JO CORBETT stormed to Gosport Half Marathon victory in tough conditions.
The athlete, who competes for Chichester Runners and works at the University of Portsmouth, went with the lead group early on as competitors were battered by strong winds.
He stepped on the gas at the turn point for the second lap and opened up a comfortable lead to take the victory in a time of 1hr 11min 09sec.
Second place went to Kent athlete James Connor who finished with a time of 1.11.45.
Southampton’s Richard Waldron completed the podium as he crossed the line in 1.12.01.
Farnham Runners were one of the many clubs who arrived with a strong team for the 30th edition of the popular south coast race.
They provided the ladies’ champion with Sarah Hill running very well to finish first in 1.20.27.
Sarah Kingston, of Worthing & District Harriers, was second lady with a time of 1.22.31.
Third prize went to Jessica Bennett, of Lordshill, who finished in 1.25.00.
It was challenging weather for those on the course, but also for organisers Gosport Road Runners.
However, everyone who helped out ensured it was a great way to the mark the 30th year of the event.
Race director Dave Little praised winning duo Corbett and Hill.
He said: ‘Everything went really well, considering the windy conditions.
‘The front runners were predicting the wind would add about three minutes to their times.
‘We usually have a winning time of around one hour and seven, or eight, minutes.
‘So we weren’t surprised it was one hour 11 minutes.
‘Jo is a new winner on our list and he clearly had a decent lead when he came into the finish.
‘Sarah Hill ran really, really strongly to finish first lady.
‘She was happy with the course and her performance.
‘Sarah is in the 40-44 age category as well, the same as our second lady Sarah Kingston.
‘I think the experience helps runners understand what a half marathon is about and they know how to put in the performances they need.’
Gosport Road Runners have received lots of positive feedback about the race.
Little added: ‘The comments have been great.
‘Members of the club dug in deep. They weren’t going to let the wind get the better of them.
‘We have to say a big thanks to everyone – including the club members, the Scouts, Guides and Loud & Proud, a volunteer group, who came along to do a drinks station.’
A total of 1, 575 runners completed the race.
The junior races were also a success on a great day for everyone involved.