Distance Running News, 23-29 May

Graham Rush celebrated news of his GB selection for the European 10,000m Cup by setting a 5000m personal best at the British Milers Club Grand Prix in Manchester. After finishing as sixth Britain in the World Championship Trials the previous weekend Rush was named on Wednesday in the GB team for the European event to be held in Belarus on the 10th June. In the opening stages in Manchester the Dave Newport athlete was content to sit in the large pack as he passed the 1000m mark in seventh place in 2:48 and 2000m in sixth in 5:37. By the time the race had reached the 3000m mark in 8:27 Rush had moved up into second place and he hit the front with five laps remaining as the pace had started to slow slightly. Despite working on the front Rush found it hard to whittle down the large group and he still had eleven athletes right behind him as they passed 4km in 11:20. By picking up the pace over the next 600m the Cheltenham runner was able to reduce the pack to five runners as he reached the bell on 13:02. With 300m to go, however, Rush was forced to relinquish the lead as all four athletes passed him on the back straight as they battled for the win. Despite lacking the big kick Rush crossed the line in fifth place in a new personal best and Cheltenham Harriers club record of 14:05.25 to complete a memorable week. Emile Cairess (Leeds) took the win in 13:59.82 from Patrick Dever (Preston) in 13:59.99 with James West (Tonbridge) third in 14:01.37. In the 5000m B race Oli Mott was trying to lower his two week old PB of 14:46. Starting quickly as he went through the 2km and 3km marks in 5:48 and 8:44 respectively. However, Mott was unable to hold this pace and he slowed to a still very respectable 14:57.13 for seventeenth place. Dan Owen meanwhile placed sixth in the 3000m steeplechase in a time of 9:26.71. Earlier in the week at the BMC regional meeting in Tipton Jacob Pickering was again in fine form as he lowered his 800m PB by 1.7 seconds whilst finishing in second place in the B race in 1:57. The same evening also saw Will New finish fifth over 3000m at the Bristol open meeting in 9:11.67. Roger Mullins meanwhile contested the mile at the Worcester Open where he recorded a time of 4:55.04 for second place.

On the roads Richard Dare marked a welcome return to competitive action after over a year out injured by winning the Gloucester 5k. Only teammate Mark James could keep with Dare over the opening mile before he pulled clear to take the county title in 16:22. On a course not conducive to fast time James crossed the line in second place 35 seconds later to claim veteran gold in second place overall. Andrew Kaighin placed sixth in 18:39 as he finished one position and seven seconds clear of Dave Rantell. The Harriers ladies matched the men’s success as Shona Crombie-Hicks took the individual honours in 19:22. Fee Maycock made it a Cheltenham one-two sixteen seconds later whilst Debbie Smith was seventh lady across the line in 21:55 to complete the winning team. Paul Barnes (21:44) and Adrian Higgs (23:56) also contested the inaugural staging of the event at Haresfield.

In a high class field at the London 10000 road race Phil Beastall clocked 31:15 for 34th place whilst Will New recorded a time of 32:56. At the Edinburgh half marathon Dave Aubrey was just twelve seconds outside his 2014 personal best as he recorded an impressive time of 75:03 for 21st place. Simon Critchley meanwhile lowered his personal best to 3:12:41 at the Liverpool Marathon after passing through the halfway mark in 1:34:15. At the Dymock Half Marathon Shona Crombie-Hicks finished as second lady whilst Ty Berg was the first veteran home. Multi-terrain races saw Jon Barnes win the Crocodile 8 mile race in Hereford and James Wilkinson finish fifth in the Broadway Tower 10K. Weekend parkruns saw Marcus England (17:22) take the win in Cheltenham where James Wilkinson (18:52) finished fifth. Dave Hemmings (21:07) also had a run out in Pittville Park where Jo Wilkie (21:53) was the second lady home. Liam Roarty (17:27) claimed another win at the River Valley event in Dublin whilst Martin Ford (20:11) took part in the Worthing parkrun.