Dave Roper claimed the Gloucestershire 5k road race championship as led the Cheltenham Harriers team to victory in the fourth and final race in the White Horse 5k series in Gloucester. The twenty-seven year old made his intentions clear from the start as he put in a fast first mile to test his rivals. By the halfway point Roper had opened up a decisive forty metre lead which he extended in the second half of the race to cross the line in an impressive 15:07 for a ten second victory over Stroud’s Rob Galt.
New signing Rhys Park showed that he should be a good addition to the Harriers squad as he took third place in 15:23 with John Parker running 15:30 for fourth place in his first race since rejoining the club. Darren Jordan showed improved form as he finished eleventh in 16:29 with Will New finishing sixteenth in 16:41. The winning six man team was completed by Roger Mullins in eighteenth in 16:51. The fast finishing Sam Wickham passed clubmates Martin McGreary and Dave Rantell in the final stages of the race to record a personal best of 18:08 whilst McGreary’s time of 18:!0 saw him take the county over 50 title. Rantell crossed the line in 18:17, whilst Dave Hemmings ran a time of 20:00 and Gavin Cotter completed the course in 20:36.
Dave Roper’s victory also meant that the Harriers based Dave Newport training group had provided the winners at all four races in the series following wins for Andy Prophett in May, Rhys Park in June and Oli Mott in July.