Cheltenham Harriers continued their domination of the White Horse 5k road race in Gloucester as they finished the summer with a 100% record of team victories in the four race series. Dave Roper took the pace out hard from the start with the intention of posting a fast time. He opened up a lead on the chasing pack as he went through the opening mile in 4:43 before reaching the two mile mark in 8:39. However, Roper was caught by teammate Rhys Park and training partner Oli Mott (Bristol) in the final mile. Mott pulled clear of Park with around 800m remaining whilst Roper managed to stay with Stroud’s Rob Galt who had also caught him. With Park slowing in the final stages Roper managed to pull clear of Galt to chase down the teenager and catch Park just before the line to take second. Both runners given the same time of 15:03, eight seconds behind race winner Mott and four seconds ahead of fourth placed Galt.
John Parker ran a season’s best of 15:07 to finish as first veteran runner in seventh place and Anthony Bailey was just one second outside his personal best with a time of 15:57 in tenth place. The battle for the final two places to complete the Harriers six man team was a close affair with Will New, Roger Mullins and James Bingham locked together after two miles. New won the intra club battle to come home 14th in a season’s best of 16:30 with Mullins one place behind in 16:36 and Bingham placing eighteenth in 16:43. Mike Gray followed with a pb of 16:55 with veteran Dave Rantell just one second outside his pb in 17:03. The next four Harriers home all ran well to set new pbs with Dave Aubrey (17:40) seeing off the challenge of James Wilkinson (17:51), Matt Evans (17:52) and Gavin McCaugherty (17:57). Vickie Wilkinson ran well to finish as eighth lady and third veteran in a big season’s best of 18:37 to finish three seconds ahead of Harriers debutant Blair MacKinnon. Jane Thomas took over half a minute off her pb with an impressive 19:03 clocking.