Distance Running News, 5 -9 April

Cheltenham Harriers delivered a fine performance at the National 12-Stage Road Relays at Sutton Coldfield to finish in the top 30. Oli Mott got the ball rolling and produced a standout performance clocking a time of 26:20, three seconds behind Morpeth & GB athlete, Jonny Taylor to put Cheltenham in 5th place. On second leg was 40-year old,l Mark James who finished 16th and ran 17:14, improving his time from the Midland 12-Stage two weeks previously by 23 seconds. Phil Beastall ran the 3rd fastest time on stage 3, clocking a time of 27:01 for the 5.4 mile leg, propelling Cheltenham into 9th position. Next up Jacob Pickering rose to the challenge finishing his short leg with an excellent time of 16:49. On fifth leg was Will New, who having achieved a personal best the week before in Berlin half-marathon still managed to find the energy to attain a very respectable time of 29:09 and placing 19th. On 6th leg was Steve Hall who ran the 5k leg impressing with a time of 17:57 and placing 23rd. Irishman, Liam Roarty took leg 7, running long leg for the first time and gaining a respectable time of 29:30 and placing 24th. Next was 18 year old Ben Williams maintaining 24th position to finish in a time of 17:40, a 6-second improvement from his time at the Midland 12-Stage two weeks ago. Charlie Jones stepped up to the plate to run 9th leg. The former Hereford athlete, produced a time of 30:27 on the long leg placing Cheltenham into 25th position. On leg 10 was Elliot Prince who is currently preparing for the London Marathon ran the short leg in 18:19 resulting in 27th positon for Cheltenham. Cheltenham’s flying Dutchman, Andy Van Kints ran the last long leg of the day. Van Kints, currently on leave from the Royal Air Force, managed to maintain 27th position and improved his time by 42 seconds from the Midland 12-Stage to run 29:19. On the last leg was Matt Evans whose 18:23 and secure 29th place for Cheltenham. Hilary Mott was the sole representative for the Cheltenham ladies and delivered an excellent performance on par with her run at the Midlands 6-Stage two weeks ago finishing 19th on leg 1 in a time of 32:45.

Across the water, Graham Rush produced a superb ran at the Great Ireland 10k in Dublin. The GB International finished 2nd in Phoenix Park, in a time of 29:41, eleven seconds behind Irish National Cross Country champion, Mark Christie of Mullingar and three seconds ahead of Irish Olympian, Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrocks. Earlier in the week Eliot Taylor cut five seconds off his personal best to win the Hereford 5k in 15:52. With Charlie Jones coming 3rd in a personal best of 16:13 and Mark James finished 5th and first veteran in 16:35 this have the harriers a team win. In the Chedworth 10 mile multi-terrain race Marc Fallows came 6th, James Wilkinson came 17th and Paul Barnes finished 99th.