Running round-up: Tickner brothers aim to impress in Poland and Yeovil
The Tickner brothers, from Bruton, in Somerset, are facing a busy weekend as they fly the West flag from Poland to Yeovil.
Pride of place goes to younger brother Frank as the 29-year-old leads the Great Britain team in the World Cross Country Championships in what will be his fourth appearance in this prestigious event.
“It has been a while since I ran last the event (Jordan in 2009), so I’ll be going to Poland quite open-minded about how I may go, but I am looking forward to it,” said Tickner.
By the time Frank races in Bydgoszcz tomorrow afternoon, older brother Ben, 31, will have raced, showered and returned home as the third Yeovil half-marathon gets underway from Huish Park at 9am.
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Ben is the favourite for the title as he boasts a personal best of 65mins 06secs, which easily makes his the fastest man in the field.
“On paper Ben should win it, but we also have the defending champion Shaun Antell (Bristol & West AC) in the field, Jim Cole (Tavistock), who recently won the Bideford half and top Yeovil veteran Tim Hawkins,” said race spokesman Jody Foy.
The lure of the £400 first prize plus a bonus of £50 for breaking the course record – set by Antell (70:35) and Bristol-based Nikki Linfield (86:24) last year – explains the strong field with Team Bath marathon international Holly Rush favourite to win the women’s title.
“I think both records could go, but a lot will depend on the weather,” added Foy.
Foy reports around 1,000 entries and is hopeful that they will beat last year’s record of 789 finishers. Among the entries are former Yeovil Town players Darren Way, Terry Skiverton and Micky Spencer. No further entries will be taken on the day.
Back to Poland and Tickner will be joined by Stroud & District AC’s Will Paulson , who will be racing in the under-20 men’s event.
“Will is going really well and realistically he wants to produce a performance that will put him among the top ten Europeans,” said coach Chris Frapwell.
Bristol & West AC field a strong squad, including British junior international Annabel Gummow, for the Midland Counties Six-Stage Road Relay Championships in Birmingham today as they seek to improve upon third place in 2012 when local rivals Westbury won the title. The latter have been decimated by injuries so there will be new champions.
The marathon season is upon us and the award to the West runner travelling furthest afield must surely have already been won by Cheltenham & County Harrier Andy van Kints, who opted to make his debut in the Falkland Islands event in the south Atlantic last weekend.
Dubbed the most southerly marathon in the world, it certainly isn’t a personal best course like London and the crowds are pretty sparse too.
Nonetheless, 29-year-old Van Kints, who took advantage of a posting with the RAF to tackle the event, won the race in and around Port Stanley in a very respectable time of 2hrs 51mins 43secs.
It is a busy day for off-road runners tomorrow, including the Forest of Dean Spring Trails half marathon (www.forestofdean-halfmarathon.co.uk), the Dorchester Lions 10k (www.lionsdorchester.org.uk), the Cleevewold 4 near Cheltenham (www.cheltenhamharriers.co.uk) and the Spirithill Trial 12k and 6k runs in Wiltshire (www.eventslogicuk.com).
On the road there is the 25th Calne Rotary 10k which sets off from Bowood House (www.calnerotary.co.uk), the Tavy 13 (www.tavy13.com), the Hemington 10k in Somerset (www.hemington10k.org) and the ‘Wrap Up and Run’ 10k in Exeter (www.ageuk.org.uk).