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ATHLETICS: Holly in a rush to open with a victory
9:00am Friday 11th October 2013 in Sport
IT was a good day for the Bradford on Avon-based Rush team at the opening race of the 2013/14 Gloucestershire Cross Country League campaign, writes Kevin Fahey.
First Great Britain international marathon runner Holly Rush took a welcome break from her ultra distance ambitions to win the senior women’s race at the Cotswold Farm Park course.
Then husband and coach Martin Rush watched with satisfaction as Mike Towler, who has only recently joined his training group, raced to fifth in the senior men’s race with what he believes is his best ever start to a cross country season.
For Holly Rush a rare outing on the country proved to be a welcome tonic as she beat a decent field in the senior women’s race.
“I was pleased with that run as it was my first cross country event since December last year and the first time I have put on my spikes for ages,” said Rush.
“I always knew when I started to train for ultras that I would lose a bit of speed but when I did the Windsor half marathon the other week I was shocked at how much I have lost!
“Still, I went back on the track last week for a session and I am looking to get some sharpness back in the coming months as well as getting in shape for a marathon.”
That’s a fine balancing act, especially when juggling the demands of full-time work and requires enormous dedication and organisation of time. Fortunately Rush has plenty of both as she has proved in the past.
“I’ll probably run the next Gloucestershire League race but in the meantime my next target is the Yorkshire marathon in York (October 20),” added Rush.
“Then next spring the big goal is the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56k) race in South Africa.”
Towler’s goals aren’t quite as ambitious but the 23-year-old from Trowbridge is looking forward to the winter after his fifth place in the senior men’s race.
“That was one of the best runs I have had all year,” said Towler, who is a member of Avon Valley Runners. “The first few guys were really good so I started off in the top ten and moved through as others got tired.”
It was Towler’s first time running the league and he now plans to tackle the rest of the league fixtures.
“Normally I cannot race on Saturday due to work commitments but I worked in the morning and then drove up to the race afterwards and really enjoyed it,” added Towler.
“It was my first proper race in a few months as I have been working on my speed with my new coach (Martin Rush) and it seems to be working well.”
In the under 15 boys’ race, 14-year-old Melksham Oak School student Will Stockley opened his winter campaign where he had left his summer with another fine performance to finish second. He also led the Team Bath squad of Themis Bower and Jonathan Wilson to the team prize.
John ‘O Gaunt student Caitlin Wosika, who is also coached by Rush and was representing Team Bath, was fifth in the under 15 girls’ race.
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