Distance Running News, 28 July - 2 August

Cheltenham Harrier Mia O’Connell put in a pair of fine performances to earn sixth place for Gloucestershire in the 1500m at the Inter-Counties and England Championship in Bedford. Running a time of 4:30.37 for second place in her heat, O’Connell qualified for the final later that afternoon where her time of 4:30.90 saw her again just three seconds outside her personal best.

Graham Rush won his second Aztecs West 5k of the summer on a blustery night in Bristol. Stroud’s Brett Halliwell made the early pace before Rush inevitably hit the front and pulled clear of the field after approximately 1.5km. The Gloucestershire 1500m champion went on to take the victory in a time of 15:01. Fellow Harrier Harry Bishop moved his way through the field to pass both Halliwell and North Somerset’s James Rodgers. After a close tussle with Josh Davis (North Somerset), Bishop had to settle for third as he finished one second behind Davis in a time of 15:30. Will New ran well for a road PB of 16:03 in eighth position and Marc Fallows came home as the first veteran runner in tenth place with 16:18. Roger Mullins followed in 16:36, with Mike Gray crossing the line in 17:03 and Mark James clocking 17:18. Andy Prophett was the second veteran finisher in 17:28 before Matt Evans (17:43), Gareth Edwards (18:03) and James Wilkinson (18:16) completed the Harriers contingent. In the overall series, based on each runners fastest three times from the four races, Bishop placed second overall behind Davis whilst Fallows and Prophett took first and third respectively in the veteran series. The following evening saw another Harriers road victory as Phil Wylie won the Exeter 10k in 31:39 for a 34 second victory over Derby’s Johnny Gilby.

The Harriers provided the winner at four different parkruns over the weekend with John Parker‘s 16:30 winning the Cheltenham event with a nine second victory over teammate Alex Lee who ran his fastest time on the course. James Wilkinson (18:05), Dave Rantell (18:22), Gavin McCaugherty (18:24) and Steve Hall (18:28) packed in from sixth to ninth before Gareth Edwards (18:49) finished in twelfth place. There was also a Harriers one-two at the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester where Mark James clocked 17:36 to finish fourteen seconds clear of Paul Horsfall. Matt Crew took the win at the Swindon event in 18:05 where Rachel See (21:46) was the fifth lady home whilst Luke Kearns recorded 18:36 to win the Tewkesbury parkrun.