roads Mark James finished second at the Slaughters 10k as he recorded 36:23 for the challenging course whilst Matt Evans clocked 31:30 at the Bassingham Bash 5 mile road race in Lincolnshire. Weekend parkruns saw, Darren Jordan finish first in Buckingham with 17:19, Gavin McCaugherty take a victory at the Pymmes event in North London with 17:26 and Alex Lee win the Cheltenham event in 16:59. The Pittville Park event also saw Simon Critchley (18:41) and Steve Hall (18:49) showing good form.