Distance Running News, 11 January 2020

13 January 2020

Alex Lee produced an excellent performance as he led the Cheltenham Harriers to a pleasing team result at the Birmingham Cross Country League Division One fixture at Northampton. Ben Price was the leading Harrier on the opening of four laps of the Abington Park course, with Lee also behind Doug Wight who was not too far adrift of Price. By the halfway point, however, Lee had closed the gap and the trio were locked together filling 37th, 38th and 39th places. It was on the penultimate lap though that the Stroud Half Marathon champion made significant gains as he moved up to 30th place. Improving on his previous highest league finish by 17 places, Lee picked up three more places on the final circuit to finish in an excellent 27th position.

Gloucestershire cross country silver medalist Price then continued his comeback from injury with a battling 36th whilst the super consistent Wight ran well for 40th. James Bingham turned his ankle on the second lap but heroically made it round for the team in 63rd before Charlie Jones in 67th before Dave Aubrey in 69th completed the scoring six man team. With a team score of 302 the team finished sixth on the day as they moved up a place into eighth in the overall standing in the seventeen strong top division. Outside the scoring six Marc Fallows (81st), Andy Jones (119th) and Matt Evans (202nd) provided vital back up.

The ladies team meanwhile travelled up to Stoke as Trentham Running Club hosted the Midland Women’s Cross Country League Division One fixture at Park Hall Country Park. Rachel See was the leading Harrier from the off and picked up places throughout the first lap before maintaining position on the second lap as she finished in an impressive 17th place. With four to score in the team competition the next three Harriers were tightly packed, although their positions within the team remained unchanged throughout. Naomi Eaton crossed the line in 25th, two places and seven seconds clear of Rachel Underhill, who was in turn nine seconds ahead of Izzy Loza who finished 31st. With a season’s best score of 100 the team finished an excellent sixth on the day as they moved up a place to seventh in the eighteen team top division. V45 athlete Loza’s fine run also earned her third place in the over 35s Masters category whilst fellow veteran Jo Wilkie and Petra Vymetalova finished 67th and 70th respectively as the trio combined to finish fourth in the masters team standings.

The same day also saw Dom James selected to represent the Midlands in the British Athletics Cross Challenge event in Stirling. Competing in the high quality event that included the home countries international James ran well to lead the Midland team home in 30th place.

The weekend’s parkruns saw first place finishes for Henry James (18:17) at the KIngsway event in Gloucester and Stuart Baker (19:16) in Tetbury. Georgia Palmer (21:13) was first lady at the Severn Bridge event, a position matched by Alice Stalberg (22:03) as she placed seventh overall at the Gloucester North parkrun and by Mell Schofield (26:40) att the KIng George V Playing Field event. Dan King (18:29) placed second in Hereford and Millie Foster (22:21) was the second lady at the Gloucester City parkrun whilst the Cheltenham event saw George Watson (18:43) and Dave Francis (19:52) have a run out.