Distance Running News, 24-25 October

Anthony Bailey put in an impressive performance to finish second in a new personal best time as he led the Cheltenham Harriers team to victory at the Stroud Half Marathon. Whilst Notts AC runner Rob Keal soon established himself at the front of the field before going on to take a comfortable victory in 69:19, the battle for second place was a more intriguing affair. Bailey, who picked up a calf injury at the Cheltenham Half Marathon that forced him to miss the Abingdon Marathon last weekend, was determined to make his marathon training count and was content to run in a three man group with Jordan Frapwell (Stroud) and Dean Parker (Bournville) as they trailed second placed runner Adrian Williams (Cirencester) during the first half of the race. The pack caught Williams after the Whitminster hill and headed back towards Stroud as a four man group, with the Cheltenham veteran ensuring the group maintained a good pace. At the 10 mile point Frapwell made his move and attacked, with only Bailey able to respond as the pack split. Half a mile later Bailey hit the front to move clear and remained unchallenged in second to finish as runner up in 72:58, a personal best time by almost two minutes, with Parker (73:11), Frapwell (73:22) and Williams (73:23) soon following him home. The four man winning Harriers team packed well with Dave Rantell 18th in 80:55 and Steve Hall (83:22) just seeing off the challenge of Paul Horsfall (83:28) as the pair finished 27th and 28th respectively. Gareth Edwards (85:35), Richard Birch (86:43) and Paul Barnes (90:13) followed before Vet 70 runner Martin Ford again beat all the vet 60 athletes with a 90:31 clocking and Dave Hemmings came home in 1:41:06.

Marcus England continued his impressive recent form at the Great South Run in Portsmouth where he ran the 10 mile course in a time of 57:24 for 61st place. The Cheltenham parkrun saw Jeremy Bradley take the win in 16:48 with Will New (18:29), Matthew Dwerryhouse (19:02), Simon Critchley (19:12) and Steve Hall (19:17) all enjoying a run out at Pittville Park. At the Oxford parkrun Rachel Longstaff was the first lady home in seventh place overall in 19:01. Gavin McCaugherty claimed his ninth different parkrun venue win with an 18:31 clocking on the grass at Tewkesbury, with Mark James also preparing for the cross country season with a 19:04 win at the Gloucester North event at Plock Court.