WESTBURY Harriers Running Club have been busy with runners competing in national and local races and many competing for partner club Yate AC, writes Mike Mewse.

Surprisingly it’s been the veteran athletes who have been in the best form. Top performers have been Oli Beale (40) and Nigel Gates (66) both masters athletes but in superb form.

Top performer Beale won the Hogweed Trot 10K (incorporating the Avon AA 10K road race championships) in 33.36 mins, adding the Avon AA 10K Road Race title to his county cross country title. Remarkably Beale won both outright whilst also winning the Over 40 titles. Beale’s team mate Anthony Glover (also V40) from Chipping Sodbury, picked up the silver medal in both the cross country and road races. Northern Ireland cross country international Glover was just a little short on speed having been in training for the epic Man Versus Horse 23 mile hill race in Llandrindod Wells on June 9 with it’s £3,000 prize money. He missed the big money but was 5th in the V40 category in 3hrs 3 mins and was 41st overall (including horses and runners) out of 767 entrants.

Nigel Gates, the British Over 65 10K champion, who ran 36.44 in the Bristol 10K, showed he still has pace by winning the Westminster Masters Mile (V65) in a new V65 British record time of 5.20 mins. Another masters runner Yate’s Mike Mewse, made it three Avon AA county titles in one year, adding the male over 60 10K Road race title to his 10k cross country and 5K road relay titles. Kay Ridgwell made it a hat trick of county 10K titles for Westbury Harriers by winning the female veteran 60 category. Team mate Jenni Stevenson, an international biathlete, was second in the FV 50 category.

There was more success for the Westbury athletes in their home race the Blaise Blazer – a tough, hilly 4 mile race in the grounds of Blaise Castle Estate. Oli Beale (MV40) was again in unbeatable form winning the race in 21.45 from team mate Alex Hamblin 22.45. Vicky Tester (25.59) won the Ladies Race with Ken Ham picking up the Male Vet 55 prize in 26.42.

Westbury Harriers and Yate AC’s Ben Rawlins, a GB international triathlete, had a break from road racing to travel to Leeds for the ITU International Triathlon on June 9. Competing in the junior sprint event (750m swim, 20 K bike, 5K run) Rawlins came out of the swim in first place but lost places on the bike section before recovering on the run for a fine bronze medal. He then had time to watch the professionals, including the Brownlee brothers, as they raced in the World Cup triathlon.