SIMON Nott looks like he is heading for a highly successful 2019 on the basis of an outstanding run in the Reading half marathon.

Nott smashed his personal best on Sunday by over half a minute, with a sparkling time of 68mins 49secs.

That was good enough to lift him third in the 2019 South West rankings – and quickest man in Wiltshire – as he finished 23rd overall in a high quality field.

“I am really happy with that run,” said Nott.

“I have increased my miles this year and also been doing extra work on the bike plus strength and conditioning work. It was nice to get a reward in Sunday’s race.

“I was hoping to get under 69 minutes for the first time, even though I feel that the Reading course isn’t fast, plus it was still pretty windy.

“But I committed myself from the gun and felt strong all the way and it worked out well.”

Meanwhile in the Bath marathon, held on the same day, Marshfield student Themis Bower has been confirmed as a prize winner.

Racing the distance for only the second time, the 19-year-old finished runner-up in the U20 men’s junior category.

Bower smashed his PB by almost eight minutes as he finished 79th overall in a 76:25 – the third fastest time by a junior in the South West this year.

Unfortunately, Themis was edged out for top spot in his class in Bath by Leamington’s Gregory West.

Bower’s coach at Team Bath AC, Paul King, said: “It was a massive PB for Themis and I am really pleased for him as he has worked hard.”

Also in Bath, Devizes Running Club’s Simon Gilbert smashed his PB as he finished 40th overall in 73:51.

The 41-year-slashed almost three minutes off his previous best and makes him the quickest veteran O40 runner in the county this year.

Behind Gilbert, Box ultra distance international runner Damian Hall sliced 21 seconds off his PB with a 76:08 clocking.

In the women’s race, Chippenham’s Eilidh Bell clocked 79:50 for sixth place.

In the female O45 age category, Avon Valley Runners’ Jackie Rockliffe finished seventh in 83:41 and clubmate Fiona Price was fourth in the O50s in 87:56.

WILTSHIRE’S best young athletes were in action at the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships in Leeds on Saturday, but results were a mixed bag.

Top local hope had been Avon Valley Runners’ Max Davis in the senior boys’ race, but he withdrew prior to the event.

The Wright siblings, from Chippenham, had been due to appear for the final time together in the county schools’ team, but Megan was forced to withdraw from the inter girls’ squad, while Hardenhuish School student James could only finish 240th in the senior boys’ race.