Distance News, 22-23 February 2020

23 February 2020

Cheltenham Harriers athletes defied the windy conditions as they packed well to take the team honours at the Bourton 10k. By the time the athletes reached the 2km mark, having completed the two laps of the Cotswold village, eventual race winner Ed Banks of Birchfield had opened up a ten second lead over 2017 race winner Alex Lee. Lee meanwhile had a few yards advantage over Harriers teammate Charlie Jones who had just overtaken the fast starting Dave Bell of Cirencester.

Whilst the top three places remained unchanged for the remainder of the race, Eliot Taylor passed Bell to make it three Cheltenham Harriers in the top four as he stopped the clock at 33:16 to follow Banks (31:05), Lee (31:50) and Jones (32:13) home.

Whilst Lee had ran 10k before the race as part of his marathon training, James Bingham was attempting the race as his third 10k effort of the morning as part of his London marathon build up. Picking up places throughout as he ran an even paced race, Bingham posted 33:57 to finish as second veteran in ninth overall, ensuring that the Harriers won the four to score team competition.

Finishing as third veteran and first V45 athlete Anthony Bailey placed thirteenth in 34:46. Dan Schofield ran well to finish eighteenth in 35:31 on a day where the heavy rain and a strong wind on the way back into the village made it difficult to achieve PBs. The depth within the club was then shown through Mark James (36:24), Phil Brush (37:27), Mike Hughes (37:31), Clark Lawson (38:22), Dave Rantell (38:33), Jonathan Floyd (38:58)  Matt Wood (39:02), Peter Carmichael (40:14) and Jacob Howes (41:38).

The Harriers ladies were led by Marie Brush who defied the weather to finish just twelve seconds outside her personal best with a time of 40:08 to finish as fourth lady and third over 40 athlete home behind Rachel Felton (Shaftsbury), Tracy Hinxman (Gloucester) and Liza Bradshaw (CLC).

Amber Bullingham ran well to finish as ninth lady home in 41:04 whilst Caroline Cotterell crossed the line in 44:36. Completing the Harriers contingent, but winning her LV60 category by 47 seconds was Kathryn Morton who again impressed with 46:16.

The previous day saw the National Cross Country Championships take place at Wollaton Park in Nottingham with the in-form Dom James keen to test himself against the country’s best endurance athletes. After negotiating the toughest of conditions and deepest of mud, James was delighted to have finished in what he believed was 41st position. However, this excellent performance did not come up in the official results as James’ chip timing device came off his ankle in the mud and was therefore not picked up as crossed the finishing mat.

The frustrated Harrier is therefore waiting for race officials to investigate this and to see if he gets the recognition he deserves. National regular Matt Evans again enjoyed the challenge of the iconic 12km event as he placed 1087th in a race with 1710 finishers. In the 10km ladies race Rachel See continued her fine recent form as she finished in an impressive 119th position.

The weekend’s parkruns saw Ben Price (16:30) and Georgia Palmer (20:51) finish as first man and woman home at the Cheltenham event where Ed Bingham (17:47) placed third. In Hereford Dan KIng (17:33) and Dave Aubrey (18:01) took first and second positions whilst Luke Pollard (15:42) was first across the line at the Stretford event in Manchester. Amber Watson (21:15) was the first lady home and third overall at the Fairview parkrun in Dublin whilst Naomi Eaton (21:43) was first lady and fourth overall in Cirencester. Ian Giles (19:43) took third position at the Kingsway event in Gloucester, Milly Foster (22:44) was fourth lady at Berkeley Green and Matt Lambourne (19:13) had a run out at the Victoria Docks parkrun in London.