Distance News, 11-16 June 2019

17 June 2019

Cheltenham Harriers produced a fine team performance as they packed well to win the team prize at the Speedway 10k road race. Organised by Chepstow Harriers and held at Gloucestershire’s most South Westerly village of Beachley on the peninsula of the confluence of the rivers Wye and Severn, the event yet again attracted a high quality field of athletes from the South West and Wales. Whilst Cardiff’s Matt Clowes (29:55) took the win ahead of Swansea’s Josh Griffiths (30:12) Alex Lee led the Cheltenham charge as he picked up places on the second lap to move through to a pleasing eighth position in a time of 32:19.

The next three Harriers worked well together as a pack throughout with Charlie Jones pulling clear of teammates Marcus England and Richard Dare in the final kilometre to take fourteenth place in a new personal best time of 32:43.

England followed just one place and five seconds later, with Dare in sixteenth given the same time as he trimmed his personal best by a single second. John Parker then finished as the first over 40 athlete home in 22nd position, with his time of 33:12 moving him up to twelfth place in the UK 2019 V45 rankings.

Jon Barnes ran well for 33:50 and Chris Cleary lowered his PB to 34:41 before James Bingham (35:50) squeezed into the top fifty and Andrew Kaighin (36:53) completed the Harriers contingent. (photos courtesy of Robert Gale)

On the track George Watson was had a memorable week with personal bests over both 800m and 1500m as he broke both the two and four minute barriers for the first time. In the midweek Loughborough Students meeting the undergraduate placed fourth in the 800m in a time of 1:57.90 before returning to the same track for the British Milers Club Grand Prix three days later. Starting the 1500m F race with a personal best of 4:01.69, Watson set off at fractionally under four minute pace before a strong last lap moved him up into second place as he stopped the clock at an impressive 3:56.01.

At the same meeting Dan Owen and Dom James contested the 5000m D race, with both athletes looking to break their personal bests. Owen showed his intent from the gun as he put himself right behind the pacemaker, although his frustration grew as the pace was behind the set schedule and he passed through the opening kilometre in 3:03. However, the pace then picked up and split the field, with only Owen and Lincoln’s Shane Robinson passing 2000m in 6:57 and 3000m in 8:53 before the pacemaker stepped aside. The Dave Newport coached athlete then had a spell in the lead before Robinson took to the front just before 4000m, with a 3:02 split showing that the pace had dropped. Owen’s hopes of challenging his 14:48.60 PB may have looked like they were fading, but with 600m remaining and the clock at 13:07 he moved back into the lead. Robinson remained tucked in right behind the Cheltenham athlete, but Owen opened up the slightest of gaps in the final straight to take a one second win in a frustrating time of 14:48.68, just eight hundredths of a second outside his 2017 PB.

James meanwhile ran a good race as he moved through to fourth place by 3000m, a position he remained in for the rest of the race as he went on to set a new track PB of 15:10.06.

At the club’s Midland League division two match in Coventry the ladies 3000m brought good points with Rachel See running well to finish third in the 3000m in a time of 11:04.43 and Fee Maycock taking sixth to take the B string win in 11:10.97. In the men’s race over the same distance Roger Mullins placed fifth in 9:56.90 before Dan Schofield lowered his PB to 10:10.86 to finish seventh. In the 1500m Jacob Pickering finished fifth in 4:21.45 with Elliot Prince eleventh in 5:25.80 whilst Matt Evans placed third in the 3000m steeplechase in 13:32.67.

Three Harriers contested the South West Masters Championships in Exeter and all three returned with gold medals. Caroline Cotterell completed the double in the LV45 800m in 2:48.14 and 1500m with 5:41:48. Kathryn Morton added to last weeks Midlands titles with the LV60 1500m in 6:04 and Nick Holliday took the V60 3000m in 11:07.

Midweek road races in the week saw Eliot Taylor return after injury to finish ninth at the Rose Inn 4 mile event in Redwick where Chris Cleary posted a PB of 22:17 on his debut for the club. Meanwhile Naomi Eaton finished as fifth lady in 39:10 at the Clevedon 10k where Martin Soakell lowered his PB to 37:50. In the following evening Cirencester Park Summer 10k Dave Rantell finished as second V50 runner in 37:51 whilst Paul Barnes recorded 42:29. The same two athletes also contested Sunday’s Bourton Hilly half marathon with Rantell’s 84:05 again seeing him finish second in his age category as he placed fifth overall whilst Barnes crossed the line in 97:52. In the accompanying 10k race Mike Hughes placed third on his debut for the club in 39:27. Beth Hawling (17:35) finish as first lady and seventh overall at the Southwark parkrun in London where Andrew van Kints (17:31) finished fifth whilst Andy Prophett (19:35) took fourth place at the Gloucester City parkrun.