JEN ELKINS and Gareth Smith recorded wins in the final race of the Bayside 5k Series in Gosport on Tuesday.
It was a spectacular warm summer evening at Stokes Bay with hosts Absolute Running putting on a fantastic show once again.
Elkins relished the calm conditions as she took her fourth win from the five races with a time of 17min 55sec.
She has now recorded both of her quickest ever times for 5k during the series.
The fast, flat course is understandably popular with runners and Elkins is keen to return next year to defend her title.
She said: ‘The final race was really good because there was no wind.
‘I know it was warm but I don’t mind that.
‘It was muggy but I don’t really think about it when I’m running.
‘I did 17.53 in the series and 17.55 for the final race and they are my best two 5k times.
‘It was a perfect finish for me. It’s such a nice run and it is a quick course so I’m really pleased.
‘I love this series and I will try to come back and defend my title.’
Smith, from Plymouth, was pleased to get the win on his 5k race debut with a time of 16.48.
Second-placed Paul Mitchinson, who runs for Victory clocked 16.52.
And third-placed Rob Byrne, of Gosport Road Runners, finished in 16.56.
‘It was my first 5k and I really enjoyed it,’ said Smith.
‘Normally I do half marathon or marathon sort of distance.
‘Because it was 5k I set off a bit too quick and got overtaken by the second and third guys.
‘Then towards the end I managed to find a little bit extra and push for the win.
‘I’ve never done a race at Gosport and it was a really good turnout with some quick lads as well.
‘Apart from it being quite hot and muggy it was perfect.’
Smith has been training with Portsmouth Joggers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and his new club-mate Pete Collins won the male-40 category for the series as he finished in fourth place in the final race (17.18).
Smith added: ‘‘I only recently joined up with the Portsmouth Joggers because I’m here for work.
‘They are really friendly guys and it’s been especially great training with Pete. He’s definitely pushing me.’
Rising-star Joshua Mitchinson is following in his dad Paul’s footsteps.
He won the junior 1k race with a time of 3.16 and has been in great form all summer.
Ryan Simpson finished second (3.17) with James Gould third (3.29).
Emily Miles was the first female to finish the 1k as she stopped the clock at 4.12 with Ruby Wild next in 4.17.
It was a record turnout for both the junior and adult races.