Distance Running News, 26 November - 1 December 2019

01 December 2019

Joe Turner produced an excellent performance to set another personal best at the Valencia Marathon. Having only entered the event as a back up option, in case training for October’s Frankfurt Marathon had fallen behind schedule, Turner lined up in Spain with the luxury of having already set a 2:23:56 PB just five weeks ago in Germany. With nothing to lose he therefore decided to change his normal negative splits strategy and instead went out hard to see what happened with 5k and 10k splits of 16:50 and 33:50. Another 16:55 split then followed before Turner passed through the half marathon mark in an impressive 71:11.

A 17:07 split to 30km meant that the Cheltenham athlete remained on PB schedule, but this was followed by his slowest 5k of the race, a 17:26 as the race went slightly uphill to 35k. With little time to lose if he was to surpass his Frankfurt time, Turner then made use of the slightly downhill finish. Picking up the pace again over the final 7km he stopped the clock at a fantastic 2:23:37 for a nineteen second PB. This earned the marine biologist 99th place in a world class field, but it wasn’t a big enough improvement to move him up from the 46th place he occupied in the 2019 UK marathon rankings prior to the race.

Anthony Bailey travelled to the East Midlands for the Nottingham Winter Half Marathon which involved four laps of the lake at the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre. Having returned to the sport after a two year absence with half marathon times of 79:25 at Cheltenham in September and 77:34 at Stroud in October, the V45 athlete was looking for another improvement. Running isolated in third place throughout the race, Bailey crossed the line in a very pleasing 75:06 as he finished as first veteran.

Also competing in Nottingham, Rachel See finished a fine fifth in the Midland Counties 5 mile cross country race at Bulwell Hall Park. On a quiet weekend domestically, Turner was not the only athlete racing in Spain as Tom Radley contested the Club Akiles 10k in Madrid. On a testing and hilly course, Radley ran well to lower his PB to 36:19 as he finished 23rd in a field of one thousand runners.  At the midweek Pomphrey 5k in Bristol, Russell Forsbrook finished 22nd in a time of 18:36.

The weekend’s parkruns saw Alex Lee (16:04) finish first at the Cheltenham event in Pittville Park where Kaitlyn Sheppard (19:20) finished as the first lady in tenth place overall and Olivia Gardiner (22:31) was the eighth woman home. On the other side of the town James Bingham (16:47) and Mike Hughes (19:17) finished first and second at the King George V Playing Field event that also saw Gareth Edwards (19:31) take fifth position. In Newent Georgia Palmer (21:03) and Alice Stalberg (22:12) finished as first and third ladies respectively as they placed third and fifth overall, whilst Dan King (19:44) was first in Ludlow and Dave Tomlin (18:21) took second place at the Gloucester City event.