Distance Running News, 28th February - 1 March

Beth Hawling continued her fine cross country form with an impressive performance in the women’s race at the French National Cross Country Championship at Les Mureaux. After two recent French Inter County victories the 20 year old went into the race full of confidence and moved steadily through the field throughout on the undulating 7.5km course to finish as second under 23 runner home in fourteenth place. Hawling has now completed her time studying at Chambery in France and now will return briefly back to England to compete for Gloucestershire in this weekend’s Inter County Cross Country Championships in Birmingham, before continuing with her year of studying abroad in Rostock, Germany. Also competing on the continent, Andrew van Kints won the Alphen 10k in Holland in a time of 32:53.

Will New continued his good form on the roads as he took over a minute and a half off his previous personal best at the Bath Half Marathon. Having finished fifth at the Cheltenham Half Marathon New was looking to break the 74 minute barrier and went through 5 miles in 27:38 and 10km in 34:18. This meant that the 23 year old was running at sub 73 minute pace as he passed the half way point in approximately 40th place in a field of over 11,500 runners. New continued to work his way through the field on the second lap, although after going through 10 miles in 55:40 he slowed slightly in the final miles to finish 32nd in an impressive new PB of 73:04. Dave Aubrey was the next Cheltenham Harrier to cross the line in 77:44 before Jay Dowding finished in 78:01 as he saw off the late challenge of Alex Lee who set a new PB of 78:03. Elliot Prince recorded 79:39 before Steve Hall agonisingly missed out on a sub 80 minute clocking as he set a PB of 80:07. Just eleven seconds later Gavin McCaugherty also smashed his PB with 80:18 whilst there were also PBs for Simon Gallimore in 81:57, Steve Stretton with 82:41 and Gareth Edwards in 85:20. Martin Ford was again the first vet 65 runner home as he went to the top of the UK vet 70 rankings with 88:34 before Jamie Courtenay completed the Harriers contingent in 1:40:26.

The previous day a Cheltenham Harriers team claimed the Gloucestershire Road Relay Championship title in an event held over a hilly 2.65mile course at Elmore. Matt Evans brought the team home in third place behind Severn and Worcester on the opening stage with a 14:53 clocking before Andy Prophett’s 15:02 leg took the Harriers past Worcester and into second place. Dmitry Nazarenko then ran the fastest leg of the day and his time of 13:55 gave the Cheltenham team a healthy lead with just one leg remaining. Despite no pressure from behind Paul Horsfall ran well for a time of 14:57 that gave the Harriers a 2:59 winning margin over runners up Worcester who were comfortably ahead of third placed Forest of Dean.