Distance Running News, 16-17 November 2019

18 November 2019

Martin Ford returned from injury to help the England over 75 team to victory at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International. Having not raced since finishing ninth in his age group at the World Mountain Running Championship in Italy at the end of September, Ford lined up for the 6km cross country on the famous Grand National racecourse as hosts England took on their rivals from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the annual veterans contest. Having gained many individual medals in the event over the last decade, on this occasion Ford had to be content with fourth place as he finished just eleven seconds behind bronze medalist Emyr Davies of Wales. However, with Wimbledon’s Peter Giles taking the win and Newquay’s John Horton just behind Ford in fifth place, Ford gained a team gold as England team enjoyed an eleven point victory over second placed Scotland.

Dave Aubrey meanwhile made his debut for East Wales in the Welsh Inter-Regional Cross Country event in Brecon. Showing good form to finish in sixth place, the Abergavenny born athlete was second scorer for the East team that enjoyed an eleven point victory over second placed South Wales in the eight to score team event. The Harriers ladies enjoyed a low key run out as they enjoyed and dominated the Ashton under Hill 5k road race. Kaitlyn Sheppard (18:48) took the win ahead of Marie Brush (19:34) before Sarah Sheppard (20:27) and Petra Vymetalova (20:35) quickly followed and Megan Davis made it five Cheltenham runners in the top six.

With a blank weekend in the club’s fixture list many Harriers made good use of parkruns as part of their preparation for upcoming races. Chris Booth produced the standout performance with first place at the Swansea Bay event in 15:49, a time two seconds faster than his 5000m track PB. There was a good turnout of the club’s runners at the Cheltenham parkrun in Pittville Park where Dom James (16:19) led the field home. James Bingham (16:30) then equalled his event PB in second place before Richard Dare (16:49) and John Parker (17:26) completed an all Harriers top four ahead of sixth placed Chris Hayes (18:07). Beth Hawling (18:25) was the first lady home in eighth place overall whilst Simon Critchley (19:03), Clark Lawson (19:25), Ben Lees (19:33), Matt Wood (19:36), Peter Carmichael (19:41) and Charlie Marshall (19:47) all packed well and Georgia Palmer (20:37) was the third lady home. Elsewhere, Rachel See (19:27) was the first lady home at the Lydiard parkrun in Swindon whilst Naomi Eaton (21:17) finished as first lady and fifth overall in Cirencester. Gareth Edwards (19:35) and Matt Lambourne (19:44) made the trip to Lydney where they finished third and fourth respectively.