The return of competitive road racing post lockdown saw Western Tempo make an impressive team debut at the Hereford 5k as they celebrated men’s and ladies team victories in a race where Dom James took the individual honours.
Held over a new two lap course from Hereford Racecourse, the lack of recent races meant that a strong field was assembled and a large pack went through the opening kilometre in 2:55, a pace that was maintained for the second kilometre. By the end of the opening lap a lead group of eight had a few yards over the chasers as WT’s Dom James, Henry James, Alex Lee and Rhys Park contested the lead alongside Ben Robinson (Gloucester) Abed Teweldebrhan (Newport), Richard de-Camps (Cheltenham) and Nick Barry (Sale).
After a 3:05 third kilometre Teweldebrhan made his move with an injection of pace and the pack split and by 4km the Eritrean had just Dom James, Robinson and Barry for company. As the race re-entered the racecourse with 300m remaining it was Dom James who kicked clear to take the win in 14:44 with Teweldebrhan and Robinson following two and three seconds later. Nineteen year old Henry James closed the gap to Barry to produce the Tempo’s performance of the day as he stopped the clock with a big PB of 14:53 in fifth.
Another significant PB followed as Lee finally broke the 15 minute barrier for the first time with 14:59 as he pulled three seconds clear of Park, who in turn was one second ahead of Charlie Jones whose huge PB made it five WT runners in the top eight. Having taken a tumble at the start, Marcus England picked himself up off the floor to record a PB of 15:20 for twelfth place. Dave Aubrey (15:33) and Alex Jones (15:41) also set PBs to make it eight
Tempo runners in the top eighteen.
The battle to finish as first veteran was an intriguing contest that saw the WT masters fill the top four places. Anthony Bailey and John Parker started ahead of Mark James and Marc Fallows, with just nine seconds between the quartet at the end of the opening lap. Whilst V45 runner Bailey rolled back the years with an impressive 15:50 victory, James and Fallows closed in on Parker. James (16:07) finished strongly to take second just five seconds outside his PB whilst Parker (16:13) finished one second ahead of fellow V45 athlete Fallows. Tom Radley (16:02) impressed with a 16:02 whilst Reece Ashfield (16:19) made it fourteen Tempo athletes in the top thirty.
Former English Schools champion Luke Carroll made a welcome return to the sport with a 16:44 clocking, before Adrian Williams finished two seconds ahead of fellow veteran Dave Johnson who recorded a PB of 16:55. Matt Flynn (17:08) was next WT runner home whilst Steve Linton impressed with a PB of 17:14 and Dan Schofield recorded 17:35. Mark Springings (17:40) and Jonathan Floyd (17:46) then both set PBs before James Bingham and Clark Lawson both stopped the clock at 17:53, with Lawson breaking the 18 minute barrier for the first time. Martin Soakell (18:13) edged out Darren Broady (18:14) before Chris James finished as second over 55 runner home in a PB of 18:18.
The battle to be the leading Western Tempo lady was a close affair with club secretary Rachel underhill posting her fastest time for several years with 18:26 to finish sixth in a race won by Birmingham’s Becki Timmings in 17:04. In ninth Hannah Havelock-Allan then set a PB as she finished just seven seconds behind Underhill whilst Amber Watson (18:50) ran
well for eleventh place to ensure the team win. Pete Carmichael finished strongly to close within one second of Watson after pulling clear of Andy Prophett (19:04) in the final kilometre. Charlie Hunting lowered her PB to 19:43 before Steven Rowley and Kate Nimmo set identical 19:50 PBs and Izzy Axford (21:18) completed the 36 strong WT contingent.