Baker cooks up recipe for 600 wins

131233_ATHLETICS_6/5/13''Winner of the Saucony 10km race. ''Athletics action from the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131233-783)
131233_ATHLETICS_6/5/13''Winner of the Saucony 10km race. ''Athletics action from the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131233-783)
Fareham parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Winter Olympics gold medal winner at Fareham parkrun

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James Baker has targeted clocking up 600 race victories after lifting the Saucony Hampshire 10k Road Race title.

The Chichester Runners ace romped to the county crown in blazing conditions at the Mountbatten Centre.

Baker headed off former Great Britain junior international Phillip Berntsen to take the win with a dominant performance as Victory’s Dan Bailey finished third.

Berntsen stayed with Baker for the opening two kilometres, before the favourite turned up the heat on his rival.

He continued to extend his lead throughout, taking what proved to be a clear and comfortable success.

Baker has now won 10 races on the bounce as he continues a dominant period on the local circuit.

With 545 successes over a 19-year period, he has now set his sights on breaking the 600 barrier.

Baker said: ‘It’s the hottest conditions I’ve raced in for a long time.

‘I felt quite uncomfortable over the last couple of miles.

‘It had an effect. It was quite sapping going into a head wind, too.

‘I shared the lead with Phillip Berntsen for a kilometre and then pulled away. That was my tactics.

‘I wanted to get a lead and hold it. Phillip’s represented Great Britain at cross country as a junior. He’s a talent.

‘His form’s up and down but it’s still a scalp to beat someone like that, as well as Dan, who is a good standard triathlete.

‘I’m pretty confident at the moment. I’ve won 10 races in five weeks.

‘I’m just trying to rack up as many wins as possible now.

‘I want to get to 600. I train every day and work mornings in a factory making condiments.

‘They are really helpful and allow me to focus on my running.

‘So that’s the aim for me moving forward.’

Kath Bailey was a comfortable winner of the women’s race.

Bailey was well clear of the rest of the women’s field despite also competing the previous day.

The former Havant AC runner continues to be a feature at the front end of fields at the age of 45.

Bailey, who is now Hampshire cross country team manager, admits she is not training with quite the intensity she once did.

But she still has her passion for running firmly in place.

Bailey said: ‘I perhaps haven’t got the motivation to train like I used to but I still have the motivation to get out running.

‘If I don’t run I get agitated. I don’t do the serious training I used to but I’d be devastated if I couldn’t run.

‘I’ve had so many injuries over the last 10 years. So I’m not doing too bad, I guess, for someone of my age.

‘I may give the Great North Run a go and, of course, the Great South Run but in between it will just be 10ks.’