Cassie proves a class act

Cassie Thorp on her way to winning the Victory 5  Pic: Ian Burnett
Cassie Thorp on her way to winning the Victory 5 Pic: Ian Burnett
Ali Watson  and Katy Bradley scan finishing tokens for first time parkrunners Rebecca Howell and Jess Gwynn

Gallery: Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun 149

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Cassie Thorp’s rise continued at the Victory 5.

The City of Portsmouth star delivered a stunning success as her club hosted the landmark 65th anniversary of the popular race.

Thorp, left, left her rivals in her wake as she decimated her personal best with a win in 27min 48sec.

That hacked a huge 59 seconds off the 23-year-old’s previous mark for five miles and also announced her as a real national force.

Thorp’s time means she is now ranked as the top under-23 female nationally over the distance.

And the former Pompey Ladies footballer is also up to fifth in the senior rankings to underline her potential.

It was a fine day for City girls as Thorp’s team-mate Jess Chen came home third behind Bristol & West AC’s Jenny Jagger in 29.12.

That was enough to move to third in the under-20 rankings nationally as she also set a personal best.

In the men’s race, Ugandan Paskar Owor proved to be dominant as he led from the outset to record victory in 24.13.

Owor was 12 seconds clear of Winchester & District’s Chris Powner in the final reckoning, with Powner a single second off his best.

Phoenix’s Finn McNally recorded a PB to finish third in 24.56, with the likes of Thames Hare and Hound’s Andy Morgan-Lee and Chichester Runners’ James Baker also inside 26 minutes.

Organisers Peter Newton and Gerry North were pleased with the turn-out for the race, which proves so crucial in keeping City afloat.

Newton was impressed with what he saw from those who took part – especially Thorp.

He said: ‘It was a tremendous run from Cassie to take so much off her PB.

‘She said she felt good and feels there is more improvement to come.

‘She’s knocking so much off her time and now has the Great South Run to look forward to along with Jess Chen, who ran well.

‘We were lucky with the weather and had a lot of people turn up on the day.

‘There were queues near the start so we had to delay the race by 15 minutes.

‘We had a good number of finishers, though.

‘Now we’ll look to next year where there may be some changes to the race.’