Distance Running News, 28 February - 5 March

Phil Beastall produced an excellent personal best performance as he broke the 31 minute barrier for the first time at the Trafford 10k road race. A high quality field was again assembled for one of the UK’s top road races, with Beastall careful not to get carried away with the fast charge through the opening mile. This allowed the Gloucestershire Cross Country Champion to continually pick his way through the field as he passed halfway in under 15:30. Running slightly negative splits Beastall then gained more places in the second half of the race to cross the line in 29th place in an impressive time of 30:43, knocking 25 seconds off his previous best set at the Telford 10k in December. Also contesting the event were Oli Mott who finished in 48th place with 31:06, Alex Bampton with 32:03 for 98th place and Marcus England who recorded 33:47.

The weekend also saw the Harriers claim the Gloucestershire Road Relay Championship as the Gloucester Road Relays were relaunched on a new testing 5km course at Haresfield. James Chantler-Mayne took the opening leg and came home in a credible third place in 16:35 as Avon based teams Clevedon and Bristol held the top two spots through Alex Crossland (15:33) and Luke Evans (15:34). Gareth Edwards then took the second leg for the Cheltenham team and his 18:39 put the Harriers into fourth place as the Forest of Dean moved up into third position at the halfway point of the race. Liam Roarty then ran a pleasing 16:28 to regain third place for the Cheltenham team before Mark James ran an isolated 17:32 to remain in third behind race winners Bristol and runners up Clevedon as the Harriers took the Gloucestershire title. Earlier in the week the Aztec West 5k road race in Bristol saw Ben Price take a fine second place in 15:34 behind Bristol’s Jarleth McKenna on a night where stormy conditions meant that fast times were elusive. The same race saw Darren Jordan finish as first veteran in 16:57 whilst Russell Forsbrook recorded a time of 17:57. Meanwhile at the Cambridge Half Marathon Simon Critchley lowered his personal best to 85:00. Weekend parkruns saw Alex Lee (17:02) claim the win at Cheltenham where Richard Evershed (18:49) and James Bingham (19:03) placed fourth and fifth respectively. There were also wins for Andy Gardiner (17:43) at the Kingsway event in Gloucester, Marc Fallows (18:04) in Swindon whilst Dave Tomlin (18:04) took second place at the Killerton parkrun in Exeter.