Distance Running News, 28 June - 3 July

Alex Lee lowered his personal best as he claimed a fine second place at the Aztec West 5k road race in Bristol. The first of three laps saw the North Somerset pair of Josh Davis and James Rodgers force the early pace with Lee’s teammate Ben Price the only athlete to follow them through the opening mile in 4:55. Lee meanwhile was content to place himself in the third pack in seventh place, as he went through the mile mark in 5:05 in a group that also contained fellow Harriers Anthony Bailey and Marc Fallows. A lap later Rodgers had opened up a gap over Price as Davis had dropped off the pace, whilst Lee had moved up into sixth place with another 5:05 mile. Seeing the athletes in front of him fading, Lee upped his pace and picked off runners to move up into third position with half a mile remaining. The gap between Price and the race leader Rodgers remained at around six to seven seconds, with Lee now a similar distance behind Price. With less than 200m to go Lee caught his teammate and they went round the final corner together before Lee sprinted clear to cross the line in a new PB of 15:34, just one second ahead of Price and only five seconds behind race winner Rodgers. Bailey and Fallows went on to finish as first and third veterans with 15:54 and 16:11 for eighth and eleventh positions respectively. Mark James ran well for a season’s best of 16:35 before Ben Williams set a personal best of 15:51 to win the under 17 age group. Mike Gray showed improved form with a 17:02 clocking as he finished one place and five seconds ahead of new signing Dave. Completing another successful night for the club Andy Gore won the Vet 45 category in a season’s best time of 17:26.

Graham Rush enjoyed a win at the prestigious win at the Norwich Lord Mayor’s 5k road race held in front of thousands of spectators on a hilly two lap city centre course. In a field that contained two athletes with faster times than him this season Rush controlled the race from the front after a rather modest 3:09 opening kilometre. By the halfway point the group was down to five athletes and the pack split further as Rush upped the pace with around 1200m remaining. Crossing the finish line in 14:47 the Dave Newport coached athlete finished two seconds clear of Norwich’s Alex Dunbar with Highgate’s Danny Russell a further two seconds adrift.