Cheltenham Harriers distance squad played a key role in helping the club to win their final Midland League Division Two match of the season at the Prince of Wales Stadium and gain promotion back into the top flight at the first attempt. Julia Cooke and Ellie Hathaway gave the squad the perfect start with Cooke winning the 800m A race in 2:14.4 and Hathaway winning the B race in a PB of 2:24.5 ahead of teammate Jess White who lowered her PB to 2:26.8. Hugo Coutinho then followed this up with a 1:55.0 victory in the men’s A race before Dan Owen placed second in the B race in 1:57.6. Owen quickly returned to the track to win the 3000m steeplechase in 9:43.3 and Roger Mullins ensured maximum points as the leading B runner in 11:00.3. Jo Wilkie and Vickie Wilkinson then placed third A runner and second B runner in the women’s 3000m in 11:07.2 and 11:11.5 respectively before Wilkie and Rachel See took two third places in 5:13.5 and 5:42.8 in the 1500m. The men’s 1500m saw Dmitry Nazarenko finish as fourth A runner in a new PB of 4:11.8 and veteran Anthony Bailey finish as third B runner in 4:18.1 before Iain Devlin outsprinted Mike Gray as the two guest runners set PBs of 4:20.0 and 4:21.3. In the final distance race of the day, the men’s 3000m, the Harriers started as they began with maximum points. Graham Rush took the win in 8:38.3 with a decisive last 100m, with Dave Roper the first B runner home in 8:41.5 before Marc Fallows followed in 9:18.3 and Dave Aubrey set a PB of 9:22.9.
Earlier in the week Dan Owen took almost six seconds off his 3000m PB with an 8:26.63 clocking for twelfth place at the Watford Open Meeting. At the weekend’s Cheltenham parkrun James Bingham and Agata Giles claimed wins, with Bingham equalling his course PB of 16:42 and Giles recording a time of 21:42 to finish as first lady.