Distance Running News, 10-13 July 2019

14 July 2019

Dom James was one of thirteen Cheltenham Harriers to set personal bests as the club hosted their Midsummer 5000m races at the Prince of Wales stadium. The event once again proved to be one of the highlights of the Gloucestershire running calender with Jonny Thewlis (Notts) agreeing to pacemake the A race at 14:30 pace. Only the Bristol duo of Peter Le Grice and Callum Jones and Somalian Olympian Mohamed Daud Mohamed (Coventry) attempted to go with the pace whilst George Watson set a 15:00 schedule for James that Avon Valley’s Mike Towler also chose to follow. After the pacemakers stepped aside after 3000m it was Le Grice who took the win in a PB of 14:30.6 before Mohamed (14:39.0) and Jones (14:46.2) followed him home. James meanwhile ran isolated in fourth for the final two kilometres before he stopped the clock at a personal best 15:05.2.

The battle for the next three places was a more interesting affair though as Yeovil’s Felix Rusby (15:12.0) pulled clear of the Harriers duo of Alex Lee (15:15.4) and Joe Turner (15:16.0). A four way intra club battle for tenth place saw Charlie Jones (15:34.2) less than a second outside his PB before Richard Dare (15:35.2) and Marcus England (15:36.4) set their best ever times, Doug Wight (15:38.7) missed out on a PB by a single second in fourteenth pace before Dan Thomas (16:06.5) completed the field in seventeenth position.

Having raced sparingly this year and not being near to full fitness, Oli Mott agreed to act as pacemaker for the B race and set a sub 16 minute pace that eventually saw just Chad Coomer (Oxford University) remain in contact. Encouraging Coomer throughout, Mott ran the full distance to claim the win in 15:52.6 with the PhD student setting a PB of 15:55.9 in second place. Dave Aubrey (16:08.8) and Jon Barnes (16:11.9) both ran well for third and fourth respectively as did Eliot Taylor (16:19.4) in seventh.

Sixteen year old Henry James impressed with 16:23.9 on his 5000m track debut in eighth before the improving Chris Cleary posted a PB of 16:43.2 for eleventh place. Mark James’ 16:48.3 saw him as the second fastest veteran over the four races, Tom Radley set a PB of 17:05.1 on his Harriers debut and twentieth placed Dan Schofield was just one second outside his PB with 17:21.7.

The C race saw Joe Turner return to the track to set a sub 17:30 schedule that Dan Minors and Andrew Kaighin followed closely throughout before the former Isle of Man international kicked clear on the final lap to take the win in 17:17.7. V45 athlete Minors set a PB of 17:22.6 before Mike Hughes impressed with a 17:33.1 PB in fourth and Martin Soakell (17:42.1) ran well for fifth.

Matt Lambourne (17:51.9), club debutant Jamie Penton (17:53.5), Steve Linton (17:54.4) and Gareth Edwards (17:55.2) made it 26 Harriers sub 18 minutes before Steve Hall (18:00.8) and Clark Lawson (18:36.5) produced pleasing performances. The fastest ladies were also seeded in the C race with Chloe Wheeler (Forest of Dean) finally pulling clear of the pack to take the win in 18:41.3 as Naomi Eaton finished as second lady in 18:47.5. Also showing good form to finish as the fifth fastest lady of the evening, Rachel See lowered her PB to 18:56.2

The D race saw Jacob Pickering pacing a sub 19 minute schedule that eventually saw Hereford’s Darren Broady take the win in 18:33.5, whilst second placed Nick Holliday produced the eighth fastest time by an over 60 athlete in the UK this year with an impressive 18:42.7.

Jonathan Floyd (18:47.2), Ben Lees (18:50.6) and Matt Wood (18:58.6) then all set PBs as they broke the nineteen minute barrier for the first time. Steve Bradley (19:20.6) soon followed before Hannah D’Ambrosio (19:58.9) ran well for eighth lady overall. V60 runner Mike Ede posted 20:26.8, with Ella Burfitt (20:37.7), Sarah Sheppard (20:38.9) and Caroline Cotterell (20:45.4) not far behind to complete the 39 strong Harriers contingent on a successful night for the club.

The weekend saw Richard de-Camps aiming to repeat his 2018 victory at the Bourton road mile as he set off in the lead group that also included Belgrave’s Will Stockley who had finished ahead of him at last month’s BMC Grand Prix in Watford. The 3:55 1500m runner was able to match  de-Camps’ increase in pace at 1200m, but the Cheltenham athlete found another gear with 100m to go to take a four second victory in 4:32 whilst Cirencester’s Dave Bell was a further four seconds adrift in third place. Mark James (4:51) finished as second veteran in sixth overall before Dan Schofield recorded 5:08 and V55 runner Paul Barnes stopped the clock at 6:00.

Also competing over a mile was George Watson who was racing in the BMC regional meeting in Oxford. Continuing his impressive recent form, the Loughborough University student posted a very pleasing 4:16.5 as he won the B race on the iconic Iffley Road track made famous by Sir Roger Bannister. Earlier in the day Doug Wight (16:50) finished first at the Cheltenham parkrun where Georgia Palmer (22:11) and Kayla Garland (22:50) were second and third ladies whilst Dave Tomlin (17:57) took second place in the Wotton parkrun.