Wall wins as Gosport records tumble

Gosport Half Marathon winner Alex Wall-Clarke cross the line Picture: Sarah Standing
Gosport Half Marathon winner Alex Wall-Clarke cross the line Picture: Sarah Standing

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Alex Wall-Clarke delivered in style to claim victory at a record-breaking Gosport Half Marathon.

The Southampton AC man waited for his moment before turning on the power to romp to a clear win.

The Gosport Road Runners-organised race, sponsored by Absolute Running, attracted a new high when it came to finishers.

Over 1,500 people negotiated one of the most respected races on the calendar.

And there was plenty of quality at the front end, with Wall-Clarke crossing the line in 1hr 7min 20sec, in front of Bournemouth’s Ian Habgood (1.09.35).

The talent on show was underlined with Chichester’s James Baker, a regular race winner on the local circuit, finishing third (1.10.05).

Southampton’s Matthew Bennett was fourth (1.10.24), with Woodford Green’s Martyn Cryer fifth (1.10.26).

In the women’s race, it was Hart Road Runners’ Lesley Locks (1.17.57) who took the title in front of Farnham Runners’ Sarah Hill (1.19.23).

Race director Dave Little was delighted with the volume and quality of entries, as well as the response from runners to another smoothly-held race.

Little said: ‘It was really good and a cracking turnout, as we were hoping.

‘We had a full entry again and a record number of finishers.

‘It all went smoothly and the comments from runners has been favourable.

‘It was a competitive race, although Alex won by a distance.

‘He waited until a couple of miles out until he made his move.

‘James Baker was third which shows it was a quality field.

‘He was beaten on the day, and that was fair enough by him.

‘We get people from all over – and this year the largest club entry was Ealing Eagles.

‘They chose our event as their half-marathon championships and brought down two coach-loads of runners.

‘We always get good comments from people.

‘We are runners and we understand what runners want. That’s why the race works so well.

‘Everything we do is asked from the viewpoint of what would a runner expect?

‘That philosophy has worked well for us.’

Little is now looking for the half-marathon to cement its highly-regarded standard moving forward.

He said: ‘We’ll let the dust settle on this race and then kick on for plans for next year.

‘We’re thankful to all the various groups who will help us.

‘Also we have to say thank you to the members, friends and families of Gosport Road Runners.

‘We’re very pleased with the outcome are will be looking to put on as good an event next year.’