Distance Running News, 17-21 June

Julia Cooke smashed the Cheltenham Harriers 1500m club record for the second time in nine days as she moved up to thirteenth in the UK rankings at the British Milers Club gold standard race in Watford. Having lowered her personal best from 4:26.92 to 4:20.63 in Manchester the previous week, Cooke took another five seconds off her time with a 4:15.65 clocking for second place, exactly three quarters of a second behind Epsom and Ewell’s Rosie Clarke. At the same meeting James Miller recorded a time of 1:56.81 in the 800m B race.

Dan Owen set a new personal best as he came away with a bronze medal in the 3000m steeplechase at the England under 23 Championships in Bedford. Lying fourth for much of the race, Owen moved up into third at the bell as he knocked over a second from his pb with a time of 9:13.29 in a race won by Brighton’s William Gray in 8:59.43. In the under 20 women’s 1500m Mia O’Connell was less than a second a half outside her pb as she finished eleventh in 4:34.07. Meanwhile, in the senior boys 3000m race at the South West Schools Championship Dnitry Nazarenko finished fourth in 9:21.54.

Cheltenham Harriers packed six runners into the top ten to claim a seventh consecutive team victory at the White Horse 5k in Gloucester. Dave Roper, in his first road race since November, along with training partner Oli Mott (Bristol) closed down early leader James Rogers (North Somerset) with the three athletes locked together after two miles. Mott then pulled clear for a 15:15 victory with Rodgers (15:33) outsprinting Roper (15:35) who led the Harriers home in third place. Ben Price came home fifth in 15:48, with Richard Dare in sixth breaking his four year old pb with a 16:06 clocking to pull clear of former Harrier Tom Lowe in the final run in. In eighth place Will New equalled his four year old pb of 16:15 before Roger Mullins clocked 16:23, his fastest time since 2011, and Russell Forsbrook completed the victorious six man team in tenth spot with 16:29.

Dmitry Nazarenko was the first under 20 runner home in eleventh place with a 16:37 pb, with Andy Gore finishing as first veteran home with 16:51 in thirteenth place. James Bingham (16:54) took fourteenth before Alex Lee knocked twenty-one seconds off his pb with 16:55 for sixteenth place. Mike Gray (17:15) made it eleven Harriers in the top twenty as he finished one place ahead of second V45 runner home Miguel Mundinano, who recorded 17:18 to complete the Cheltenham B team that comfortably outperformed all rival A teams. Steve Maguire then lowered his pb to 17:26 as he broke the 17:30 barrier for the first time. Steve Hall soon followed as he held off the late challenge of Gavin McCaugherty, with both runners awarded the same time of 17:29. Gareth Edwards was the sixteenth Harrier home with a pb of 18:10 in thirty-first place whilst Jess White was sixth lady home as she lowered her pb to 20:15.

James Bingham took the win with a 17:05 clocking at the Cheltenham parkrun with teammate Alex Chantler third in 17:35 on his parkrun debut. There were also top ten finishes for Matt Evans with 18:01 for sixth and Ben Williams who came tenth in 18:53. Martin Ford followed in 19:27 before Agata Giles finished as second lady home in a new personal best of 21:28.