Distance News, 25-26 January 2020

26 January 2020

Rachel See showed excellent form at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championship in Loughborough where she produced one of her best performances to date. After starting conservatively in the first mile of the 8km course within the grounds of Prestwold Hall, See moved up into the top twenty before holding position in the second half of the race to finish in a fine sixteenth place in a race won by Charnwood’s Gemma Steel.

In the men’s 12km race Dom James led the Harriers home in 24th position whilst Joe Turner ran well for 31st place and Doug Wight crossed the line in 50th place.

The following day sixteen Harriers lined up for the Staverton 10 mile road race from Gloucestershire airport with Alex Lee and Ben Price leading the Harriers charge at the CLC Striders organised event. Having won last week’s Linda Franks 5, RAF athlete James Bellward again hit the race hard from the start as he instantly built up an unassailable lead. Price tracked Lee in the first quarter of the race, but Lee pulled clear in the third mile to open up an 80 metre gap by the end of the first lap. On the second and final circuit the top three positions remained unchanged with Bellward (49:29) a clear winner before the in-form Lee impressed with a PB of 52:05. 

Price followed 44 seconds later as he also set a PB on a morning where the blustery conditions were not necessarily conducive to fast times. Having ran a lonely race and being isolated for the whole way, Marcus England crossed the line in 54:54 to finish 71 seconds clear of Stroud’s Lee Stopford. John Parker had been in sixth at halfway, but Worcester’s David Price and fellow Harrier Anthony Bailey caught him in the final two miles, with Bailey finishing as first veteran in seventh overall with a time of 56:30. Parker finished just one place and 21 seconds later to finish as second veteran. In thirteenth place Dan Schofield impressed with his first sub 60 clocking and a PB of 58:54.

Mike Hughes (61:23) found himself isolated by halfway but held on to seventeenth whilst the fast finishing Gareth Edwards (61:50) reduced the gap to his teammate to finish one place later.

Edwards had worked well with teammates Simon Critchley and Clark Lawson on the second lap, with Critchley (62:00) rewarded with a new PB in nineteenth. Lawson (62:11) also set a new PB as he made it ten Harriers in the the top 21.

Chris Hayes (62:44) soon followed whilst Ian Giles (62:48) finished as third V50 runner and Matt Wood (65:23) bagged a PB. Steve Bradley (67:37) and James Wilkinson (68:30) both had pleasing runs before Debbie Smith (80:18) completed the Harriers contingent. Elsewhere, MV50 runner Dave Rantell took on the Farnborough Half Marathon where he recorded a time of 84:27. Veterans Nick Holliday and Caroline Cotterell swapped the warmth and arid conditions of last weeks Welsh Masters Indoor Track championships for the monsoon conditions of the Liswerry 8. Holliday took first MV60 in 51:43 and Cotterell third FV45 in 58:44.

The weekend’s parkruns saw Georgia Palmer (19:33) as the first lady home at the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park where Ed Bingham (18:03) finished fourth. Dave Aubrey (18:01) was first home in Newent whilst Ellis Woolley (21:52) was the first lady home at the Bryn Bac parkrun in Gwent. Dave Tomlin (17:18) finished second at the Kingsway event in Gloucester and Milly Foster (22:56) was the second lady home in Lydney.