Distance Running News, 5-6 April

Phil Beastall and Anthony Bailey put in the club’s fastest performances as Cheltenham Harriers finished thirty-sixth in the National 12 Stage Road Relay Championship in Sutton Coldfield. Given the responsibility of taking the highly competitive opening long leg, Alex Bampton ran well as he completed the hilly 5.08 mile course in 27:48 to hand over in 51st place. Will New then both gained and lost four places on the 2.69 mile short stage with a 14:35 clocking to hold position, with his time eleven seconds quicker than he did on the same course at last month’s Midland Championship. Phil Beastall then made a welcome return to the team after almost three months out with injury, gaining eight places with a pleasing long leg of 27:29. Stage four saw James Miller improve on his Midland time by five seconds and gain a place with his 14:22 moving the Harriers up to 42nd place. However, an error of judgement by Darren Jordan saw the veteran still standing in the start pen for 5 minutes and 19 seconds after Miller had crossed the line. Whilst Jordan actually ran 28:07, his official 33:26 leg saw the Harriers drop back to 54th position. Roger Mullins then moved the Harriers up a place as he took sixteen seconds off his Midland time with a pleasing 14:34.

The seventh stage saw Richard Dare take Gloucestershire’s only representatives in the championship back into the top fifty, as he gained three places with a 28:17 long leg. Dave Aubrey then ran well with his 14:42 moving the team up a further place before Russell Forsbrook’s 28:26 saw the Harriers in 47th position. On the tenth stage Marc Fallows took seven seconds off his Midland time with a 14:25 clocking to move the team up to 45th place. Anthony Bailey then ran well to pass five runners on the final long leg as he took 39 seconds from his time from last month and equalled Beastall’s 27:29. The final stage saw Andy Prophett move the team up to 36th place a 17 second improvement on his Midland time with 14:54.

In America Rhys Park lowered his 5000m personal best by thirteen seconds with an excellent time of 14:38.40 as he placed 21st in the Stanford Invitational Meeting in California, whilst in Scotland Jon Barnes clocked 34:14 for eleventh place in the Grangemouth 10k. Matt Evans lowered his 5k personal best by 27 seconds to claim his first win at the Cheltenham parkrun in a time of 17:11. There were also top ten finishes for Dmitry Nazarenko who was third in 17:47, Luke Kearns who placed fifth in 18:00 and Steve Hall who recorded 18:18 for seventh. Agata Giles was third lady home in 21:29. There was also a new pb and parkrun win for Gavin McCaugherty who clocked 17:25 at the Chipping Sodbury event. Marc Fallows followed up his relay leg with third place in Sunday’s Chedworth Roman Trail 10 mile race in which Miguel Mundinano was third veteran home in sixth place. James Wilkinson and Dave Hemmings placed fifteen and thirty-fifth respectively in the multi-terrain event.