Distance Running News, 8-13 August

Dan Owen claimed his third Midland Championship gold medal of the season as he won the 3000m title with a fine performance at the Godiva Classic in Coventry. After z relatively slow start Owen tracked the leaders through the opening kilometre in 2:57 before the race moved up a gear with a 2:51 second thousand metres. As the pace continued to build in the final kilometre the front pack reduced in numbers to just three athletes at the bell as Jonathan Goringe (Birchfield) and Robert Smith (Notts) opened a slight lead over Owen as they headed into the final lap. However, the Midland 1500m and steeplechase champion hit back with a sixty second fin al lap to overhaul his rivals in the final 200m to take the win in 8:31.34 as Goringe (8:32.71) and Smith (8:33.61) had to settle for the minor medals. Fellow Cheltenham athlete Richard de-Camps also put in a pleasing performance as he finished fourth in a personal best of 8:43.73 whilst Mia O’Connell claimed the silver medal in the ladies race with a lonely and isolated 10:27.14 as Worcester’s Jenny Nesbitt claimed the gold medal.

Cheltenham Harriers dominate the Bugatti 10k at Prescott as they provided both the men’s and women’s individual and team winners. Dave Roper quickly established a lead at the head of the field and ran all the way unchallenged for a winning time of 33:52 as he finished 52 seconds clear of teammate Alex Lee. Mark James was overtaken by Doug Wight (Almost Athletes) in the second half of the race but still finished third to take the veteran prize and complete the three man winning team. The points earned from the race also sealed the county road race series title for James who can no longer be caught by Gloucester’s Jeremy Mower. Dave Rantell also picked up vital series points as he finished as third veteran in 38:07 foe eighth place. Shona Crombie-Hicks led the ladies race the whole of the way to record 39:38 for the challenging course as she overtook Steve Hall (39:46) in the closing stages of the race. Fee Maycock finished as second lady in 40:39 before Paul Barnes (41:46) finished as first V50 runner home. Jo Wilkie (42:59) then completed the winning ladies team as fifth lady home before Dave Hemmings (44:56), Debbie Smith (47:41) and Michael Imeson (53:58) completed the Harriers contingent.

The previous evening also saw the club also field men’s and ladies teams at the Rose Inn 4 mile road race as eight Harriers made the trip to the Welsh village of Redwick for the Chepstow Harriers organised event that regularly attracts a quality field to its fast and flat course. Swansea’s Jonathan Hopkins ensured there was a fast early pace that only Phil Wylie tried to go with, as Phil Beastall lay just a few yards behind in third. Beastall overtook hi teammate as he passed the mile mark in 4:45 before reaching the halfway mark in 9:37. Whilst closing slightly on Hopkins on the second of the two laps Beastall has to be content with a fine second place in 19:28 as he finished thirteen seconds adrift of the Welshman. Wylie meanwhile remained unchallenged to take a comfortable third place in 19:45. With Charlie Jones sixth in 20:29 and Dave Aubrey placing eighth in 20:23 the quartet easily ensured there was a Cheltenham team win at the event for the third consecutive month. James Wilkinson also ran well for a time of 23:19 before Alice Taylor finished as fourth lady home in 23:28 in a high class field that saw GB internationals Charlotte Arter and Jenny Nesbitt take the top two places. Naomi Eaton built on her good recent form to finish as fifth lady in 24:21 before Charlotte Deacon ensured the team took third place with a 30:59 clocking.The weekend saw Shona Crombie-Hicks take her second win of the week as she finished third overall in the Cranham Boundary Chase multi-terrain race whilst Paul Barnes finish as second V55 runner in the Standish Woodland Chase 10 race. There were also parkrun wins for Phil Beastall (16:33) at Tewkesbury and for Dave Aubrey (18:05) at Cheltenham where Henry James (19:12) placed fifth and Ben Haywood (19:57) lowered his PB.