WHEN it comes to handing out the plaudits and gongs for success during the summer track season, Swindon Harriers’ Simon Byrne will surely be in contention, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

The 31-year-old middle distance runner notched up an amazing series of personal bests from 400m to 5,000m and every distance in between as he enjoyed a terrific summer.

Byrne has carried that form into the autumn relays and is now planning to make his mark in the cross-country season with the resurgent Harriers senior men’s squad – including brother Luke – looking stronger than for many years.

He said: “I really enjoyed the track season this summer and managed to get quite a few personal bests.

“It was actually my first full track season having only started training with coach Neil England about a year ago, and I decided to give everything a go.”

That Byrne did with no little enthusiasm and considerable success as he notched ups PBs over 400m (53.06secs), 800m (1min 57.24secs), 1,500m (4:02.70), 3,000m (8:57.81) and 5,000m (15:57.7), a range that few others in the club can match.

“My best one was the 800m because my big target was to break two minutes and I did that pretty well,” added Byrne.

“I was also pleased to run under 16 minutes for 5,000m, and my goal for next summer will be to reach the milestone of running under four minutes for 1,500m.”

That goal will drive him on over the winter months when he will be turning out regularly for the Harriers men’s team, who made a creditable showing in the National Road Relay Championships in Birmingham on Sunday, just missing the top 50.

“There were some really strong teams there and it was great to be competing against them,” said Byrne.

“There is so much interest in the Harriers senior men’s team at the moment and we have people coming back to re-join the club as well as new runners.

“We will be doing the Oxford Cross Country League and also entering the Midland Counties Cross Country Relays as well, while I will also run the Tri Counties Championships.”

Sounds like Byrne is going to busier than ever before.