JACK Bancroft and Felix McGrath enjoyed a Bristol & West AC one-two in the latest South West PB 5k series race at the Odd Down cycling circuit near Bath.
The cool blustery conditions ensured the record time of 14:29 set by Kurt Taylor wouldn’t be challenged but the race was a cracker as the pair had a great battle.
But it wasn’t just a private B&W battle with a group of as many as seven runners leading the initial charge downwind on the first of the three plus laps of the l-shaped Odd Down circuit.
The leaders passed through the first lap in 4:15 well on course for a sub 14:30 clocking, but by the second time round the windy conditions had taken their toll and the pace had dropped to around 8:50 at 3K.
McGrath was now forcing the pace and did enough to shake off everyone but Bancroft, who used his terrific kick to sprint to the finish line and claim victor in 14mins 40secs.
McRath was second in a PB of 14:43 with Charlie Jones of Western Tempo third in a PB of 14:44 in third place.
“It was frustrating that I couldn`t shake Jack off,” said McGrath.
“I really need a longer distance to make him suffer enough! But all credit to him. Once the finish is in sight if he`s still there, he takes some beating.”
Arguably the top performance of the evening came from talented 16-year-old Westbury Harrier Aerie Savage-Swaine, who finished 10th fastest overall in an outstanding time of 15:14, which apparently ranks him among the ten fastest for his age in the country.
Certainly a name to watch in the future.
Leading woman was B&W’s Phillipa Williams clocking 16:41, which despite the unfavourable conditions was only just over 10 seconds slower than her previous best over the course of 16:30.
Interestingly further down the field and making her comeback was former GB U23 cross international Hannah Alderson. Her time of 17:03, the fastest of the women in the opening wave, was equal second fastest overall with Taunton`s Katie Drew.