Distance Running News, 14-19 August 2018

19 August 2018

There were personal best performances for Richard de-Camps over 1500m and Marcus England over 10,000m as Cheltenham Harriers athletes enjoyed a successful week of racing. At the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix in Manchester, de-Camps lined up alongside teammate Dan Owen in the 1500m D race. Both athletes were happy to sit towards the back of the field and completed the opening lap in just under 64 seconds as the pacemaker took Cardiff’s Sam Blake clear of the field. They then moved up as the pack slowed, with de-Camps reaching 800m in fourth place in around 2:07 with Owen just behind him. By this point Blake had established a race winning lead, but with 700m remaining Owen made his move and pulled clear of the main pack. With little chance of the win, the Midland 5000m had a solo chase, with de-Camps also running solo in third place as he hoped to reduce the deficit to his teammate. Going through the bell in 2:54 and 2:55 respectively, the two Harriers had strong last laps with de-Camps managing to come right onto Owen’s shoulder as they reached the home straight for the final time. However, whilst Blake took a 3:48.67 victory, Owen was able to hold off his rival’s challenge to claim second place in a season’s best time of 3:55.41. Just 0.3 seconds behind, de-Camps was delighted to lower his 2014 PB by 0.29 seconds as he finished third in 3:55.71.  At the same meeting there was an intriguing 800m debut for Linton Gardiner in the G race. The decathlete, who had not competed at all in 2018, was straight to the fore and went through the opening lap in 57 seconds in second place. After taking the lead on the back straight Gardiner was eventually pipped on the line, but his impressive time of 1:56.68 earned him second place.

Earlier in the week Marcus England was one of three Harriers that made the trip to Tipton where he lined up under the floodlights in the Midland 10,000m Championship. Having set a track PB of 32:58.31 at Highgate in May and a road PB of 32:34 at Bleachley in June, England was hoping to surpass both of these times and break the 32:30 barrier. The Cheltenham athlete quickly established himself in the five man lead group and after a 5:10 opening mile the pack stayed together as they reached 5000m in 16:07. In the sixth kilometre the pace picked up again and England found himself adrift of the group, but he maintained a good rhythm before passing Chris Perrin (Cannock) with 3km to go to move into fourth position. England then set his sights on third place and passed Dan Robinson (BRAT) at around the 8000m mark. Eventually finishing nine seconds clear of Robinson, England crossed the line in an excellent time of 32:27.74 to claim the Midland bronze medal as George Beardmore (Worcester) and Karl Welborn (Tipton) completed the 25 laps in 31:56.82 and 32:10.69 respectively. At the same meeting Alex Lee contested the BMC regional 5000m A race where he ran negative splits to move up into third place for a time of 15:14.59 as Tipton’s Peter Brookes (14:43.80) and Wreake Valley’s Tom Mahon (15:12.14) claimed the top two spots. In the 800m A race Richard de-Camps finished seventh in a time of 1:57.04.


England followed up his midweek success by lining up alongside teammate Eliot Taylor at the Wye Valley 10 mile road race in Hereford. The duo were joined by Barry Reynolds (Hereford) and James Pugsley (Bideford) in a four man lead group that stayed together for a relatively steady opening five miles. As they reached the hilly part of the course at around 5.5 miles, a burst from Taylor got rid of Pugsley before England took up the pace and moved clear at the front to establish a race-winning lead. Whilst the Midland bronze medallist went on to claim victory in 56:39, Reynolds and Taylor had a close tussle behind with the Hereford runner pulling clear with just a mile and a half to go to take second in 57:42 before Taylor completed the top three in 58:09. Further Harriers success on the roads came in the York Millenium Bridge 5km where Graham Rush enjoyed a nineteen second win with a time of 14:35. Lots of the club’s athletes made good use of parkruns over the weekend with Alex Lee (16:06), Ben Price (16:09) and Dom James (16:30) filling the first three places in Cheltenham before John Parker set the event’s V45 record with 16:31. Dan Minors (18:02), George Hawthorne (18:04), Dave Rantell (18:42) and James Wilkinson (19:50) followed before Hannah D’Ambrosio (20:05) and Georgia Palmer (20:18) were the second and third ladies home. Beth Hawling (17:41) was the first lady home and sixth overall at the Burgess parkrun in London whilst Alister Brown (18:41) was first home at the Buncrana event in Ireland. Corin Hughes (17:13) and Mark James (17:27) placed third and fourth at the Kingsway event in Gloucester whilst Matt Lambourne managed to run two parkruns (18:37 & 19:31) in one day in Copenhagen.