Distance Running News, 28 August - 2 September 2018

03 September 2018

Dan Owen successfully defended his Midland 3000m Championship in Coventry as he claimed his second Midland title of the season. Having won the 5000m gold at Nuneaton in June, Owen was amongst the favourites for the race as he lined up alongside teammate Richard de-Camps for seven and a half laps of the track. The Harriers pair were content to sit in the pack as the field ran a relatively slow opening kilometre of 3:03 and went through 2000m in outside six minutes. With just a kilometre remaining Birchfield’s 14:46 5000m runner Omar Ahmed hit the front and put in a burst that only Owen could match. Sensing the pace was slowing just 300m later, Owen himself took up the pace and made his bid for victory. However, he was unable to pull clear of Ahmed who stuck on his shoulder until the home straight. With a final kick for the line the Dave Newport coached athlete was able to edge clear of the Birchfield runner to take the title in 8:42. Wreake and Soar Valley’s Tom Mahon claimed bronze as de-Camps had to settle for fourth place in 8:48. Earlier in the weeks de-Camps had raced at the BMC Gold Standard event in Stretford where he finished eighth in the 1500m B race in 4:00.30. At the same venue Rachel See placed fourth in the Open 1500m C race with a time of 5:08.28

On the roads the stand out Harriers road performance of the week came from Marcus England at the Bridgwater Half Marathon in Somerset. Highgate’s Shaun Dixon started the race quickly and established a significant lead, whilst England stuck to his own pre-race plan and moved up into second place by halfway.. The Cheltenham man then upped the pace before catching Dixon at around nine miles before extending his lead to 1:46 by the finish as took the win in 71:31. Further Harriers success over the classic 13.1 mile distance came at the Maidenhead Half Marathon where Joe Willgoss took almost three minutes off his personal best with an impressive 75:23. Fee Maycock continued her fine recent form at the Cardiff 10k with an excellent time of 38:33. Not only did this place her as first LV50 runner, but Maycock’s fastest time for three years also moved her up into seventh in the 2018 UK rankings for her age group. Dave Aubrey was also in action in the Welsh capital where he recorded 34:16, whilst Eliot Taylor and Charlie Jones posted times of 33:28 and 34:02 respectively at the Trafford 10k.

Earlier in the week a group of Harriers headed to the Pilot Inn in Gloucester in search of a fast 5km times. However, road works on the course forced the organisers to make last minute changes to the route and the initial excitement of fast times evaporated when the course was subsequently found to be 64 metres short. Nevertheless, there was still a strong Cheltenham team display as Alex Lee dominated from the start to take the win in 15:06. The battle for second was a more intriguing affair with Mark James and Ollie Jones clear of the James Bingham in the opening half of the race. Jones then pulled clear of James before being caught by the rejuvenated Bingham who took second in 16:10. Jones (16:29) and James (16:33) then took third and fourth before Andrew Kaighin (17:29) placed tenth and Gareth Edwards (17:52) crossed the line in thirteenth to complete the victorious six man team.

A Harriers team had to settle for second place at the Gloucester Road Relays, but still managed to successfully defend their county relay title. New recruit Chris Hayes placed third on opening leg as he completed the testing Haresfield 5km lap in 18:07 as Swindon and Worcester gained an early advantage. A 16:41 second stage by Jon Barnes then took the Cheltenham team up into second, but they still trailed Swindon by 51 seconds at the halfway point. This lead was then extended on the third leg as the positions remained unaltered after Elliot Prince’s 19:05. Veteran John Parker then produced an impressive 16:19 to record the fastest leg of the day, but this still left the Harriers 1:34 behind the consistent Swindon team. The weekend also saw veterans Mark James (4:44) and Dave Tomlin (4:50) finish second and third in the Meteor Mile as Frome’s Joe Donworth enjoyed a five second winning margin on the runway at Gloucestershire Airport. Tomlin was back in action the following morning at the Chedworth Roman Trail 10 mile multi-terrain race where he finished second behind Headington’s James Eve as teammates Marc Fallows and Paul Barnes placed 5th and 31st respectively. Elsewhere Dan Minors enjoyed a win at the Alderton 5k in 17:46 as Gareth Edwards (18:27) took third place. Meanwhile in America Will New returned to action after a 10 month injury lay off with 28th place in a university cross country in New York.

The weekend’s parkruns again provided a good training opportunity for the Harriers as Amber Watson (19:31) finishing as first lady at the Worcester Pitchcroft event where Alister Brown (18:19) and Matt Lambourne (18:55) placed fifth and eighth respectively. In Cheltenham the club filled the top five places through Ben Price (16:14), George Watson (16:30), James Bingham (17:01), Doug Wight (17:25) and Alex Lee (17:26) whilst Naomi Eaton (20:29) was the leading lady in Cirencester.