Distance Running News, 27-28 September

Cheltenham Harriers took the team honours at the Cirencester 10k as Dmitry Nazarenko led them home in fourth place. The seventeen year olds time of 34:57 also saw him finish as second under 20 athlete as he saw off the challenge of fellow teenager Matt Crew. Crew, who has joined the Harriers first claim, took fifth overall in a personal best time of 35:16 over the testing course. Veterans Andy Prophett and Steve Linton completed the winning team in 38:00 and 38:10 for fifteenth and sixteenth places respectively. Further good team packing then followed with Jacob Pickering (38:34), James Wilkinson (38:43) and Gareth Edwards (38:51) all inside the top twenty-three. Richard Birch (40:46), Paul Barnes (42:11) and Debbie Smith (47:28) followed before Ken Buckle was the first vet 70 runner home in 49:28 and Samantha Pickering (50:41) completed the Harriers contingent.

Cheltenham Harriers teams earned silver and bronze medals at the Gloucestershire Cross Country Relays at Plock Court in Gloucester. James Bingham put the Harriers into an early lead as he completed the shortened 2.9km circuit in 9:26 to earn a 13 second advantage over Severn’s Oliver Starkey, who was in turn four seconds ahead of Alex Lee who put the Harriers B team into third position. James Miller extended the Cheltenham lead by a second with a 9:32 leg, whilst Mike Gray ran an impressive 9:40 for the B team as he finished eleven seconds behind Severn’s James Rose at the half way point of the race. The third stage saw a change in the order as Harry Bishop took Severn into pole position with an 8:55 clocking, gaining a twenty-five second lead over Will New who recorded 9:33. Meanwhile the Harriers B team were isolated in third after a 9:57 from Elliot Prince. The final stage saw Dave Aubrey chasing down the host club’s Mark James, gradually closing the gap and passing James with about a kilometre remaining before opening up a 50m gap. However, in the final quarter of a mile the middle distance runner clawed back the deficit and drew level with Aubrey with as they turned into the finishing straight. In the closest of sprints the Severn man inched ahead to win it on the dip for the line with both teams clocking identical times. Aubrey’s consolation was that his 9:15 was the third fastest time of the day. Richard Evershed ran 9:46 in third place to give the Harriers B team the bronze medals.

The Harriers C team placed fifth on the opening stage with Ben Williams clocking 10:10 before Steve Maguire (10:15) moved them up to the fourth place that they never relinquished. Andrew Kaighin (10:25)made a return to action on leg three before Miguel Mundinano recorded the fastest veteran time of the day with 10:03. The Cheltenham D team were led off by youngster Jack Mundinano whose 10:55 left them in ninth place. James Wilkinson (10:23) took them up to sixth before Matt Evans (10:35) gained a further place and Gavin McCaugherty’s 10:06 maintained fifth place. Jess White placed twelfth of the seventeen runners on stage one for the Harriers E team as she recorded 11:31, the fastest ladies time of the day. Lee Groenewegen (11:30) then gained three places before Gavin Cotter (12:55) handed over in tenth to guest Harrier James Denne whose 9:14 took the team up to ninth place.

At the Cheltenham parkrun Agata Giles was the third lady home in a PB of 20:58 whilst Ian Giles lowered his best time on the course to 18:47 for fifth place.