Kongin and Lekapana on Victory march

Boniface Kiprop Kongin heads for the finishing line of Victory 5 race Picture: Mick Young
Boniface Kiprop Kongin heads for the finishing line of Victory 5 race Picture: Mick Young
James Baker showed his class to win the Gosport Half Marathon. Picture: Neil Marshall

Baker ends his wait as he takes Gosport crown

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Kenyan Boniface Kiprop Kongin celebrated Victory 5 glory but admitted: I wanted the course record, too.

The Run-Fast athlete led from start to finish in the popular race and posted a winning time of 23mins 51secs to take the 2013 title.

He was joined at the top of the placings by fellow Kenyan and Run-fast stable-mate Perendis Lekapana (27.33), who claimed victory in the women’s event.

That made it a very productive outing for the duo, who have built up strong reputations on the British road-racing circuit.

But for Kongin, a revision of fellow countryman Peter Emase’s 2012 course record (22.57) would have made it the perfect race on his event debut.

The strong winds that impeded the entire field, however, made that extremely difficult to achieve.

‘I’m happy, I was feeling good,’ he said. ‘I felt very comfortable.

‘I needed to be in front and needed some space so went straight to the front.

‘I wanted the course record but it was windy.

‘This was my first time competing in this race. I am very happy, though.’

With Kongin winning in emphatic fashion, the main battle was for second place, with only 22 seconds separating the next five finishers.

Aldershot, Farnham & District’s Tom Wade (25.27) led the charge to claim the runners-up spot, while Bournemouth’s Ian Habgood took third in 25.44.

Those who missed out on a top-three finish included Stubbington Green’s Lewis Chalk (25.49), who finished sixth.

In the women’s race, the distance and time between winner and second place was equally emphatic.

Wincester & District’s Lucy Elliott finished over a minute behind Lekapana to claim second (28.58).

Meanwhile, City of Portsmouth’s Emma Montiel was the top local female home. She finished fourth with a new PB of 30.10.