1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY – Claire continued her relentless rise up the national rankings with another outstanding performance in the Great South Run. In a stellar field she finished top British runner in 7th place, clocking yet another new personal best of 55:46 for the 10 mile distance. More significantly perhaps she was less than 20 seconds behind Kenya’s ex Olympic and World marathon champion Catherine Ndereba and only just over a minute down on the former World cross-country champion Benita Willis, who finished third.
2= KATE GOODHEAD and TOM RUSSELL – Both set new personal bests in the Stroud Half marathon. On the face of it Kate’s may appear the better effort as she split the inevitable African challenge, finishing an impressive second in the women’s event in 77:49, while Tom had to be content with 5th in the men’s race in 68:25. Tom however ran the second half of the race with a chronic stitch, yet still chopped more than four minutes off his previous best.
3 =TOM MERSON and REBEKAH RANDELL – Tom lived up to his growing reputation as the men’s team’s ironman by actually running faster on his second leg than he did on his first in the Easy Runner South West cross-country relays. Taking over from Dan Woolford in second place, he put the A team on course for a runaway victory with the third fastest time of the event, then just ten minutes later actually went a second faster in anchoring the B team to second place ahead of Taunton. For her part Rebekah ran an impressive solo effort on the last women’s leg to match all but the fastest of the U17 men’s times.
1 RICH PETERS – Rich continued his return to top form with the fastest time of the day in the South West X-C relays. Relishing the short 3K distance, which was a perfect dress rehearsal for this weekend’s National X-C relay championships, he tore round the third leg in 9:15, which was 17 seconds faster than next best Nathan Young and Tom Merson.
2 NATHAN YOUNG – Losing nothing in comparison with his older team mates, Nathan proved that he has finally shaken off the chest infection that has compromised his recent training by anchoring the A team to victory in the South West relay with the same time of 9:32 as Tom Merson.
3 EMILY MERRICK – Emily warmed up for this weekend’s National X-C relays by finishing a promising 4th in the U20 event at the Birmingham Cross Challenge.
1 DAVE BEDWELL – Dave took time out from managing the U13 boys team to run a leg for the C team in the South West relays, but had to pull out all the stops to hold off a determined challenge from young Naomi Speake, who forced the pace all the way as she set the women’s team on course for victory.
2 WAYNE SPEAKE – Not to be outdone by his twin offspring, Wayne volunteered to run a leg for a mixed Mendip/B&W team, and though looking the worse for wear on the second of the two laps still finished in under 12 minutes. I have now commissioned Adam and Naomi to get their dad back in top shape for next year’s National Masters road relay champs!
3 IAN HUMPHREYS – Ian had to give up his place in the relays to Dave Bedwell to concentrate on processing the times, and is to be complimented on the express speed with which he dispatched the results! – a salutary reminder that there would be no sport without the officials.