Manning shines bright to win in the summer sun

The popular Summer XC race was a big success again. Picture: Alan Dunk
The popular Summer XC race was a big success again. Picture: Alan Dunk
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Julian Manning took the victory in glorious conditions as the Summer XC provided another great spectacle of running.

The popular race at Queen Elizabeth Country Park is one of the highlights of the calendar each year with a brilliant atmosphere.

Julian Manning. Picture: Alan Dunk

Julian Manning. Picture: Alan Dunk

Many of the local clubs were well represented and it’s a fun event for runners of all standards and experience levels.

Manning’s performance to break the 30-minute barrier was a strong show on the course of approximately five miles. The Denmead Striders runner finished in 29min 48sec.

Second was James Hughes in 30.12 and third was Peter Abrahams in 30.15. The Fareham Crusaders duo led an excellent showing from their club.

Emily Iredale finished first lady in 34.33 with Naouele McHugh second in 37.08 and Liz Steward third in 37.47.

Conditions were superb for the event hosted by Portsmouth Joggers. Race director Kiernan Easton was very pleased to see lots of smiles around the course and people enjoying their running with a great, supportive atmosphere.

He said: ‘This race is about celebrating the success of all runners. It is open to everybody and we sold out again.

‘It is a hilly course but you don’t have to be a club runner. It is for everyone and we had lots of non-club runners taking part.

‘We ensure it is inclusive to all and it is supported. Everyone gets cheered to the finish and we don’t do the presentations until after everyone has finished.

‘Julian Manning was really quick. He’s on really good form again. Denmead Striders use the event as a club social and they had nearly 50 runners. It’s a training night and club social so they always support it really, really well.

‘Emily Iredale has done parkrun at Queen Elizabeth and she got a very good time for the race. Naouele McHugh finished second and was the first Portsmouth Joggers female, picking up the RKdia Trophy. Pete Collins got it for the first Portsmouth Joggers male.

‘The second and third guys were both Fareham Crusaders and as a club they probably put on their strongest performance in the five years I’ve organised the race.

‘All the marshals and supporters were great. We can’t do it without them and this year the weather was perfect as well.

‘We had 131 ladies and 158 male finishers so it’s a really good balance. 

‘This race is inclusive and our results show age is no barrier on that course.’