Distance Running News, 25-28 March

Cheltenham Harrier Marcus England’s fine form continued with an impressive personal best as he followed the world’s top athletes home at the World Half Marathon Championship in Cardiff. Less than twelve months since joining the Harriers as an unattached runner and linking up with Dave Newport’s distance squad, the 34 year old has continued to lower his personal bests over all distances and went into Saturday’s race with a sub 75 minute target. Whilst Mo Farah took the World Championship bronze behind Kenyans Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Muchiri, England was enjoying the rare opportunity of racing in such a high profile event and went through the 5km mark in 17:35 and 10km in 35:19. Whilst conditions from the start hadn’t been good, as England reached eight miles they turned for the worse as torrential rain and wind battered the runners. However, the Cheltenham athlete dug deep to complete the course in an impressive 74:48, knocking just over two minutes off his previous best time. In 89th position in the mass participation race and 170th overall, England beat official World Championship athletes from South Africa, Somalia, Sudan and Iceland across the line. Having already set personal bests of 34:22 for 10k and 1:58:20 for 20 miles this year, he should be confident of beating his marathon PB of 3:00:09 at next month’s London Marathon. Dave Aubrey and Will Woodcock were also in half marathon action with times of 79:52 and 79:59 respectively whilst Sue Townsend was in good form as she posted a time of 1:41:41

Good Friday’s Exeter 10k saw Phil Wylie claim a win in 31:07 as he finished seventy seconds clear of recent Bourton 10k winner Luke Evans of Bristol. The following day saw Severn AC’s race organiser Terry Haines put on his final event from the iconic White Horse venue in Sandhurst as he hosted the Gloucester Easter 10k. On the early stages of a comeback from injury, and having not even run 10km in training this year, James Miller decided to have a run out as a gesture of support and thanks to Haines. Starting steadily, the middle distance man went through the 5km mark in 19:14, by which time he had moved up into second place and could see the opportunity of a win presenting itself. After passing Bourton’s Dennis Walmsley at 9km, Miller went on to cross the line in first place in 37:14. Similar windy conditions faced Richard de-Camps at the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester where he took the win in 16:59, a time that only Josh Dixon (Stroud) and Ben Robinson (Bristol) have ran quicker than in the event’s history. Meanwhile at the Cheltenham parkrun, vet 55 runner Mike Ede posted a time of 20:41. Bank Holiday Monday’s Bushley Mile saw Jacob Pickering enjoy a win on the slightly uphill road course in 4:57 and Samantha Pickering record a time of 7:02.