Gosport Golden Mile report: Banner seals golden double

Lewis Banner wins the Golden Mile. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (150854-14)
Lewis Banner wins the Golden Mile. Picture Ian Hargreaves (150854-14)
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A storming performance from Stubbington’s Lewis Banner saw him successfully defend his Gosport Golden Mile title.

Awful weather greeted the runners at Stokes Bay, with strong winds, rain and sea spray from the high tide making sure the exciting annual tear up was far from smooth sailing.

However, the races still produced plenty of excitement.

In the senior mile, Banner saw off a strong challenge from Team Runfast’s Sammy Dismas Nyokaye.

The duo sprinted it out with last year’s title holder making it a golden double with his time of 4min 39sec.

Nyokaye finished second in 4.40, with Aldershot’s Tom Bowerman third in 4.49.

Local lad Lewis Banner beat an international field

Nick Carter

Race organiser Nick Carter, from Absolute Running in Gosport, said: ‘Local lad Lewis Banner beat an international field – he beat a good Kenyan athlete.

‘He’s retained his title with a thrilling finish. Good on him.

‘It’s good for the local athletes to see a local lad win it.

‘Hopefully more will be inspired and encouraged to have a go next year.’

Victory in the ladies’ race went to Team Runfast’s Rachael Chebet Zena (5.24).

RAF athlete Abigail Bagshaw finished second (5.31).

City of Portsmouth’s prodigious under-15 talent Josie Czura took third place (5.35) as she battled well into a gruelling headwind.

Her club-mate Lachlan Wellington, also an under-15, clocked a very impressive 5.10 as he joined Czura in stepping up to the senior mile race and finished a brilliant fifth overall.

Meanwhile, City’s Jacob O’Hara enjoyed a memorable win double. He lifted the senior 5k title in 17.27 after winning the junior mile race in 5.19.

Victory’s Zack Lahlal came second in the 5k (18.06). He also finished sixth in the senior mile race (5.10).

Bagshaw also doubled up as she followed up her ladies’ silver medal in the mile with first place and a new course record of 18.41 in the 5k.

Stubbington Green’s Nikkie Plomer was second (20.15) and Melissa Hutton-Dunton was third (21.16).

Crofton School’s Callum Crook finished second in the junior mile (5.55), with Benjamin Brown third (6.00).

In a City one, two, three, Anya Pigden was first junior girl with a time of 6.04, with Olivia Wiseman second in 6.07 and Saffron Moore third (6.19).

Meanwhile, Redlands County Primary, from Fareham, collected a special prize for best represented junior school with 46 runners taking part.

With the third edition of the race completed, Carter thanked all those who helped make it a success in such tough weather.

He said: ‘The weather was horrendous.

‘Having got down at 5.30am to find the race headquarters airborne and having had to cancel the wheelchair for health and safety reasons, we were a little bit concerned it may not run as smoothly as it eventually did.

‘It was a very close call with the high tide as to whether we had to cancel the golden mile but the runners seemed to enjoy being sprayed with sea water as they ran into the last 500m.

‘They are clearly a very hardy bunch and we are grateful they turned out to support the race.

‘Thank you to the marshals for helping us make it happen and to Hendy Ford for sponsoring the prizes.

‘This is a great community event and everyone seemed to finish with a smile on their faces.

‘They all enjoyed themselves and that is down to the volunteers who help make these things come together.’

Don’t miss The News tomorrow for a report of the Purbrook Ladies 5.