Distance Running News, 27-31 December

Alex Bampton finished 2016 with a personal best at the Nos Galan 5k road race in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. At the night-time New Year’s Eve event, Bampton recorded a time of 15:41 over a testing course to place 22nd in a high quality event that was won by Swansea’s Kristian Jones in 14:11. Dave Aubrey continued his good recent form to finish 47th in 16:46. Racing over the same distance earlier in the week Liam Roarty finished third in the Clonliffe 5k in Dublin in a time of 16:15. Both Bampton and Roarty were contesting their only 5k of the calendar year, with their times placing them 11th and 20th on the Cheltenham Harriers 2016 combined road and track 2016 rankings for the distance. The list, which is headed by Rhys Park’s 14.14.77 set on the track in California, emphasises the strength of the depth within the club with eight runners sub 15:10, sixteen athletes breaking 16 minutes, 22 men below 16:30 and 33 runners under 17 minutes.

Although not eligible for the club ranking lists, the weekend also saw many club members enjoy success over the 5k distance at the various parkruns, with Phil Beastall posting the most impressive performance as he lowered his own course record at the Tewkesbury event by 43 seconds with an excellent time of 15:26. Oli Mott became the second Harrier this month to win a Southern Hemisphere parkrun as he won the Dunedin event in New Zealand in 17:10, whilst a lot closer to home Andy Gardiner won the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester in 17:33. Ben Price broke the old course record at the Trelissick event in Cornwall with a 16:52 clocking, but was only second across the line as a cani-cross runner was dragged round the course in a dog assisted time of 16:05. At the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park, Will New (16:58) took second place before Matt Evans (18:45) and Steve Hall (18:49) crossed the line in seventh and ninth respectively. Katerina Horrocks (21:53) and Ella Burfitt (23:35) meanwhile were third and seventh ladies home. Lottie Roberts (21:44) was the leading lady in Evesham, Tommaso Migliuolo (17:49) enjoyed a run out at Bushy Park in London and Dave Hemmings (20:42) ended his racing year at the Hereford parkrun

The final Cheltenham Harriers 2016 5000m / 5k ranking list for 2016 can be viewed here