Super Dan achieves Victory... Jolley’s half marathon joy

Dan Bailey speeds to Portsmouth half marathon success. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160135-1)
Dan Bailey speeds to Portsmouth half marathon success. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160135-1)
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Dan Bailey achieved his third Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon triumph on Sunday.

The Victory runner had spoken of his determination to get the win before the race and he did that in emphatic fashion.

Emma Jolley. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160135-10)

Emma Jolley. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160135-10)

He crossed the line in a time of 1hr 17min 18sec – more than six minutes ahead of his nearest rival Ashley Leigh, who finished second in 1.24.04, with Nathan Blunden third (1.24.21).

Bailey was joined on top of the podium by Emma Jolley, who is also the Believe and Achieve Portsmouth Duathlon Series champion.

She finished first lady in a time of 1.31.14. Donna Read, of Haslemere Border, was second in 1.35.30 and Candice Snelling, Itchen Spitfires, crossed the line third in 1.36.55.

Bailey was happy to win the half marathon for the third time after also finishing first in 2011 and 2013.

He said: ‘I knew what to expect on the muddy beach sections because I’d been down to have a look.

‘When I went through the first time it was untouched but when I came back and nearly a 1,000 people had been through there it was tougher.

‘Bransbury Park was a bit slippery, with the ground so saturated from all the rain we have had. I had to ease off a little bit through there.

‘My pace to start off was about 5.40 per mile and I was happy with that.

‘Through the beach and the paths it was just over six minutes and then I got it back to around 5.40 when I was back on the pavements.

‘I didn’t go in with a time in mind – the aim was to win and reclaim the title.

‘The course was tougher with the changes made due to the storm damage on the seafront.

‘It was more off road and I think it was worth a couple more minutes on previous years.’

Emma Jolley continued her top form after recently winning the Portsmouth Joggers’ Chilly Hilly race.

She enjoyed the course and was relieved to avoid losing her trainers in the sticky, muddy beach sections.

Jolley said: ‘I’m very shocked to have finished first lady.

‘I have never won a half marathon before.

‘It wasn’t a personal-best time but I didn’t expect it to be as it was a pretty tough course under foot, especially the muddy beach, where I did manage to keep my trainers on this time – just!

‘Apart from all the mud, I really loved the new course which differed a little from when I have done it a couple of years ago.

‘It’s a great mix of road and off-road trails, grass and mud.

‘As always, the volunteers and marshals are really great and very encouraging.

‘It is a great event and I would definitely recommend it for both novice and more serious runners.’

A total of 897 runners completed the race.