James Baker recorded his fifth D-Day 10k victory as he surged clear of his rivals at Lakeside yesterday.
For the second year in succession the runners were greeted by hot sunshine for the prestigious Portsmouth event.
Baker used his experience in the early stages, staying off the pace set by Southampton’s Richard Waldron.
He soon started picking off the runners ahead and got into a lead group of three, with his Chichester club-mate Peter Concannon and Denmead Striders athlete Julian Manning.
Concannon led the trio towards the finish of the first big lap before Baker hit the front and kicked clear at the seven-kilometre mark to open up a winning gap and cross the line with a time of 32min 43sec.
It was a fifth D-Day success since 2007 for Baker, who regained the title having finished third in 2014.
He said: ‘I was a bit quicker than last year. That is the fifth time I’ve won the D-Day 10k since I first won it in 2007.
‘It’s good to keep coming back, getting in the top three and winning it a few times.
‘I quite like the course at Lakeside. It is potentially quite a fast course but we’ve had hot weather the past two years so maybe that slows the runners down a bit. It was a bit too warm.
‘In the early stages of the race, I was back in about 10th. I went through one kilometre in 3.12, so that is bang on 16-minute pace (for 5k).
That is the fifth time I’ve won the D-Day 10k since I first won it in 2007James Baker
‘I went through halfway in 16.09, then I broke clear at about seven kilometres. I drifted into the lead, probably got about 50 metres maybe and then sort of held it to the end.’
Concannon has made great strides in a short space of time after returning to running two years ago.
He was delighted with second place and a huge new personal best 32.47 clocking.
The Chichester athlete said: ‘It went very well. I’ve not done too many 10ks.
‘I’ve been focusing on the shorter stuff, so with James’ mileage I knew it was going to be a bit tricky to catch him.
‘I left it a bit late but I am quite pleased with second place and a sub-33.
‘My running is going well at the moment. I broke my personal best by a good minute and 50 seconds so I’m pretty happy with that.’
Erica Fogg, from New Forest Runners, was first lady with a time of 37.39, while Stubbington Green’s Becky Lord was second lady and first junior female (39.53).
Eastleigh’s Sam Aplin was third lady (40.08).
Victory’s Jackie Lloyd was fourth lady and took the female 40 winning prize with a time of 40.41.
It was a good day for the Victory club runners with Dan Bailey leading their charge with a time of 33.49 for sixth place overall.
In the Hampshire Road Race League both men’s teams are set to go up next season, with the A team winning division two.
Meanwhile, Victory ladies’ A look to have sealed a top-three finish in division one.