Distance Running News, 8-9 March

Beth Hawling produced the stand out Cheltenham performance at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championship with an excellent fifteenth place in the under 20 women’s race at Cofton Park in Birmingham. The nineteen year old Cardiff University student, with a previous best of 71st in the championship, stepped up in class with an impressive run against the country’s best athletes in a race that also saw Rachel See finish in 103rd. In the men’s event Dan Owen ran well to lead the Gloucestershire team home in 136th place. Jon Barnes and Marc Fallows were still together after three laps, before Barnes pulled clear on the fourth and final lap as they finished in 170th and 188th respectively. James Bingham in 259th and Mike Gray in 268th also contested the 12km race. In the women’s race Jane Thomas ran well for 191st and Beth Wynn made a welcome return from injury in 212th place.

On the roads Graham Rush finished second in the Cambridge Half Marathon in 69:46. The Dave Newport coached runner let eventual winner Aaron Scott go clear at the start, with the Notts runner going on to win the race by over three minutes. Rush instead raced for second and stayed with Cambridge’s Sullivan Smith for the first half of the race, before finishing 35 seconds clear of the local man.

Alex Bampton lowered his personal best to 33:14 at the Trafford 10k as he took over a minute off his previous best time sets at last month’s Bourton 10k. Three further Harriers improved on their Bourton times at the Fradley 10k near Lichfield. Gavin McCaugherty set a new pb of 36:47, Steve Maguire clocked 37:35 and James Wilkinson equalled his pb of 38:15. At the notoriously hilly Rhayader 20 mile road race in Wales Andy Gore continued his build up to the London Marathon by finishing fourth and as first veteran in a time of 2:08:37. Meanwhile, Matt Evans and Steve Hall finished second and fourth respectively at the Cheltenham parkrun.