Siwa storms to Victory as Yator sets new course record

Ben Siwa finishes the Victory 5 race in first place. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142677-5)
Ben Siwa finishes the Victory 5 race in first place. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142677-5)
Ali Watson  and Katy Bradley scan finishing tokens for first time parkrunners Rebecca Howell and Jess Gwynn

Gallery: Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun 149

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Ben Siwa and Gladys Yator lived up to their tag of race favourites as they lit up the Victory 5.

Siwa, from Uganda, set the fastest five-mile time in Great Britain in 2014 so far, with a clocking of 23min 30sec.

It was his first competitive five-mile race but his recent times over 10,000m ensured he started as the hot favourite.

Aldershot’s Elliot Robinson finished second (24.59), with Stubbington Green Runners’ Daniel O’Boyle third (25.26) and Chichester’s James Baker fourth (25.38).

Yator, from Kenya, secured a new course record for the women’s race as she took the victory in 26.34.

Race director Peter Newton believes Siwa could have got an even quicker time.

He said: ‘It was a good race, but while the winning time of 23.30 set the best in Britain this year, it was a little down on expectation as Ben Siwa did not force the pace until the second half of the race.

‘The Kenyans and the Ethiopians are encouraged from a very young age but the Ugandans are now proving quite a force internationally.

‘Gladys set a new course record with a good performance but she was still shy of our outright record.

‘Daniel O’Boyle and James Baker resumed their battle from the Lakeside Series.

‘We’ve seen that Daniel is running very well and he got the better of James again, while Elliot, who finished second, is a very classy runner.’

Victory’s Zack Lahlal was third-placed junior male (27.31), while City of Portsmouth’s Matt Smith was the first home from the host club (27.57) and as a result took the Gerry North Memorial Cup in tribute to the athletics legend.

Next year the Victory 5 will be run in December.

Newton hopes it will retain its status as part of the Hampshire Road Race League.

He said: ‘Next year the race is moving to December.

‘It always was the first week in December for around 60 years.

‘The programme is a bit more congested in September.

‘Hopefully, we will be elected to the Hampshire Road Race League again next year.

‘We had the 10k as well and, overall, numbers were up on last year across the two races.’

Richard La Cock won the Victory 10k with a time of 34.25, with Jamie Hillsden, from Portsmouth Triathles, finishing second (38.55). Alice Batchelor was the first female (44.52).