Distance Running News, 16-17 March 2019

17 March 2019

Dom James, Dan Thomas and Tara Grosvenor produced the stand out personal best performance as Cheltenham Harriers athletes enjoyed a success morning at the Reading Half Marathon. In one of the countries top 13.1 mile events, nine Harriers toed the line in a high quality field that had strong winds to contend with at times. Having set a PB of 68:47 at last month’s Barcelona Marathon, James was looking to lower this figure again and went through the opening 5km in 16:00 before reaching 10km in 31:50. Facing headwinds and being more isolated in the second half of the race, the Dave Newport athlete inevitably slowed slightly, but he still crossed the line in a new lifetime best of 68:22 to finish in a fine nineteenth place. Next home for the club was Alex Lee who recorded a time of 72:37 as held off the late challenge of teammate Dan Thomas. Thomas’ performance was arguably the Harrier run of the day as he lowered his PB from 74:34 to an impressive 72:38.

The PBs then continued as Richard Dare took thirty seconds off his previous best for a fine 73:47 and Dave Aubrey clipped nineteen seconds off his former mark with a pleasing 74:32, James Bingham ran well to record 75:10 before fellow V45 athlete Dan Minors put in a good performance for 79:20. For the Harriers ladies it was Tara Grosvenor who led the way as she lowered his personal best by 79 seconds to finish with 83:40. Half-marathon debutant Rachel Underhill also ran well to post a pleasing 86:58. Competing over the same distance, Fee Maycock continued her build up to the Manchester Marathon at the Bath Half Marathon where she ran 86:15 to finish as second LV50 runner home.

In Saturday’s 20:20 Fission 20 mile road race in Berkeley the field had to battle against the strong winds of storm Hannah, Having sat in the lead pack until it split at 8 miles, Dave Tomlin moved through from fourth to third place at around 15 miles, The veteran went on to record an impressive time of 2:03:57 for third place and first V45 runner ,as the Weston AC pairing of Chris McMillan (2:00:15) and Kieron Summers (2:01:08) took the top two places. Steve Bradley completed the event in a time of 2:34:34.

Conditions were not quite so tough for the following day’s Gloucester 20 mile road race where Andrew Kaighin lined up for his longest ever race. Setting off with a target of sub 2:10, Kaighin was ahead of schedule at halfway and despite slowing a touch crossed the line in 22nd position with a pleasing 2:09:24. Paul Barnes recorded 2:28:07 before wheelchair athlete Les Hampton crossed the line in 2:36:23. Paul Wade raced over the same distance at the Notts 20 where he ran a time of 2:28:01.

At the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Leeds, Cheltenham athletes led the Gloucestershire teams home in both the senior girls and senior boys races with Ella Burfitt (99th) and Matthew Dwerryhouse (170th) running well. Henry James (214th), Oli Powell (243rd) and George Hawthorne (260th) also represented the county teams in the under 19 age group.

Weekend parkruns saw Charlie Jones (17:02) and Elliot Taylor (17:56) first and third respectively in Hereford whilst there was also a first place finish for Chris Booth (17:08) at the Rickmansworth event in Hertfordshire. In Australia Rachel See (19:44) was the first lady home and tenth overall at the Cairns parkrun, Caroline Cotterell (20:55) was the third lady at the Worcester Pitchcroft event and Simon Critchley (19:07) placed sixth in the Cheltenham run in Pittville Park.