Distance Running News, 31 May - 1 June

Julia Cooke set a new personal best as she claimed the 800m silver medal at the Welsh Athletics Championships in Cardiff. The twenty-five year old took 0.28 seconds from her previous best to clock 2:07.56, just 1.2 seconds behind winner Jade Williams of Amman Valley. Further success for the Harriers came in the 1500m where Beth Hawling finished second in 4:42.61, although as a non-Welsh athlete the Cardiff University student did not qualify for a medal.

Dan Owen continued his impressive start to the season as he again lowered his 3000m steeplechase pb at the British Milers Club Grand Prix in Manchester. The Andy Beadle coached athlete took five seconds off the time he set earlier this month to finish fifth in 9:14.78. In the 5000 B race Rhys Park was just three seconds outside his pb with 14:41.9 for thirteenth place. James Miller ran his fastest time since 2011 in the 800 E race as he moved from eighth to fifth in the final hundred metres to stop the clock at 1:54.32. Further middle distance success over the weekend came in the under 20 Youth Development League match at the Prince of Wales stadium where Mia O’Connell won the 1500m in 4:52.8 and Dmitry Nazarenko took second in the 3000m as he lowered his pb to 9:18.0.

Graham Rush led the Harriers to the team prize at the Fairford 10k as they packed their three scorers into the top four places. Rush, along with teammates Anthony Bailey and John Parker and Cirencester’s Dave Bell soon established themselves at the head of the field and remained together for the opening four kilometres. First Bailey and then Parker dropped off the pace before Rush moved clear of Bell at around the six kilometre mark. Rush went on to establish a nine second race winning margin over Bell as he stopped the clock at 32:33, with Parker third in 32:59 and Bailey fourth in 33:46. Dave Rantell finished fourteenth in 36:53 before Martin Ford finishes as first vet 70 runner in 39:38. Paul Barnes ran a time of 42:10 as he finished one place ahead of Jane Thomas who was ninth lady home in 42:12 and Ken Buckle completed the Harriers contingent in 50:59. At the Cheltenham parkrun Alex Lee finished third in 17:41 as he sprinted two seconds clear of teammate Matt Evans in the final run in. Steve Hall ran well for fifth in 17:46 and James Wilkinson placed ninth in 18:11.