Taxi for parkrun centurion James Sharman

James Sharman and friends at Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun on Saturday. Picture: David Brawn
James Sharman and friends at Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun on Saturday. Picture: David Brawn

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THE occasion almost fell flat for James Sharman but after a last-minute call to a taxi he managed to hit top gear and mark his 100th parkrun in style.

It certainly wasn’t the ideal build-up ahead of Saturday’s 9am start for the Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun.

The runner who is a member of Portsmouth Joggers had just moved into his new house.

Unfortunately when he woke on Saturday ready for his big morning his car had been blocked in by a welcoming neighbour.

It meant his vehicle was stuck in his garage, threatening to slam the brakes on his big day of celebration.

Fortunately he was rescued by an efficient taxi service and made it to the start on time.

Clearly the mad panic must have worked in his favour as he then set about dismantling his 5k personal best.

His time of 23.23 was his fastest ever time for the distance and also 39 seconds quicker than he’d ever run before at Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun in 19 previous attempts.

Sharman’s parkrun ton includes 66 runs at Southsea where he has a best of 23.35.

Adam Barlow, of Portsmouth Joggers, produced an amazing effort to take first place, while pushing a buggy with his son Rex enjoying a very fast start to his first birthday.

Barlow’s time of 17.50 was spectacular – he must have been urged on by Rex with presents and birthday cake in the offing.

Ben Stait, also of Portsmouth Joggers, finished second in 18.46.

Thom Dillon, who runs for Fareham Crusaders, set his course PB of 20.17 as he finished eighth and Gareth Fiford also beat his previous Lakeside best with a time of 20.22.

Liz Steward, who runs for Denmead Striders, finished first lady with a time of 20.34.

Second lady was Emma Brewin, of Portsmouth Joggers, who set a new personal best of 21.58.

Brothers Simon Langley and Robert Langley also ran strongly to secure new Lakeside PBs of 22.47 and 23.14 respectively.

Emily Lambert recorded a personal best as she finished with a time of 28.45, running alongside her club-mate George Garratt.

Emily Cameron and Sophie Allen also got PBs of 29.01.

Lots of other runners achieved new best times for the course, including Leni Cole (City of Portsmouth), Karen Cole (Cake Club), Gary Seaman (Baffins Fitclub), Ginette Emmonds (Fareham Crusaders) and Lisa Neale (Portsmouth Joggers).

In total 125 runners completed the 5k course and it was the 33rd parkrun held at Lakeside North Harbour, PO6 3EN.

The course is flat with a mixture of tarmac and trail around the lake.

For more details see the website parkrun.org.uk/portsmouthlakeside/