Distance Running News, 28 March - 2 April

Fee Maycock produced an excellent performance to set a new Cheltenham Harriers marathon record as she finished as tenth lady in the Manchester Marathon. After going through the opening 10km in 40:29 Maycock passed the half way mark in 1:26:13 well inside her target pace. Although slowing slightly, the Cheltenham runner maintained a good pace to pass the 30km point in 2:03:18 before reaching the finish line in a very pleasing 2:56:21. As well as moving into the top ten women in the final stages, Maycock was also the first lady over 40 home as she won her own LV45 age group. Her fastest time since 2013 took 31 seconds off the Harriers record that Shona Crombie-Hicks had set in La Rochelle just last November, after the previous record set by Joyce Barrus of 2:57:19 had stood for 25 years. In the same race Ben Colabella set a personal best of 2:51:06 after going through the halfway stage in 1:18:38 whilst Becky Amor recorded a time of 4:15:10. Also competing over 26.2 miles was Dave Tomlin who finished as first veteran home in the Taunton Marathon as he finished fifth overall in 2:46.14.

Graham Rush took the opportunity of gaining some international experience as he competed in an elite 10k road race in Frankfurt. The Dave Newport coached athlete finished as runner up just four seconds behind Moldovian Olympian Roman Prodius and two seconds clear of Spaniard Ibrahim Ezzaydouni. The GB international crossed the line in 29:31 on a course that ended up longer than the intended 10k as the field ran seven long laps and one short lap rather than the planned course of six long and two short laps. Also competing in Germany was Will New who set a personal best at the Berlin Half Marathon. After passing 5k in 16:42 and 10k in 33:37, New maintained his pace to 15k in 50:37. Despite slowing in the final 6km he still crossed the line in 71:56 to take fifty seconds off his previous best time as he finished as first British runner home in sixtieth place. Meanwhile back in the UK Andrew van Kints recorded a time of 32:58 to finish eleventh in the Lincoln 10k.

Midweek action saw Mark James finish as the first veteran at the Aztec West 5k road race in Bristol where he ran well for an impressive time of 16:26 for sixteenth place overall. Andy Gardiner (17:01), Matt Evans (17:43) and Gareth Edwards (18:10) all followed as Steve Maguire (18:24) also made a welcome return to race action. Sarah Sheppard (19:47) was the tenth lady home before Kaitlyn Sheppard (21:48) competed the Harriers contingent. The weekend saw several Harriers compete in the Dave McNamee Memorial 10k that was held in recognition of the former Harriers official and club stalwart. Jacob Pickering placed third overall on the hilly course at Temple Guiting in 36:08 as he finished just one second behind Bristol’s James Nunn whilst Jack Tuner (Stroud) took home the new trophy with a 35:03 win. Gareth Edwards (38:48), Elliot Prince (38:58) and Andy Gore (39:14) placed eighth to tenth before James Wilkinson (39:59), Steve Maguire (40:26), Mike Ede (44:14), Adrian Higgs (51:11), Charlotte Deacon (53:24) and Michael Imeson (54:19) all crossed the finish line. Weekend parkruns saw Liam Roarty finish first at the Gloucester North event in 17:25 and Andy Gardiner take the win at Tewkesbury in 17:53. Mark James (17:20) placed second at the Kingsway event in Gloucester whilst Vet 60 runner Mike Ede (20:50) was the first Harrier home at the Cheltenham event where Katerina Horrocks (22:41) and Milly Foster (22:45) were the fourth and fifth ladies to finish.