News from 25-26 January

Middle distance runner Julia Cooke won one silver and one bronze medal at the Welsh Indoor Championship in Cardiff. The 25 year old set a new Cheltenham Harriers indoor record of 2:09.16 for third place in Saturday’s 800m race before claiming silver in Sunday’s 1500m race with a new personal best time of 4:26.92. In the same race Mia O’Connell took almost six seconds from her previous best time to finish fourth in 4:38.48, which also broke the Harriers indoor under 20 record. In the under 17 shot put Mel Bird took the bronze medal with a new personal best of 9.91m whilst James Miller finished eighth in the 1500m in 4:05.43.

Meanwhile, in an indoor meeting in Idaho Rhys Park had a successful first appearance for Boise State University with a mile pb of 4:17.88. Fellow US based student Luke Carroll also competed over a mile at an indoor meeting in Kentucky where he recorded a time of 4:07.91. Closer to home Andy Smitherman ran a time of 50.13 to set a new indoor pb at the London Indoor Games.

Anthony Bailey won the Linda Franks 5 mile road race for the second consecutive year as he led the Cheltenham Harriers team to victory. Bailey and Czech runner Tomas Eisner quickly established themselves at the front of the field and remained together for the majority of the race around Hatherley and The Reddings. However, Bailey finally managed to pull away with half a mile remaining for a 12 second winning margin as he crossed the line in 27:34. The race for third place was also a close affair with Andy Prophett sitting on the shoulder of CLC’s Andrew Jones until 150m to go before easily kicking clear for a time of 28:07. Dave Rantell completed the winning three man team as he finished ninth overall and as third veteran home in 29:02. Steve Linton just missed out on a pb with 30:10 before Gareth Edwards came home in 31:47 in his first race for the club. Vet 70 runner Martin Ford was the first over 55 athlete home in 32:12 with Paul Barnes (32:54), Sam Pickering (39:12), Ken Buckle (40:12), Claudia Ovens (46:18) and Ruth Bird (48:17) completing the Harriers contingent.

Three Cheltenham runners competed in the Midlands Cross Country Championship in Leamington with Oliver Powell twelfth in the under 13 boys race, Rachel See sixteenth in the under 20 women’s event and Dmitry Nazarenko thirty-first in the under 17 boys race.

Harriers filled three of the top four places at the Cheltenham parkrun with Luke Kearns taking second place in 18:34, Matt Evans finishing third in 18:37 and Steve Hall placing fourth in 18:43. There were new personal bests for Fraser Wilmore with 19:43 and Jacob Miller in 22:29. At the Cannon Hill parkrun in Birmingham new Harriers signing Alex Bampton enjoyed a solo victory in 16:20.