Ellis and McHugh achieve success in excellent Hayling Billy 5 race

James Ellis, Peter Concannon and James Baker. Picture: Mick Young (150647-07)
James Ellis, Peter Concannon and James Baker. Picture: Mick Young (150647-07)
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James Ellis and Naouele McHugh were crowned Hayling Billy 5 champions after an exciting race.

Chichester’s Ellis lined up for the first time as a strong field assembled for the Victory AC event.

Naouele McHugh. Picture: Mick Young

Naouele McHugh. Picture: Mick Young

He kicked clear of club-mate Peter Concannon in the final 200m to win with a time of 26min 05sec.

Concannon’s effort was 26.10, while it was a one, two, three for Chichester Runners, with defending champion James Baker third (26.27).

McHugh was first lady as she set an excellent new five-mile personal best of 33.40.

Sandra Monk, from Havant, finished second in 34.12, and Victory’s Michelle Cartwright finished third with a time of 34.24.

‘It’s lovely to win, it’s really good. I’m really happy with my time. It’s a personal best and it’s nice to get a trophy.

Naouele McHugh

McHugh, who finished third in the Purbrook Ladies 5 last month, was delighted to produce another good performance on Hayling Island.

She said: ‘It was a really good race. A nice, flat, out-and-back course.

‘I had done the Purbrook Ladies 5 a couple of weeks ago so I was looking to improve on that time. I took one minute and 23 seconds off, so I was pleased with that.

‘It’s lovely to win, it’s really good. I’m really happy with my time. It’s a personal best and it’s nice to get a trophy.

James Ellis on the way to victory. Picture: Mick Young (150647-08)

James Ellis on the way to victory. Picture: Mick Young (150647-08)

‘There were a few faces I recognise from Victory – they have got some good lady runners.

‘A man from Stubbington paced me the whole way – he did really well, so he finished just ahead of me.’

McHugh also thanked Portsmouth Joggers club for helping her make progress after returning to running.

She said: ‘I’ve been back to Joggers for about a year and half after having my kids and the training has really helped.

‘Usually I go training with the club on Tuesday nights at Lakeside, then do my own training on Thursdays and at the weekends as well.

‘I did the Paris Marathon in April so I’ve been doing a few short races since then.

‘I’m loving it. Getting back into it after kids.’

Meanwhile, Ellis praised the quality of the runners attracted by the Victory race.

He had to call on his track speed to edge out rising-star Concannon and Baker, who both came into the race off the back of good performances in the D-Day 10k in Portsmouth on Sunday.

Baker won that one, with Concannon was second.

‘It was a really, really good event,’ said Ellis.

‘It’s nice to have so many local people very, very competitive. It was pretty tough.

‘The race was quite tactical. A group of five of us went off pretty hard.

‘At the turn point we were pretty much all together.

‘From about a mile-and-a-half out Peter made his move. I thought he had me but with a mile to go I started to feel a little bit better.

‘It was only in the last 200m that I was able to break away from him.

‘I was using my track speed and it was a close finish. People lining the side seemed to appreciate it.’

Havant club Victory put on a good show and organiser John Gallagher ensured everything went smoothly.

Close to 300 runners finished the event, which raised money for Portsmouth charity Cystic Fibrosis Kids.