Ollie James in the Run Newcastle Valentines 10k

The date was set and Oliver James had plenty to bring to the table in the Run Newcastle Valentines 10k but would it be a successful match?

Since moving up north to study at Durnham University, Oliver James has continued his magnificent running form and although he may be at the other end of the country geographically, he’s still very much a Bournemouth AC man. He showed that when competing for the club in the South West Cross Country Championships where he finished 27th overall and 5th out of the Under 20 men.

He’d also competed for the Durham University team in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Cross Country Championships where he finished 79th in a very competitive field despite tripping over in the first 100m and having to claw his way back through the pack. In that race he completed the 6.66 mile distance at an average pace of 5:27 minutes per mile.

The weekend after that, Ollie made a rare road race appearance in the Run Newcastle Valentines 10k. The route consisted of two laps around Newcastle’s Town Moor and it was a pretty quick course. Quick for Ollie anyway as he stormed to an emphatic victory.

His first five miles were all between 5:07 and 5:12 pace, with only the sixth mile bucking that trend due to an incline. Completing the course in 32:19, Ollie was over two minutes ahead of his nearest rival which was a terrific result.

Oliver James winning the Run Newcastle Valentines 10k

No one else could get any near Ollie on this occasion and he breezed through for a convincing win

They were offering a £50 cash bonus for breaking the course record as well which was 32:02, so Ollie wasn’t a million miles off that. He did well to keep the intensity up as well despite being streets ahead of the opposition. His average pace for the run was a scintillating 5:11 minutes per mile.

It was his quickest 10k time yet, although he’s only really done one other which was the Round the Lakes 10k on Boxing Day in 2021. He got round in 33:14 that day.

Certainly confident he’s got more in the tank when up against a better field, it will be interesting to see what sort of times Ollie can produce in the future if he’s already at this level now. That will be his last 10k for a while though as he’ll be switching back to track season soon and doing shorter stuff.

Next up though for Ollie it would be the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Loughborough where he was drafted in to the Dorset squad for the senior category.