Landmark race for Victory is a big success

John Gallagher, left, and Pete Harding organised the Hayling Billy 5 with the Victory club team. Picture: David Brawn
John Gallagher, left, and Pete Harding organised the Hayling Billy 5 with the Victory club team. Picture: David Brawn
Jacob O'Hara moves clear from Julian Manning early in the race. Picture: David Brawn

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IT WAS a glorious evening as the Victory club hosted another superb edition of the Hayling Billy 5 race.

The five-mile event sold out well in advance with the nice, flat, trail course always popular.

It was a warm evening making it tough for personal bests but lots of quick times were still recorded.

John Gallagher celebrated his 20th year of the hosting the event on Hayling Island along with his Victory club team.

He said: ‘We had a good race, it’s been very successful.

‘The weather was absolutely great. You couldn’t want for better.

‘It was quite a breeze actually at the top of the course but no, it was a good race.

‘We were full three or four weeks before the race started.

‘People want to come and run it and I’m glad they do because the money all goes to charity.

‘This year the charity is Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation.

‘They are actually on Hayling Island and this money will go to them.’

‘This is the 20th year I have put this on.

‘We started it back in 1998 and we have raised £26,250 plus for different charities, as well as what we raise from this year.

‘It is putting something back to the community which is important.’

Lucy Mapp, of Lordshill, finished first lady just ahead of Karen Andrews after a close battle.

Jacob O’Hara finished first overall but had to be content with the prize for first junior, with second-placed runner Julian Manning getting the adult first position.

Gallagher added: ‘I feel sorry for Jacob that he doesn’t get first place but our rules are the rules.

‘He will win a lot of races in the future, there’s no question about that.

‘The first two ladies were within 10 seconds and that’s close for a five-mile race.’