Baker seals repeat win

James Baker. Picture: Sarah Standing
James Baker. Picture: Sarah Standing
Runners stream past HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard

Simplyhealth Great South Run

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James Baker led the charge as he retained his Selsey 10k title.

The Chichester athlete completed the race in a time of 33min 17sec to repeat his 2014 success.

He crossed the line almost two minutes clear of his club-mate Chris Bird, who was second in 35.13.

Richard Murphy, from Denmead Striders, took third place (35.41).

Baker has now held the title for 10 years after winning all the last three editions of the event, in 2005, 2014 and now 2015.

He said: ‘I was the last person to win it on the old course in 2005 so it’s nice to still hold the title 10 years later, having only won it three times.

‘It was a bit windy on Sunday and chilly. To get a quicker time I could have done with a bit more of a push.’

The total of 356 finishers on Sunday was up on last year for the Victory AC hosted event.

Kari Mack, from Bognor Regis Tone Zone Runners, won the ladies’ title.

She clocked 40.30 to win, ahead of Donna Read (43.03).

Third place went to Claire Waring (44.51).

Race director Dan Bailey changed the course this year to make it faster and plenty of runners clocked new personal best times – despite the windy conditions.

Bailey said: ‘James Baker retained his title – he knows what to do to win.

‘His time is about right given the conditions and he was happy with it.

‘He was around two minutes clear, so he didn’t have to push any faster.

‘Chris Bird ran a bit quicker than he was expecting to in second and Richard Murphy had a good run to finish third.

‘Everything went well and there was a nice balloon loop of about 1k, with the runners going back through the start.

‘That was good for the spectators and it meant the runners got lots of cheers – they appreciated that.

‘We had a very friendly atmosphere, with lots of people from the village coming out to support.’

Victory’s Zack Lahlal finished fifth overall and picked up the prize for first junior (37.54).

Bailey added : ‘Zack got the junior prize and we had good turnout on the day from the club, while the charity JDRF provided tea and coffee.’

– DAVID BRAWN