Distance Running News, 6-7 October 2018

09 October 2018

Cheltenham Harriers ladies team put in a fine team performance to produce their highest ever performance and a top twenty finish at the National 4 Stage Road Relays Championship in Sutton Coldfield. On the highly competitive opening stage, Hilary Mott ran well to finish 20th in an 83 strong field with a time of 15:42 for the hilly 4.33km circuit. Stage two then saw Rachel Longstaff produce the team’s fastest leg as she took the team up into eleventh place with an impressive 15:27. Laura Smith then recorded 17:10 on the third leg to hand over to Naomi Eaton in twentieth. Whilst Eaton could not prevent GB international of Blackburn Jess Judd flying past her, she did pick off the Derby and Serpentine athletes with a 16:24 leg that brought the team home in a very pleasing nineteenth position.

Having finished third in the Midland Championships the mens' team was missing some key athletes, but produced a good team performance with the athletes available. Dan Owen took the opening leg and produced his fastest ever time round the 5.88km course to place to bring the team home in 28th place in 18:07. Dom James then overtook five runners, but was also passed by four with an 18:26 stage that moved the team up into 27th. The third stage then saw Alex Lee match James’ pattern of 5 gains to 4 lost places to edge the team into 26th with an 18:47 clocking. Alex Bampton’s 18:43 then nudged the team up a further place before Doug Wight made his national debut on leg 5 with a course PB of 19:12 to leave the team in 26th with one leg remaining. Late call up Dave Aubrey then ran well as he lowered his best time on the course to 19:37 to bring the Harriers home in 28th position to meet their top thirty target.

Fee Maycock was again in excellent form as she represented the England Masters LV50 team at the Chester Marathon in a match against the Celtic nations in a race that also included the British Masters Championship. After going through 10k in 40:18 and 20k with a 41:10 split, Maycock posted 41:41 to 30km. The hilly final few miles saw a 43:04 split before the Cheltenham athlete crossed the line in an excellent 2:56.24 to finish as 9th lady overall and as a clear winner of the over 50s race. Maycock’s British title winning run also places her second on the UK rankings for her age group this year, just 68 seconds behind Shelton’s Julie Warner. The consistency of Maycock’s marathons is also something to be marvelled at with 2017 times of 2:56:21 in Manchester and 2:56:32 in Frankfurt and also 2:56:50 in Manchester earlier this year.

Having made the decision to miss the Cheltenham Half Marathon to seek out a faster course, Marcus England was rewarded with a great performance at the Oxford Half where he finished in fifth place. After going through 10km in 32:49 and 10 miles in 53:06, England crossed the line in an impressive new PB of 70:21. Elswehere Leah Hopton knocked a huge 29 minutes off her PB with a very pleasing 3:41:52 at the Bournemouth Marathon whilst Dave Tomlin placed third in the Cricklade 10k in 35:28. Weekend parkruns saw James Bingham (17:16) first home in Cheltenham where Gareth Edwards (18:59) was fourth across the line, whilst Marc Fallows (19:01) led the field home in Cirencester. Alice Stallberg (22:28) was the first lady at the Gloucester North event and Matt Lambourne (17:55) placed fifth in York.