Winning run continues after Roper sets the pace
CHELTENHAM Harriers continued their domination of the White Horse 5K road race in Gloucester.
It meant they finished the summer with a 100 per cent record of team victories in the four-race series.
Dave Roper took the pace out hard from the start with the intention of posting a fast time.
He opened up a lead on the chasing pack as he went through the opening mile in four minutes, 43 seconds and reached the two-mile mark in 8.39.
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However, he was caught by team-mate Rhys Park and training partner Oli Mott of Bristol in the final mile.
Mott pulled clear of Park with around 800m remaining while Roper managed to stay with Stroud's Rob Galt who had also caught him.
With Park slowing in the final stages Roper managed to pull clear of Galt to chase down the teenager and catch Park just before the line to take second place.
Both runners were given the same time of 15.03, eight seconds behind race winner Mott and four seconds ahead of fourth-placed Galt.
John Parker ran a season's best of 15.07 to finish as first veteran runner in seventh place, and Anthony Bailey was just one second outside his PB with 15.57 for tenth place.
The battle for the final two places to complete the Harriers six-man team was a close affair, with Will New, Roger Mulllins and James Bingham locked together after two miles.
New won the inter-club battle to come home 14th in a season's best of 16.30, with Mullins one place behind in 16.36 and Bingham placing 18th in 16.43.
Mike Gray followed with a PB of 16.55 with veteran Dave Rantell just one second outside his PB in 17.03.
The next four Harriers home all ran well to set PBs, with Dave Aubrey (17.40) seeing off the challenge of James Wilkinson (17.51), Matt Evans (17.52) and Gavin McCaugherty (17.57).
Vickie Wilkinson ran well to finish as eighth lady and third veteran in a big season's best of 18.37 to finish three seconds ahead of Harriers debutant Blair MacKinnon.
Jane Thomas took more than half a minute off her PB with an impressive 19.03 clocking.
Dmitry Narazarenko led the Harriers home at the Cheltenham Parkrun as he placed second overall and first Under-17 runner home in 17.39.
Fellow junior Scott Leyland took fourth place in 18.14, two seconds ahead of Ben Williams who was the first Under-15 boy home in fifth.
Clocking the same time as Williams in sixth was James Wilkinson, with Vet 55 runner Mike Ede the next home for the club in 19.59.
George Hawthorne (20.10) and George Warley (20.22) soon followed before Jess White finished as second lady and first Under-15 girl in 20.53.
Jacob Pickering (21.42), Jamie Courtenay (23.26), Sam Pickering (24.53), Molly Knight (26:42) and Adrian Courtenay (27.42) also contested the 5K event.
Parker won the Pennington Flash Parkrun in Lancashire in a time of 16.36, setting a veteran record for the undulating course.
Rantell enjoyed a win at the Winchcombe Hill Climb 10K.
Fellow veteran Dave Hemmings took fourth place, with Graham Brookhouse and Martin Ford following in 18th and 20th respectively.
Ken Buckle in 62nd and Steve Brown in 70th competed the Harriers contingent at the multi-terrain race from Sudeley Castle.