A YEAR of rapid progress was crowned in style as Jhon Cosgrove won the Festive Half Marathon on Sunday.
His time for the tricky trail course was 1hr 23min 31sec.
City of Portsmouth’s Matt Smith took second place in 1.24.36 with Pete Doughty third (1.25.59).
The first lady was Ami Yetton in 1.36.43 and the other podium spots were taken by Portsmouth Joggers duo Rachel Thomas and Naouele McHugh running together to finish in 1.37.23.
It was an excellent race and part of the trilogy of hugely popular festive events hosted by Rob Piggott and his team on Sunday in Portsmouth.
They also had the marathon and the 50k challenge ultra race.
Cosgrove, who lives in Petersfield and represents Vegan Runners, was thrilled to win the half marathon.
He said: ‘It was perfect conditions for running.
‘Until this I don’t think I had ever run down near Portsmouth without their being at least a hurricane in one direction.
‘During the race I had a nice chat with Matt Smith, who finished second, and when I got into the lead with about three miles to go I had a nice chat with the guy on the lead bike.
‘In February I did my first half marathon in Portsmouth and ran it in about 1.36.
‘Then I’ve just kept going with parkruns and 10k races and lots of training.
‘It’s good to be part of Vegan Runners. I love running for them. Veganism is something I believe in.
‘I also run for Liss Runners and train with them. They are super helpful.
‘It’s great to end my first proper year of running by winning a popular race like that. It’s totally nice.’
Tom Adams won the ultra 50k race in a superb time of 3.21.28 with Chris Mason second in 3.33.20.
Liz Steward, of Denmead Striders, finished first lady in 4.22.14 with Southend’s Lindsey Colman a close second (4.23.44).