Taylor and Bancroft go sub 30mins as PBs tumble

Milestone: Kurt Taylor (493) and Jack Bancroft (560) breaking 30 minutes. Photos courtesy of Chepstow Harriers

BRISTOL & West’s Kurt Taylor broke the magical 30 minutes barrier in a hotly contested Speedway 10k near Chepstow yesterday.

This well organised race has really established itself as one of the fastest in this area – it is just over the Severn Bridge in south Wales –  and now attracts a really strong field of runners all united in the quest for fast times and PBs.

Taylor lined up with a lifetime best of 30:15 set in the 2019 Ribble Valley 10k in Clitheroe; he came close to beating that in last year’s Speedway race, which was switched to May due to the lockdown that ruled out the January event, when he recorded 30:22 for 18th place.

But Taylor didn’t need asking again as he slashed a fabulous 19 seconds off his PB to finish ninth in 29:56

Clubmate Jack Bancroft was chasing Taylor hard and now wonder as he also dipped inside 30 minutes for the first time. The super consistent Bancroft has been mighty close to achieving that goal with a best of 30:16 in this race last year and a 30:17 in 2020.

No-one more deserves to be classed as a sub 30 man so he will also be thrilled with his lifetime best.

B&W newcomer William Parkin continues to impress as she slashed 26 seconds off his best to go under 31 minutes for the first time, another significant landmark.

Team Bath international duathlete Daniel Soltys ended 2021 with a PB of 33:50 finishing runner-up in the Bromham 10k; now he opened his 2022 campaign with a huge improvement clocking 32:20.

North Somerset AC M40 veteran Alan Baker had a superb run to carve almost a minute off his three-year-old best of 33:29, a real quality run.

Flying: William Parkin

Team Bath marathon man Dan Jones showed there is nothing wrong with his speed as he carved 35 seconds off his five year-old best with 32:48 while just behind him clubmate Aidan Daniel ran out of his skin to slash 1min 16secs off his winning time at the Corsham 10k last September. All in all, a good day for their club men as well.

The amazing Jon James of Wells City Harriers was easily top M50 veteran as his time of 32:57 was his fastest for 11 years! Obviously, he isn’t going to beat his lifetime best of 31:42 but that is one hell of a time.

But just because you are in the veteran class it doesn’t mean you can’t keep improving – just look at Weston AC’s Kieron Summers. He ran a PB 33:15 in the Glastonbury Levels 10k last September and has now beaten that again with 33:03.

Devonian international steeplechaser Phil Norman shaved one seconds off his two-year-old PB, set over the same course when finishing runner-up, to win in 29:11 – easily the fastest in the South West this year so far.

Another Devonian, former B&W runner Tom Merson, who now competes in the M35 age group with his home town club of Exmouth Harriers, just missed his two-year-old set in this event by just seven seconds as he clocked 29:52 – making him the fastest 10k man in Bristol this year to date.

In the women’s race it was good to see former B&W runner Victoria Kenny continue her comeback with a PB of 34:51, slicing 38 seconds off her Telford 10k best set last December.

GWR’s Kelly Dicks set her PB of 36:47 in that same race and likewise she went quicker yesterday clipping seven seconds off with 36:40 to continue her steady improvement.

B&W’s Amy Partridge broke 38 minutes for the first time with her PB of 37:23 and it was good to see Team Bath’s rejuvenated Amber Gascoigne, who was third at the South West Championships a few weeks back, continue her good form with a PB of 36:38. Her previous best stood at 37:21 from 2018.

Team Bath’s W60 veteran Jo Thompson proved that her recent super time of 20:14 in the Street 5k was not a one-off she clocked 42;10 to win her age group. It was Thompson’s fastest 10k for six years. What a class athlete she is.

Speedway 10k (selected west results) – men: 1 Phil Norman (NDAC) 29:11 (PB); 5 Dominic James (Western Tempo) 29:30 (PB); 8 Tom Merson (Exm) 29:52; 9 Kurt Taylor (B&W) 29:56 (PB); 10 Sam Tyas (Southville RC) 29:57 (PB); 11 Jack Bancroft (B&W) 29:58 (PB); 17 Phil Wylie (WT, M40 1st) 30:44; 19 Joshua Moody (B&W) 30:52; 20 William Parkin (B&W) 30:53 (PB); 40 Adam Potter (B&W) 32:10; 42 Dave Eagon (B&W) 32:17; 45 Daniel Soltys (TBAC) 32:20 (PB); 50 Alan Baker (NSAC, M40) 32:31 (PB); 51 Andy Salmon (B&W) 32:36; 55 Marcus Dunsford (B&W) 32:37; 57 Ben Maliphant (B&W) 32:38; 64 Aled Anderson (B&W) 32:45; 66 Dan Jones (TB) 32:48 (PB); 71 Aidan Daniel (TB) 32:55 (PB); 75 Jon James (Wells, M50 1st) 32:57; 76 Oliver Beale (WH, M40) 33:06; 82 Kieron Summers (Weston, M40) 33:03 (PB); 83 Chris Selman (Weston) 33:05; 87 Chris Neilson (B&W) 33:20; 88 Jack Richardson (Clev) 33:27; 94 Callum Moore (GWR) 33:34; 98 Andrew Drake (B&W) 33:40.

M50: 3 Phil Parry (B&W) 34:48.

Teams: 1 Bristol & West AC (Taylor, Bancroft, Moody, Parkin). 9th Team Bath AC (Sltys, Jones, Daniel, 169 Ben Holding 36:47).

Women: 1 Alex Eykelbosch (Derby) 33:31; 2 Clara Evans (Cardiff) 33:46; 3 Elle Twentyman (Taunton) 33:49; 4 Kirsteen Welch (Sidmouth RC) 33:53; 6 Kate Drew (Taunton) 34:04; 9 Victoria Kenny (Unatt) 34:51 (PB); 19 Kelly Dicks (GWR) 36:40 (PB); 22 Amy Partridge (B&W) 37:23 (PB).

W40: 1 Amber Gascoigne (TB) 36:38 (PB); 3 Catherine Treble (WH) 37:51.

W50: 1 Nia Davies (Weston) 40:43.

W60: 1 Jo Thompson (TB) 42:10.