Distance News, 24-27 July 2019

30 July 2019

Dom James and George Watson produced excellent performances as ten Cheltenham Harriers set 5000m personal bests in a high class meeting in Milton Keynes. Lining up in the C race in the aptly named MK5000m PB special, where the A race incorporated the England Championship, the duo were looking to beat their previous best time of 15:05 and 14:53 respectively. Straight from the gun Watson latched onto the pacemaker’s shoulder and made his intent clear, whilst his teammate sat further back in the pack. The Loughborough undergraduate remained in second place as he passed through 2000m in 5:52, three seconds clear of thirteenth place James. By the 3k mark James had moved up to tenth with an 8:51 split whilst Watson’s position remained unchanged as the clock showed 8:47 with five laps of the track remaining.

The host club’s Paul Mizon continued to lead with Watson right behind him as they reached 4000m in 11:49, but the pack behind was now closing with James up into sixth as he posted an 11:51 split. His move through the field then continued as he drew level with Watson with 600m remaining, before passing Mizon with just over 550m to go as he held the lead at the bell.

Kingston’s James Coxton kicked past James with 350m remaining as he went on to take the win in 14:39.44, before Blackheath’s Alex Bruce-Littlewood edged past the Cheltenham athlete in the home straight. However, a delighted James was happy with a 14:42.29 PB in third whilst Watson was also pleased to cross the line with a new PB with an impressive 14:49.11 in sixth place

Alex Lee and Richard de-Camps lined up in the D race with Lee’s 3000m split of 9:06 meaning he was well set to challenge his 15:09 PB. Accelerating through the field with a 3:01 fourth kilometre, Lee also matched this split in the final 1000m to stop the clock at a new PB time of 15:08.05 as he took sixth place.

Thirteenth placed de-Camps also produced a good race with his time of 15:19.97 just four seconds outside his PB. In the E race Richard Dare was within a few metres of teammate Charlie Jones for the whole race, before closing late on as both athletes broke the 15:30 barrier for the first time, with Jones’ 15:27.10 earning him sixth place before Dare followed two places later with 15:28.00

With four Cheltenham athletes in the F race it was always going to be an interesting race. Whilst the erratic Chris Booth put in a big mid-race surge to catch the leaders, Dave Aubrey was calmness personified as he stuck to his PB schedule for the opening four kilometres. As Booth slowed on the final lap, Aubrey, who had picked up the pace in the final kilometre, was quickly closing down on his teammate. However, Booth hung on to grab a seventeen second PB of 15:51.47 in fifth place as Aubrey followed just one place and a quarter of a second later as he lowered his PB to 15:51.72. Eliot Taylor finished sixteenth with a season’s best of 16:07.68 before veteran James Bingham followed six places later as he set a track PB of 16:16.65

In the I race V45 runner Steve Linton was also amongst the PBs with a pleasing 17:34.11 in eighth place whilst Matt Lambourne had a solid run out with 18:02.93 for seventeenth place. Clark Lawson chipped three seconds off his PB with 18:28.71 for ninth position in the J race which also saw Rachel See produce her second fastest time over the distance with 19:03.95 for eighteenth place.

The weekend also saw Bristol and West AC host a specialist 5000m with five Harriers lining up on the recently resurfaced Yate track. In the B race Marcus England kicked past Avon Valley’s Mike Towler with 600m remaining as he took a one second win in a PB of 15:28.06 whilst Dan Thomas also lowered his PB was a pleasing 15:49.04 for eighth place. Chris Cleary ran 16:51.24 for sixth in the D race, V60 athlete Nick Holliday recorded 19:05.52 for fourteenth in the F race and LV60 runner Kathryn Morton posted 22:51.18 for twelfth in the H race.

At the club’s final Midsummer Open meeting Jamie Harper was in fine form in the 800m as he broke the two minute barrier for the first time with a 1:59.0 PB that earned him third place. In the 3000m Gareth Edwards ran well to finish sixth in the A race with a PB of 10:08.7 whilst Martin Ford’s 12:38.7 in the B race earned him third place in the UK rankings for the V75 age group. 

The weekend’s parkruns saw Beth Hawling (17:46) finish as first lady and sixth overall at the Southwark event which also saw her mum Clare (22:21) finish as eighth lady as she posted here first sub 23 minute time. There were second places for Henry James (17:44) and Georgia Palmer (21:37) in Cheltenham and also for Mark James (17:13) at the Worcester PItchcroft event and for Marc Fallows (17:45) in Cirencester. Alice Stalberg (22:58) was the fourth lady home at the Gloucester North event and Ellis Woolley (21:47) finished as fifth lady in Tetbury.


(photos 1 and 2 Mark Hookway, 3 Brian Graves)