ANOTHER high quality South West PB 5k saw the top 11 men break 16 minutes at the Odd Down cycling track last week.
Bristol & West AC were again to the fore with five in the top ten led by winner Jonathan Thewlis (15:05), marking his debut in the event and remarkably his first outing over the distance on the road – though he has a swift 13:54 to his name on the track set 11 years ago.
Runner-up was Ollie Thorogood of South West Road Runners (15:12) and Wells City Harriers’ Christian Green was third (15:30).
Other B&W runners at the top end included Simeon Howson (15:31), Andrew Watt (15:33) and Jamie Crawford (15:33), as they placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
For Watt that was a big PB by 12 seconds as he finally beat his 2019 mark set at the Westbury 4k in Wiltshire while new signing Crawford smashed his three-year-old best by a huge 1min 05secs. For Howson it was his fastest time of the year, just six seconds outside his PB,
In seventh (15:37) it was good to see Westbury Harriers’ M40 veteran Matt Ellis perform strongly – it was his fastest 5k for 10 years! – while the fifth B&W man, Tom Foxon, finished ninth (15:50) – again a PB by eight seconds.
The increasing popularity of the race is reflected in the top three women who all represented clubs from outside the immediate area.
Victory went to Jordan Matthews (16:42) of the Cheltenham-based Western Tempo with Megan Marchant of Cambridge Harriers runner-up (16:54) and Chelsea Baker of the Vale of Aylesbury third (17:09).
The B&W pair of Kate Mactear (17:54) and Catie O’Donoghue (18:18) were fourth and sixth respectively with Team Bath’s former modern pentathlete international Heather Fell fifth (18:15).