Baker rules in Denmead duel

James Baker
James Baker
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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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James Baker won his duel with Julian Manning at the Denmead 10K.

Baker lifted the title at the Portsmouth Joggers-organised race as he beat Denmead Strider Manning to the crown.

The Chichester Runners man marked his recovery from injury by crossing the line in a victorious 32min 17sec.

That was 36 seconds in front of Manning, with the pair well clear of the rest of the field.

City of Portsmouth’s Karrie Blake again showed her quality as she lifted the women’s title in 36.32 and finished seventh overall.

That was in front of Jane Harrop, who clocked a time of 39.44, with Helen Cartwright registering 42.51.

The event again proved to be successful, with numbers on a par with last year’s turn out.

Race director Alan Shons was pleased with how the occasion unfolded.

He said: ‘It was good race, with good runners and a good number of entries.

‘It’s a race that everyone who takes part seems to enjoy.

‘James Baker had a good battle with Julian Manning.

‘Julian has been winning everything in sight lately.

‘James is back after injury, though, and is back on form again.

‘They both seem to feed off each other and that made for a good race.

‘We’ve had a lot of praise and thanks and feel that shows how well it went.’

This year’s race saw money raised for the children of Portsmouth Joggers member Ian Morrison who died suddenly earlier this year.

Organisers are hopeful a four-figure sum will be placed in the trust fund of his two young children.

Shons explained: ‘Ian was a very active member of the club and the manner in which he died so suddenly was tragic.

‘So we decided proceeds from the race will go to his two children.

‘There was a lot of support and there was a lot of applause at the start of the race for him. It is an extremely worthy cause.’

The Denmead 10K will be looking to build on its solid standing on the local calendar for next year’s event.

Shons explained a possible route change could be on the cards to safeguard runners.

He said: ‘There is a very busy main road with fast-moving traffic.

‘We may use more of the country lanes in future. We want to keep the race growing.’