O’Hara shows his class with dominant display

Jacob O'Hara
Jacob O'Hara

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A FANTASTIC run from Jacob O’Hara saw him take the Portsmouth Joggers’ Summer XC title.

The City of Portsmouth athlete won with an excellent time of 29min 50sec in difficult conditions.

Rain in the build-up to the event left plenty of mud on the five-mile course with some tough climbs to negotiate as well at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Race director Kiernan Easton was pleased to see O’Hara, 15, take the victory and show the future is bright with a dominant run.

Victory’s Paul Mitchinson took second in 31.24.

Stubbington’s Joshua Crowther took third place (31.43) while Havant’s Joel Williams had a good run to finish 16th overall and second under-18 after O’Hara with a good time of 34.57.

Debbie Band, of Liss Runners, finished first lady and first VL35 with a time of 37.06 and was 26th overall.

Denmead’s Liz Steward finished second lady and second VL35 (37.56).

Julia Revill finished first lady super veteran.

Easton said: ‘We had two under-18s in the top 20.

‘Jacob just destroyed the field and kept going. He was brilliant.

‘And Joel is mixing it up with some really good runners now.

‘They are both up-and-coming runners and going to be serious competitors going forward in the local scene.

‘Whether it is at cross-country, on the track, or road running, they are great.

‘Chris Wingham was first male 40 and Tom Frost, from Liss, put in a great performance.

‘Joshua Crowther is another one who ran very well and David Eneas was first male super veteran.

‘You always expect Paul Mitchinson to be up there, Gary Armstrong put in another solid performance to finish seventh and Matt Cheyney, who is having an outstanding season as well, finished fourth.

‘We had 224 finishers in the main event and I think the weather did have a part to play.’

Cynthia Dee and Michael Dee, of Henfield Joggers, both enjoy the event and are regulars year in, year out.

Easton added: ‘Cynthia and Michael always come down from Henfield and they have done it for years.

‘It’s really great to see regular runners come back year after year.

‘They still loved it and that to me is really good to see.’

Easton had a great volunteer team and thanked everyone who helped.

He said: ‘The support I get in putting the event on is fantastic.

‘I had some parkrun volunteers, I had Gosport Road Runners who volunteered, some Victory volunteers, some Pompey Joggers obviously because it is a Pompey Joggers event, and some people from CaniX South East Hants.

‘It’s a community event and we have RKdia who do the catering for us.

‘We did a trial event for CaniX racing with dogs and it was great.’

Havant’s Amy Humphrey finished first female under-18 (48.27) and Harriet Herbert was first senior lady (40.08) with Rachael Fenwick second (43.11) and Fareham Crusaders runner Paula Williams third (43.39).