Distance Running News, 19-20 January 2019

22 January 2019

There were impressive personal bests for four Cheltenham Harriers athletes as Phil Wylie led the club’s strong squad home at the Speedway 10k road race. The high quality event hosted by Chepstow Harriers was held on the Beachley peninsula, with the stellar field assembled ensuring that the opportunity was there to post fast times. In his first road race as a veteran, 40 year old Wylie went straight to the top of the 2019 UK rankings for his new age group with an excellent time of 30:27 as he took seventh place in a race won by Birchfield’s Omar Ahmed in 29:17. In 2018 just two veterans ran quicker times than Wylie’s mark, a time that was also his fastest since November 2016. The battle to be the second Cheltenham runner home was a close affair with Alex Lee lowering his PB to 31:38 for fourteenth place as he finished one place and three seconds clear of Dom James whose PB he had just equalled. Fractionally behind Richard de-Camps ran well for a new PB of 31:44 as he took sixteenth place. With four to score in the team competition the harriers took second place behind a strong Cardiff squad whilst Bristol finished third. Charlie Jones was just two seconds outside his PB with 32:53 before Jacob Pickering broke 33 minutes for the first time with 32:58.

Arguably the Harriers performance of the day came from Chris Booth who took over two minutes off his previous best time with an excellent 33:18. Elliot Taylor (33:26) soon followed before Dave Aubrey (33:51) and Alex Doherty (34:02) chased him own. Dave Tomlin’s 34:26 saw him finish as the first V45 runner as the club packed 11 runners into the top 48. Dan Scofield (37:57) and Roxanne Jones (43:59) also contested the second edition of the well organised race.

Jon Barnes meanwhile tackled the Gloucester 50km road race where he finished in an excellent second place. After going through the marathon distance in an impressive 2:34:42 Barnes managed to hang on for the extra 8km to set a new club record of 3:06:56. This time was comfortably inside the England Athletics qualifying standard for this year’s Anglo-Celtic Plate event, with Barnes now hoping he sufficiently impressed the selectors. At the half marathon held at the same event Fee Maycock finished as fourth lady and first LV50 runner in a pleasing 1:26:31 before Leah Hopton smashed the 1:40 barrier for the first time with a new PB of 1:38:48.

The Gloucestershire AAA road race series meanwhile started the new season with the Linda Franks 5 mile race hosted by Almost Athletes on a flat two lap course around Hatherley and The Reddings. Defending series champion Mark James chased Gloucester’s Steve Kenyon in the early stages before being caught and passed by teammate Joe Willgoss just before half way. 

Whilst Kenyon took the win in 27:03, Willgoss came home second with 27:47 to finish ten seconds clear of James who was the first veteran runner in third place.An impressive 28:12 PB by Gareth Edwards earned him fifth place as he also ensured the club won the three to score team event.

Andy Prophett (30:19) followed and Dave Rantell (30:33) finished as second V50 runner before Oliver Doherty (31:15) and Paul Barnes (33:16) completed the Harriers contingent. There was also success in the wheelchair event where Les Hampton crossed the line in first place.

Overseas Rhys Park set a personal best time of 69:01 at the Arizona Half Marathon whilst Rachel See (21:00) was the first lady home and ninth at the Claisebrook Cove parkrun in Australia. UK parkruns meanwhile saw Phil Beastall (17:18) finish first in Milton Keynes, Dave Tomlin (17:30) finish second at the Arrow Valley event in Reddicth and Simon Critchley (18:45) place fourth at the Cheltenham parkrun.