Alex Teuten hopes his glorious Gosport Half Marathon debut performance will be the springboard to a run of success on the cross country circuit this winter.
The City of Portsmouth ace picked up a brilliant second-place finish on Sunday with a time of 1hr 08min 19sec.
Experienced Winchester & District athlete Toby Lambert took the victory, finishing 19 seconds ahead of the 22-year-old Portsmouth talent.
Serpentine’s Jonathan Poole came third in 1.08.27, with Andrew Greenleaf (also Serpentine), fourth in 1.09.43, and Chichester’s James Baker clocking 1.09.46 to take fifth.
Teuten’s excellent debut display came off the back of his first 10-mile race at Lordshill recently, when he ran 52.18 to finish third.
He improved on that in Gosport as he went through the 10-mile mark in 51.57.
Teuten is now going to return to the cross country circuit where he hopes to secure an England or Great Britain vest.
He said: ‘I’m pretty happy. The support was really good on the last three miles so I think I just about kept on a reasonable pace.
‘I was closing on the leader but I couldn’t get him.
‘These things aren’t my regular races. After this I will probably be stepping back down onto the cross country – that’s where I feel most at home really.
‘It’s good to do these events. It helps give you the fitness and the mileage in your legs, so you just need to drag the speed out after that.
‘I did the first two Hampshire League cross country races and there is Popham in a few weeks time. Hopefully, I will recover for that.
‘After January there is the big inter-counties, nationals, and the chance to get a GB vest and England vest.
‘If I’m in good form I will hopefully be pushing for those sort of things in the future.’
A total of 1,601 runners finished the race on Sunday and the new two-lap course proved popular.
The weather was also fairly kind, with both the wind and the rain not turning out to be as bad as feared.
Teuten added: ‘The weather conditions were pretty great for it and the support was fantastic.
‘There wasn’t much wind and it was a good day.
‘It’s great to have so many people coming down to race. It’s really good for Gosport.’
Race winner Lambert returned to take his second Gosport victory.
He was delighted to come out on top in such a strong event.
‘There’s not many races, apart from real big city half marathons, where you will get so many people under 70 minutes like that,’ said Lambert.
‘I’m happy to win but I’m always disappointed I didn’t run faster.
‘I last did this race five or six years ago and I won then as well. I will be back.’