Distance Running News, 28-29 January

Cheltenham Harriers athletes enjoyed success at the Staverton 10 mile road race as Alex Lee and Shona-Crombie Hicks both claimed second place finishes. Eventual race winner Thomas Mallard (South Kent) opened up a significant lead in the early stages whilst Lee ran alongside team mate Marcus England and Will Ferguson (CLC) in a three man chasing pack. By half way the race looked to be over, but Mallard slowed whilst Mallard Lee moved clear of Ferguson after around 6 miles and gradually started narrowing the gap. Running negative splits, Lee’s fast final mile saw him finish just five seconds behind Mallard as he crossed the line in 54:05. England ran well to take fourth place with a 54:50 clocking as he finished fourteen seconds behind Ferguson. Dave Tomlin took the veteran win as he finished seventh overall in 57:23 before Andy Gardiner (58:53) placed twelfth. Dave Rantell was then the second over 45 runner home in 60:53 whilst Gareth Edwards posted a pleasing 61:20.

The ladies race was fought out in a contrasting style to the men’s race. Gemma Hargraves (Almost Athletes) tracking Crombie-Hicks closely for the first half of the race as the pair started quickly to move clear of their rivals. On the second lap Hargraves pulled clear to take the win in 63:06, with Crombie-Hicks, who ran 36 seconds quicker than when she won the race last year, posting a 63:34 clocking for second place. Fee Maycock ran an impressive race to finish third in 64:18 as the Harriers ladies packed well thanks to Sarah Sheppard taking fourth in 67:29 and Vickie Wilkinson placing sixth in 68:50. Simon Critchley (64:27), Ian Giles (67:01), Richard Birch (67:35), Paul Barnes (71:55) and Debbie Smith (74:59) also contested the event. The weekend also saw Elliot Prince finish 102nd in t the Midland Cross County Championship in Loughborough and there were parkrun wins for Dave Tomlin (17:33) at the Kingsway event in Gloucester and for Jon Barnes (17:25) in Hereford. Matt Evans (18:57) and James Wilkinson (19:36) finished first and second in the Tewkesbury parkrun whilst in the Cheltenham event Steve Hall (18:59), Henry James (19:35), Callum Forster (20:02), Dave Hemmings (20:41) and Isabel Ovens (23:07) all enjoyed a run out.