Impressive La Cock wins Coastal Half Marathon

Coastal Half Marathon winner Richard La Cock. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150324-11)
Coastal Half Marathon winner Richard La Cock. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150324-11)
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Richard La Cock was the dominant winner of the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon on Sunday.

The Wiggle runner stormed to victory in a time of 1hr 17mins 08sec – slightly faster than last year’s winning time of 1.18.34.

He was more than five seconds ahead of Clapham Chasers’ Matthew Parry (1.22.37) and Kristian Lynam (1.22.44).

Victory athlete Jackie Lloyd was the first woman across the line in 1.32.22 and again, she finished well clear of her rivals.

Gemma Farrell, of One Tri RDS, came second (1.37.06) followed closely by Stubbington Green’s Melissa Hutton-Dunton (1.37.09).

Organiser Rob Piggott was pleased with how the event turned out, with more than 800 runners crossing the line from the 923 entries.

There were athletes representing Victory Athletics Club, Gosport Road Runners, Stubbington Green Runners, Fareham Crusaders, Pompey Joggers, Portsmouth Triathletes and Bayside Tri.

Finishing just outside the top 10 were Simon Johnson, of Portsmouth Tri (1.28.29) and Chris Buxton, of Gosport Road Runners (1.28.35).

Competitors had to negotiate some tricky terrain on the course, which began on Southsea promenade.

They tackled the mud along Eastney and then the boggy grass at Bransbury Park.

Piggott said: ‘It went really well. I couldn’t have asked for better.

‘The weather held off just enough for us to get the runners home safe and dry and there were lots of spectators.

‘There was a bit of wind, a bit of rain and the muddy beach claimed a few shoes, as it always does.

‘Bransbury Park was like a paddy field. To the unsuspecting, it looks like a green field but then you can sink down to your ankles.

‘There was a swirling wind in your face the whole time.’

Finnley Kenny, who was runner-up in The News Sports Award’s outstanding contribution to disabled sport, was the guest of honour.

‘We showed him round and introduced him to everyone,’ said Piggott.

‘He got a big round of applause for his achievement and he also made the announcement that it was his brother’s birthday so we had 900 people singing happy birthday on the seafront, which was nice.

‘He stayed inside during the race and then gave out the medals at the end.’

Piggott was keen to praise all the volunteers at the event for their help.

‘I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people that helped and all the marshalls,’ he said.

‘I managed to get a lot of good people this year. I’ve always struggled because there are so many twists and turns on this course.’