Victory 5 a possibility on Thorp’s road to recovery

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Tom Miller helped City of Portsmouth impress again. Picture: Paul Smith

City of Portsmouth performance fitting for big occasion

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Cassie Thorp is expected to feel her way back into competitive running on Sunday at the Victory 5.

The City of Portsmouth talent suffered a broken collar bone following a training run fall, which left her sidelined for several weeks.

Her coach, Gerry North, knows that her fitness has been affected.

But he believes it’s an opportunity to get herself back into the groove as she goes up against Kenyan Perendis Lekapana – winner or last year’s Blaydon Races and this year’s Poole Festival of Running.

North said: ‘Cassie is not as fit as she could be at the moment.

‘After her injury, she has not been able to get in the proper training for the past two or three months.

‘But I think she should race. She needs the races and it’s an opportunity for her to get back into it.’

While Thorp will make a late decision on whether she runs, City team-mate Emma Montiel has been performing well on both roads and track, and is expected to be in contention.

In the veteran categories, Kath Bailey of Winchester, Jane Harrop of Chichester and Farnham’s Jane Georghiou look to be the ones to beat in their respective categories.

In the men’s race, another Kenyan – Boniface Kiprop Kongin – heads the field and is fresh from a series of impressive displays in road races this year.

The five-mile race, which starts and finishes at the Mountbatten Centre, is the second of the Hampshire Road Race League, with the Overton five-mile taking place last weekend and providing a benchmark for many runners.

Four of the top 10 at Overton have already entered and City of Salisbury’s Stuart Holloway, Totton’s Nick Buis and Lordshill’s Andrew Griggs should again be fighting for top places in the senior race.

Robin Ward was the best placed City of Portsmouth runner at Overton and will be leading the club’s team on Sunday.

Winchester & District’s Alan Murchinson was the best performing veteran and will once again be the man to beat at Portsmouth.

A 10k ‘Run for Fun’ is also being staged, which shares the same route as the Victory 5 but with an additional loop at mid-distance.

The two races are expected to attract more than 700 entries.

Race director Peter Newton said: ‘It’s a pretty good field, although we could always do with a bit more domestic competition to challenge the Kenyans.

‘But we’re hoping it should be a competitive race and we’re looking forward to seeing some good performances.’