Distance Running News, 2-3 November 2019

03 November 2019

Alex Lee impressed with an excellent personal best as he claimed victory and led Cheltenham Harriers to the team win at the Tewkesbury Guy Fawkes 5 mile road race. Having made a big breakthrough with a PB at the Stroud Half Marathon last weekend, Lee was straight to the fore and quickly established a race winning lead on the new revised course that the organisers had quickly put together with the traditional route still partially flooded. Extending his lead on the road back from Fiddington to Aschurch, Lee continued to push the pace as he went on to complete the course in a superb time fo 25:13 for an 82 second winning margin over Gloucester’s Steve Kenyon. James Bingham was in fifth place at the turn, but his consistent pace saw him gain a place in the second half as he finished as first veteran in a PB time of 26:56. Mark James’ 28:28 earned him eighth place on the day as he successfully completed the defence of the county road race series title. Tom Radley took twelfth in 29:01 before Dave Rantell recorded 30:32 to take second in the V50 category, a position he also claimed in the overall series.

Kaitlyn Sheppard made her five male debut and tracked local favourite Shona Crombie-Hicks for the opening mile before pushing on and opening up a small gap. However, the experienced Tewkesbury athlete overtook the teenager just after the turn as she took the win in 31:02 before Sheppard took second place thirty seconds later. Paul Barnes finished as second V60 runner with 33:41 as he claimed bronze in the county series V55 category. With the team contest on the day based on the combined times of the first three men and two ladies from each club, Sarah Sheppard ensured a Harriers team win as she finished as eighth lady in 34:23. The day’s results also confirmed that the Harriers had retained the county series men’s team title.

Whilst the last minute postponement of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League fixture at Malmesbury due to strong winds, it was a frustrating weekend for many athletes. However, Dave Tomlin (18:10) still managed to finish first at the Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester and Chris Cleary (18:47) placed second at the Hereford parkrun.