Course best James on form as team are fifth
DOM James was in fine form as he helped Cheltenham Harriers to fifth place in the Midland Six Stage Road Relay Championship in Sutton Coldfield.
Oli Mott took on the highly competitive first leg and placed 12th with a time of 18:57.
James sped through the field as he took the team up into second behind leaders Bristol with an 18:11 clocking, the eighth quickest of the day and a course PB by 13 seconds.
Leg three saw Alex Lee’s 19:24 leave the team in fourth place at the halfway stage.
George Watson crossed the line with an 18:39 leg that saw the Harriers in fifth before Charlie Jones’ 18:56 moved the team back up a place.
However, on the final leg, it was always going to a be a tough task for Richard Dare to maintain fourth.
Despite Dare running well with 19:24, the Harriers ended the race in fifth place.
Marc Fallows (20:12) led the B team and handed over in 33rd place to Dave Aubrey (19:49) who gained five places before Ollie Jones (20:38) took the team up to 25th by the half way stage.
Doug Wight (19:24) then picked off six more teams and Eliot Taylor (19:48) gained five positions on the fifth leg.
Marcus England ran a course PB of 19:16 as he brought the team home in 12th place and third B team.
The C team of Tom Radley (20:52), Martin Soakell (22:11), Steve Hall (22:37), Joe Willgoss (20:34), Roger Mullins (21:44) and Russell Forsbrook (22:39) enjoyed a close contest with the A teams of Gloucester and Severn AC.
On the final leg Forsbrook fell four seconds and one place short of catching Gloucester as the team took 45th position and third C team, two places clear of Severn.
The D team finished as the events leading D in 61st position thanks to the efforts of Jamie Penton (21:52), Chris Hayes (21:58), Clark Lawson (23:17), Matt Wood (22:57), Peter Carmichael (23:16) and Michael Ede (24:58)
There were two Cheltenham teams in the ladies race, with Sarah Sheppard leading the A team off.
With a 17:53 leg Sheppard handed over to Hannah D’ambrosio in 39th place, with D’ambrosio’s 17:33 gaining 11 places. Rachel Underhill gained 12 places with her 16:49 before Naomi Eaton picked off two more teams with a 16:22 leg.
Finishing in 13th place the Harriers team were the leading Gloucestershire club as Stroud and Gloucester finished 20th and 23rd.
The B team of Leah Hopton (19:40), Emma Quekett (18:58), Clare Hawling (19:43) and Kathryn Morton (20:31) ran well to claim 53rd place.
At the Apperley Quarter Marathon James Bingham was involved in a three way battle for the win before losing out to Birchfield’s Teklay Gebrikdan as the Ethiopian athlete enjoyed an 11-second win in 36:12 whilst Gloucester’s Steve Kenyon took third a further 15 seconds behind Bingham.
Henry James claimed fourth in 38:24 whilst Gareth Edwards’ 39:59 made it three Harriers in the top six.
In a high class field at the Swansea Bay 10k Phil Wylie finished fourth and the first veteran runner in an impressive time of 30:57.
Parkruns saw Bingham (16:42) first home at the second staging of Cheltenham’s second parkrun at the King George V Playing Field where Sue Townsend (22:40) was the second lady.
Kaitlyn Sheppard (19:34) was first lady and second overall in Tewkesbury whilst James (17:33) was first at the Cheltenham parkrun in Pittville Park.
Cheltenham Harriers ladies B team Kathryn Morton, Leah Hopton, Clare Hawling and Emma Quekett