Distance Running News, 20-26 May

There were impressive personal best performances from Phil Beastall and Anthony Bailey as they led Cheltenham Harriers to an emphatic team victory at the White Horse 5k in Gloucester. The pair were part of a seven man lead pack that included fellow Harriers John Parker, Ben Price and Jeremy Bradley. With around half a mile to go eventual race winner Oli Mott (Bristol) and runner-up Will Ferguson (CLC) moved clear, with Beastall just ahead of Bailey as they in turn opened a gap on Parker and Price. Beastall held off Bailey’s challenge in the final run in to take third in 15:34, with the county road race series champion just one second adrift. Veteran Parker followed just one second later before Price set a pb of 15:39 and Bradley came home seventh in 15:43.

Cheltenham domination continued in an equally fascinating battle for eighth place and the final position in the Harriers six man team. After a mile a second group had developed that included teammates Marc Fallows, Will New, Russell Forsbrook, Dave Aubrey, Richard Dare, Roger Mullins and James Miller, as well Cirencester’s Adrian Williams. New paced the group well through the first two miles, but it was Miller that made the first move with half a mile to go before Fallows then made a break with 600m remaining which only Forsbrook could follow. The two runners were neck and neck in the finishing straight before Forsbrook edged clear to cross the line in 16.18, with Fallows just one second adrift to claim ninth place. New took eleventh place as he lowered his season’s best to 16:21 with Miller (16:28), Aubrey (16:34) and Mullins (16:40) making it eleven Harriers in the top fourteen.

In nineteenth there was a pb for Alex Lee who produced a strong finish to take Gavin McCaugherty on the line as both runners recorded 17:16. Mike Gray (17:25) sprinted clear of Steve Hall who set a pb of 17:28 before Miguel Mundinano (17:32) and Steve Maguire made it seventeen Harriers in the top twenty-nine. James Wilkinson (17:55) ensured the Harriers C team finished ahead of all other clubs A teams before Gareth Edwards took forty seconds off his pb with an 18:15 clocking. Jess White ran well for 20:18 and Lee Groenewegen lowered his pb to 20:52. Having missed the White Horse race due to injury, James Bingham won the Cheltenham parkrun in 16:54.

At the British Milers Club regional races in Coventry Beth Hawling took four seconds off her pb as she recorded 4:41.5 to finish as first woman in a mixed 1500m race. Julia Cooke and Mia O’Connell finished first and second in the women’s 800m as they recorded times of 2:09.4 and 2:15.9 respectively whilst Alex Bampton finished fifth in the men’s 1500m race in 4:15.2. At the previous night’s BMC Gold Standard Meeting in Trafford Dan Owen finished third in the 1500m B race with a time of 3:57.49.

Five Harriers lined up for the London 10000 road race that incorporated the British 10k Championships, with Graham Rush finishing twenty-second in a high quality field in a personal best of 31:16. Andrew van Kints (34:14) and Marc Fallows (35:11) followed before Gavin McCaugherty set a pb of 36:40 and James Wilkinson clocked 37:37. At the Tewkesbury Half Marathon Anthony Bailey recorded a time of 74:47 as he finished third behind North Somerset’s James Rodgers and Cirencester’s David Bell. Matt Evans finished eighth in 80:50 and Richard Birch stopped the clock at 90:09.

Will New enjoyed a comfortable Bank Holiday Monday win with a confident display at the White Horse five mile road race in Gloucester. New pulled clear of Cornwall’s Andy Renfree after two miles and managed to maintain pace in the second half of the race to cross the line first in 27:09. James Bingham took second place in 27:32, with veteran Dave Rantell fourth in 29:04 as he finished one place and eight seconds ahead of Matt Evans. On her first attempt at the distance, Jess White was the first lady home in 35:21