26.Sep.12 A thrilling race at Littledown
The 'Littledown 5' five mile road race in Bournemouth - always excellently organised by Littledown Harriers - manages to produce a new feature every year.
This year every finisher who elected to receive a mug, as opposed to a medal, found himself or herself with a mug personalised with his or her name, with the warning 'Mind the Bollards!' - a reference to the number of bollards, always fully marshalled, encountered on the course in Littledown Park and Kings Park.
Bournemouth Athletics Club (BAC) was the most successful team with four finishers in the top ten (Simon Munro, Mark Hargreaves, Jo Arundel and Simon Way); Club Captain Simon Munro again led by example, and was followed by Mark Hargreaves and Jo Arundel. Seventeen-year-old Dan Mulyran of Poole Runners just failed to hold off the BAC pair, just 4 seconds separating them at the end. (Poole/Bournemouth race shown top)
Mark's time of 24:17 propelled him to second in the National rankings for his age group (50 - 54) over five miles, and with 91.0 % age grading, is rated world class. A second over-50, Mike Grist of Poole Runners (pictured right) was only 47 seconds behind Mark to go 9th in the national rankings with an age grading of 86.9%
This race is one of five selected by Rex Bale for Poole Runners' annual age grading rankings for performances greater than 80% (National Class). Others from the club achieving this standard in the race were over-60s, Dave Cartwright (84.3%), Liz Sherwood and Alan Lewis (both 81.8%).
Nathan Shrubb (Morpeth H, pictured right) is like Dan a member of Rupert Pepper's training squad at Poole Runners. He kept a healthy lead from Benedict Westhenry (Weymouth & St Paul's) throughout the race to win in 25:33, half a minute faster than his time last year when he was second to the Runner's Zimbabwean star Willard Chinhanu.
Full results are on the Littledown Harriers club website.
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