Distance Running News, 4-8 April

Fee Maycock produced yet another excellent marathon performance to finish as the first over 50 lady home with another sub three hour clocking at the Manchester Marathon. Having recorded a time of 2:56.40 in Frankfurt last October, Maycock had finished 2017 with the fifth fastest time for the age group in the UK rankings and was looking to put down an early season mark for the 2018 lists. Beginning the race with a 40:34 opening 10km, she lay just 35 seconds behind former Harriers teammate Shona Crombie-Hicks (Tewkesbury) at the first time check. By halfway this gap was reduced to 12 seconds with Maycock registering an 86:37 split. From 14 miles the pair ran side by side before Maycock pulled clear after passing 20 miles in 2:13.04. Continuing to run well through the closing miles the Cheltenham athlete crossed the line in an impressive 2.56.50 to win the LV50 age group and finish as twelfth lady home. Maycock’s time also earned her top place in the UK rankings for the age group and gives the country’s other top LV50 runners something to aim for throughout the year. Despite a difficult build up to the race Crombie-Hicks finished exactly one minute behind to win the younger LV45 age group. The only other Harrier contesting the race was Leah Hopton who also ran well as she lowered her personal best to 4:11:43.

Further success for the Harriers ladies saw Alice Taylor enjoy two race wins in a week with a victory in the Kymin Dash 7 mile multi-terrain race in Monmouth just four days after finishing as first lady in the opening event of the Hereford 5k road race. Taylor won the midweek event by 49 seconds as she clocked 18:00 to finish clear of Chloe Wheeler of the Forest of Dean. Roxanne Jones made her debut for the club and recorded 20:25 to finish as sixth lady home. At the head of the race a large contingent of Harriers men were in a lead group of fifteen that went through the opening mile into a strong wind in a relatively slow 5:14. Tipton’s Stuart Hawkes then hit the front and his strong injection of pace plit the field as he took Alex Lee and Bristol’s Luke Evans clear of the field. Lee stuck with the pace until the final half mile before having to settle for third in 15:51 as Hawkes (15:25) and Evans (15:35) claimed the top two spots. Behind Lee the Harriers then packed well as a wave of white vests saw Dave Newport’s squad comfortably take the team win as they packed seven runners into the top nine. Eliot Taylor took fourth in 15:56 and Marcus England claimed fifth in a personal best of 15:59. Charlie Jones (16:03) then pipped Jon Barnes by a single second before Dave Aubrey (16:21) and Dan King (16:26) made it seven Harriers in a row. In twelfth place Mark James (16:56) finished as second veteran. Martin Soakell lowered his road PB for the distance to 18.25 whilst Dan MInors and Steve Bradley recorded times of 18:29 and 19:00 respectively.

Jon Barnes followed up his pleasing midweek performance with a victory in the Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon where his time of 75:09 saw him finish 41 seconds clear of Gloucester’s Steve Millward. There was also a weekend win for Ben Price at the Enys 10k race in Cornwall where he posted a time of 33:28. Weekend parkruns saw the Harriers prominent at the Cheltenham event where Alex Lee (16:31) and Beth Hawling (18:11) claimed first place finishes. Marcus England (16:41) and Dave Aubrey (16:58) claimed second and fourth respectively before Ian Giles (19:29) completed his build up to the Boston Marathon and Katerina Horrocks (22:45) finished as third lady home. Dave Tomlin (17:24) took the win at the Kingsway event in Gloucester, whilst the Gloucester City parkrun saw Gareth Edwards (17:57) and James Bingham (18:13) finish second and third respectively. Andy Gore (18:00) placed sixth at the Wolverhampton event and further afield Amber Watson (22:14) was the second lady home at the Studley parkrun in Australia.