Distance Running News, 9 December

Graham Rush has been rewarded for a successful 2017 with England selection for upcoming cross country and road races. Having made his debut for the team in January 2016, Rush will earn a fourth cross county vest at the Vaneta de Banos International Cross country event in Spain on 16th December to cap a year that also saw him earn a GB vest alongside Mo Farah in the Edinburgh International last January. The Dave Newport coached athlete has also been named in the England road racing team for the Armagh 5k in February where he will earn a third England road running vest. This summer also saw the Dave Newport coached athlete earn a first GB track vest at the European 10,000m challenge in Belarus after he recorded a time of 29:04 at the British trials in London.

Snow across the region caused havoc with the racing plans of Cheltenham Harriers on what was to be one of the squad’s biggest weekends of the year. Nineteen team members had entered arguably the fastest and highest quality 10k road race in the UK at Telford, but their plans were scuppered when the event was cancelled on Friday. Many then turned attention to join their teammates at Sunday’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League, but this too was called off on the morning of the Wotton-under-Edge event. The only action of the weekend came in local parkrun events where Alex Lee chalked up a record 27th win at the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park with a time of 16:08. Marcus England had tried to keep with his Harriers teammate, but unfortunately took a fall on the icy path as he pushed too hard to maintain contact. However, the resilient England picked himself to stop the clock at 16:53 to take second place in a new parkrun PB. At the same event new recruit Gwenael Blanck recorded 19:41 and Henry James posted a time of 19:52. Hannah D’Ambrosio was the third lady home in 21:32 and V50 athlete Dave Hemmings completed the four laps of the lake in 21:59. At the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester Mark James took second place in 17:33 whilst Dave Tomlin continued his comeback from injury with 18:11 for third place.