1 TOM RUSSELL- As usual it is extremely difficult to subjectively compare performances, and I have put Tom’s victory in the Winston’s Wish Memorial Challenge 4M at Cheltenham at the top of the pile because he won! No, joking apart his runaway success by more than a minute against a good class field underlined that he clearly was not over-indulging over the Christmas holiday period and is gearing up for the major cross-country championships that lie ahead.
2 TOM MERSON – You just can’t leave Tom out. Now he earns another accolade after giving Kev Heywood a bit of a scare in the First Chance 10K in Devon. Not only did he lead for the first 5K, but kept the pressure on all the way to finish only 11 seconds down in yet another big personal best of 30:55. Not too bad on a far from fast course that took the runners through deep water at times.
3 ROBBIE BUGDEN – Robbie continued his comeback with a spirited effort in the famous Nos Galan New Year’s Eve 5K race, eventually ending up a creditable 5th in 14:42, just 14 seconds behind winner Chris Davies, who to Rob’s relief failed to break his course record of 14:17 set when he took the title in 2007.
1 PHIL PARRY – Instead of defending his Hangover 10K title at Kewstoke, Phil opted for the shorter New Year’s Day 5M in Gloucester, but was disappointed to find no one there to push him as he cruised to victory by well over a minute in 26:45.
2 HEATH BAMPTON – Our new signing from Swindon showed what an asset he could be to the Vets team this summer by finishing only just outside the top ten in the latest Oxford Mail League race. He was more than 40 seconds ahead of one of the country’s top V50’s Brian Gardner, who actually works in Bristol and has been on our radar for some time without bearing fruit!
3 JON GOODLAND – Jon, who is likely to be a key figure in our first attempt at the National V50 road relay title this summer, continued his return to form by taking his age group title in the Hangover 10K in 36:52 – only just over two minutes down on the winner in 11th place overall.
Unfortunately despite the week’s delay there are no junior performances to report
PS I am sure you would all like to wish Rob Whalley a swift recovery after undergoing keyhole surgery on Monday on the shoulder he injured last year. He had made sure he was back to near racing fitness before the operation and is already talking about resuming training next week! Nor has he totally given up hope of doing the Midlands! He will never change!