Distance Running News, 26-31 May

Cheltenham Harrier Phil Wylie put in an impressive performance to finish in an excellent sixth place in a high class field at the Bristol 10k. Whilst Kenyan’s Jonah Chesum and Vincent Boit sped away from the rest of the field, Wylie was racing in a big group of around ten mainly British runners. By the finish Chesum took the win 29:18, Serpentine’s Nick Torry was the first Brit home in 30:03 and Wylie claimed the prize money for third British runner home as he finished sixth overall in 30:10. Fresh from his 5k personal best earlier in the week Phil Beastall took 23 seconds off his previous 10k PB to go sub 32 for the first time with a 31:52 for 28th place. Jon Barnes ran his fastest 10k since 2011 to finish just five seconds outside his PB with 33:33 before Alex Lee lowered his PB by 23 seconds with 33:56. This meant the Harriers four man team finished second behind London club Serpentine and ahead of third placed Bristol and West. Richard Dare (34:12), Roger Mullins (34:20) and James Bingham (34:41) soon followed before Andy Gore (35:25), Jay Dowding (35:59) and Matt Evans (36:37) crossed the line. Steve Stretton showed good from for 37:09 before Gavin McCaugherty (38:02), Andy Prophett (38:06) and Steve Hall (38:42) managed to complete the course. Lee Groenewegen’s big improvement continued with another PB as he recorded 38:53, Dave Aubrey (39:12) made a welcome return after injury and Jamie Courtenay (44:57) completed the Harriers seventeen man squad.

Earlier in the week there was a course record for Graham Rush and a big personal best for third placed Phil Beastall as Cheltenham Harriers athletes enjoyed success at the Aztec West 5k road race in Bristol. Rush quickly put himself at the front of the field, with only North Somerset’s Josh Davis in close pursuit over the first mile, before establishing a race winning lead that saw him stop the clock at 14:50. Beastall was content to sit in the chasing pack for the first of the three laps before pushing the pace on in third place on the second circuit. After he was overtaken by Will Ferguson (CLC) in the final quarter of a mile, Beastall soon passed Davis to finish in third place as he lowered his PB by 24 seconds with an impressive 15:10. There was also a third place for the Harriers in the women’s race as new signing Hilary Mott impressed with 18:12 on her club debut.

In sixth place Dave Roper made a pleasing return to action in 15:17 before John Parker clocked 15:40 to finish as first veteran home in ninth place overall. Jon Barnes then made it five Harriers in the top ten with a personal best of 15:49. In twelfth and thirteenth places Anthony Bailey and Marc Fallows claimed the prizes for second and third veterans with 16:13 and 16:14 respectively, with Russell Forsbrook following three places later with 16:51. Andy Gore was the first V45 runner home in 17:00 with Gavin McCaugherty crossing the line five seconds later. One of the most impressive Harriers performances of the night came from Jack Mundinano who knocked 47 seconds off his PB for an excellent 17:14 to pick up the prize for the first under 17 runner home. In the same age group James Chantler placed third with 17:35. James Bingham (17:37), Marcus England with a 17:45 PB, Andy Prophett (17:48) and Steve Stretton (17:50) quickly followed before Gareth Edwards (18:22), Miguel Mundinano (18:29) and Lee Groenewegen with an 18:43 PB completed the twenty strong Harriers squad.

On the track Dan Owen was in excellent form at the British Milers Grand Prix in Manchester where he finished third in the 3000m steeplechase in 9:06.40, an improvement of four seconds on his previous best time. At the same meeting James Miller ran well to finish fourth in the 800m G race in 1:54.95 whilst earlier in the week Alex Bampton lowered his 1500m PB to 4:14.1 for seventh place at the Tipton Open meeting.