Distance Running News, 18-19 March

Oli Mott put in an excellent performance to smash his personal best with a time of 67:09 at the Reading Half Marathon. In seventeenth place after passing 5km in 15:58 Mott held this position as his group reached 10k in a time of 31:43. The next 5km was the slowest section of the course but Mott had moved up to thirteenth place by the 15km mark before passing the 20km mark in a group of three runners vying for ninth place in 63:48. In the final kilometre the Cheltenham athlete puled clear of his rivals to finish in a pleasing ninth place to take 93 seconds off his previous best in a race won by GB international Andy Vernon in 63:08. The second Cheltenham athlete home was Alex Bampton who made a very impressive debut at the distance as he went through 10k in 33:24 on route to 70:47 for 35th position. Marcus England then crossed the line in 74:56 before Steve Hall broke the 80 minute barrier for the first time with a 55 second PB of 79:12. Gareth Edwards and Lee Groenewegen posted times of 85:59 and 91:49 respectively.

At the Thirsk 10 mile road race in Yorkshire Graham Rush enjoyed a win in a time of 50:36 after being content to sit in the lead group for much of the race. The Eastleigh 10k saw Dan Owen knock five seconds off his three year old personal best with 32:19 for 16th place. Liam Roarty also trimmed his PB with 33:23 for 25th position as he took three seconds off his previous best whilst veteran Mark James recorded a time of 35:18. Also claiming a 25th place finish in Hampshire was Andrew van Kints who recorded a time of 75:24 at the Fleet Half Marathon. Much closer to home Roger Mullins finished as second veteran in seventh place overall at the Forest of Dean Half Marathon where he stopped the clock at 79:20 for the trails event that also saw Mike Gray place 16th on 82:34.

The Gloucester 20 mile road race again played a key part for club members preparing for upcoming marathons. Elliot Prince and Andy Gardiner were two such runners who decided to set off together at 6:30 pace to gradually pick their way through the field. Prince finishing thirteenth in 2:09:25 and Gardiner placed seventeenth in 2:09.49. Dave Rantell (2:14:57), Simon Critchley (2:20:34) and Richard Birch (2:22:29) soon followed and had useful workouts. Paul Barnes (2:33:23) edged out teammate Martin Ford (2:33:37) who finished as the first over 70 runner home before Dave Hemmings (3:09:20) completed the Harriers contingent. In the senior boys race at the English Schools Cross Country Championship in Norwich Ben Williams finished in 178th place whilst Ellie Hathaway came home in 254th place in the senior girls race. The weekend’s standout parkrun performance from Fee Maycock who knocked 28 seconds off her own ladies course record at the Gloucester North parkrun as she finished as first lady in second place overall with a time of 19:00. At the Cheltenham event George Hawthorne (18:08) and James Bingham (18:11) finished in first and second respectively whilst there were also wins for Dave Tomlin (17:37) at the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester and for James Wilkinson (19:21) at the Evesham parkrun.