EILIDH BELL produced a superb performance to win an excellent Purbrook Ladies 5 race on Sunday.
The Chippenham Harriers athlete recorded a time of 32min 16sec for the tough five-mile course.
She won by nearly two minutes with Katharine Jones crossing the line second in 34.12 in the popular event hosted by Portsmouth Joggers.
It was a very close race for the final position on the podium.
Naouele McHugh managed to win that battle as she crossed the line in a time of 34.28.
It was a strong performance from the runner who represents Portsmouth Joggers and finished fourth in the race in 2015.
Stubbington’s Nikki Roebuck was edged into fourth place with her time of 34.31.
Rachel Thomas completed the top five as she finished in 35.28 and really enjoyed the race.
Places for the event were snapped up quickly again this year as it continues to hold a very important place in the running calendar.
The course is certainly testing which helps to add to the sense of achievement for the runners and also makes it a challenge to set personal best times.
Along with such a good turnout for the race it was also great for the organisers to have so many people supporting and helping out in various different roles.
The popularity of the event also ensures money raised provides a significant contribution to charity.
Race director Claire Fleming was very happy with another successful edition.
She said: ‘We had a strong field again this year with a great mix of club and unattached runners.
‘Eilidh, from Bath, had an impressive lead of nearly two minutes as she won the race.
‘I have to thank all the helpers who made the race possible.
‘We had helpers from many different clubs, including Portsmouth Joggers, Gosport Road Runners, Hatch Warren, Victory and Portsmouth Triathletes as well as friends and family members of the runners.
‘It proves that running really is a great community.
‘We had more than £300 raised from cake sales for the Rowans Hospice, with further donations expected for other charities from race profit.
‘This event sold out in just 75 days so runners must get in early when it goes live for next year.’
Two Victory club runners, Hannah Lowry and Jo Gilholm, made the top 10, finishing sixth in 35.38 and eighth in 36.46 respectively.
Sharon McNally, who runs for Isle of Wight Road Runners, crossed the line in seventh place with a time of 36.27.
Jane Carr, of Portsmouth Joggers, was ninth with a personal best time of 36.57 and Gillian Dowling, of Gosport Road Runners finished 10th in 37.10.
Fareham Crusaders and Stubbington Green Runners, who had six runners in the top 20, were well represented as always at the race and there was also a great turnout from Baffins Fitclub.