Emerging victorious from both the first two races in the Boscombe Winter 5k Series races, it was looking like Rob McTaggart was nailed on to finish up as the overall winner. Although there were a lot of other decent quality runners taking part, if truth be told, none of them were quite on Tag’s level.
He was coming off the back of a fantastic 5k road PB of 15:14 at the Friday Night Under the Lights 5k in Battersea Park so that gives a good indication of the sort of where he’s at. His average page for the run was a staggering 4:51 and he was still expecting more from himself.
The standard is so high in those races that Tag actually came 45th out of 53 runners with that time. And that wasn’t even the elite race. It really is mind blowing how many super quick runners there are in events like that.
The Boscombe Winter 5k Series provided a slightly lower quality field than that but the races had still been very competitive in their own right. Tag was of course very confident in his own ability, so much so that he incorporated the third race into a session, running 10 x 3 minute intervals beforehand. Most of what he does is of course with a view to making gains ahead of the London Marathon in April.
He’d been joined in the first two races by Hugo Richardson who had been in brilliant form, finishing 4th and 3rd. Oscar Newbury was also taking part as well and he had the ability to nail a very quick 5k.
Rich Brawn had finished 6th and 7th in the first two races and was looking like a contender for the 40-44 category win, along with Will Newbery of New Forest Runners who completed the second race in 16:58.
Trev Elkins had finished 12th and 11th in the first two races and Paddy McCalister had come in 16th and 17th so there were a number of Bournemouth AC members featuring in the series and finishing quite high up.
The scores for the series are comprised of a best three out of four races, meaning athletes don’t necessarily have to do all the races. Rich, Trev and Paddy weren’t present in the third race of the series. Hugo was though, as was Oscar Newbery.
So… who would claim victory in the third race of the series? Yes, you’ve guessed it! It was a hat-trick for Rob McTaggart. Recording a time of 16:18, which was his fastest of the three races, Tag had won the series, in emphatic style.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Boscombe Winter Series had been watching the youngsters flourish. Seeing Hugo performing so well and Oscar as well was fantastic. However, one young man had stood out perhaps even more and that was Sean Harnett of New Forest Runners.
He outkicked Rich Brawn at the end of the first race after bearing the brunt of the headwind all the way back to Boscombe Pier. Then he upped the anti in the second race, recording a superfast time of 17:04. It was to be race three where he really came into his own though, registering a terrific of 16:29 which put him in 2nd place.
Oscar Newbery was 3rd in 16:34, putting his average pace for the run at 5:19 minutes per mile. Littledown Harriers man Matt Brown had also been improving as the series had gone on, finishing a couple of seconds behind Rich in the last race. He cranked the pace up a notch further in the third race, clocking a time of 16:45.
Will Newbery of New Forest Runners took 5th place in 17:01 strengthening his position in the 40-44 category. Haydan Clarke appeared for the first time in the series, taking 6th place in 17:05.
With one eye on the National Cross Country Championships that the weekend, Hugo Richardson got round in 17:08 which put him in 7th place. Leo Rigg of Poole AC clocked in with a time of 17:27 which put him in 8th place.
Joe Godden of Poole Runners got round in a time of 17:43 and Pete Doughty strengthened his bid for the Male 45-49 category win, putting in an excellent time of 17:44. Iain Ferguson of Poole Runners took 11th place in 17:46 with Barry Miller of Poole AC clocking his fastest time of the series so far in 17:58.
Patrick Kingston had a good run, getting round in 18:47 which put him in 17th place. That was enough to seal the male team win for Bournemouth AC for both the race and the series, since they had topped the standings in all three fixtures.
For the women, Lauren Baker-Little of Poole Runners had emulated what Tag had done and won all three races. She came in in 20th place overall in race three to seal the series win in a time of 18:55. That was the quickest she’d run yet as well so an excellent way to complete her hat-trick of wins.
Joanna Westhead confirmed her category win in the Female 50-54 range by finishing 2nd lady and 42nd overall in a time of 20:48. She topped her category in all three races, as did Bournemouth AC’s very own Emily Coltman who finished as 3rd female. Her time for race three was 20:59 and that sealed the series win for her in the 15-19 category, with two 1sts and a 2nd place.
In the overall leader-board for the women, Emily is in 2nd place with three 3rd places. Joanna Westhead is currently in 3rd.
Registering a time of 20:47, Neil Smith finished in 43rd place and that was his quickest run in the series so far. Joe Price arrived shortly after posting a time of 21:05 which put him in 47th place. It was also his fastest time of the series so far.
Coming in as 8th placed female and 53rd overall, Tamzin Petersen got to the line in 21:38, which was very close to a PB for her. She is currently 6th placed lady in the series standings so far.
Getting round in 23:40, Simon Hunt was 4th fastest in the Male 65-69 category in race three and finished 71st overall. That was 35 seconds quicker than he ran in race two and put him 3rd in his category for the series so far.
Bagging a decent sub 25 minute effort, Nikki Whittaker finished 23rd female and 87th overall in race three with her time of 24:57. That put her in 14th place on the women’s leader-board for the series so far and 6th in the 20-39 category.
Poole Runners have taken the women’s team prize, winning all three fixtures so far, like Bournemouth AC did in the men’s. The Bournemouth AC women are currently 2nd with two 2nd places and one 3rd place. Bournemouth Joggers are close behind though so that one will be decided in the final race.
Although the overall men’s and women’s individual and team winners have been confirmed, there are still age category prizes to go for and with two prizes in each sector, it is still all to play for. That should make for an enthralling end to the series.