Super sunshine as Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon is perfect 10 with Toye and Wiley taking the crowns

Ben Toye ran superbly to win the race. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-12)
Ben Toye ran superbly to win the race. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-12)
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The fantastic sunshine helped as runners shone bright with Ben Toye and Esther Wiley leading the charge for the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon.

Some great times were posted and although it was cold the sun made for spectacular views around the route.

Esther Wiley takes had an excellent run to take the ladies' title. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-15)

Esther Wiley takes had an excellent run to take the ladies' title. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-15)

It was the 10th anniversary of the event and it proved a great occasion.

Toye, who represents Gosport Road Runners, finished first with a great time of 1hr 14min 10sec.

He powered clearly on with a fast pace and kept going well opening up a near five-minute lead by the finish.

Victory’s Paul Mitchinson had a good strong run to take second position in 1.19.03.

The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon race medal for the 10th anniversary edition

The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon race medal for the 10th anniversary edition

He managed to keep clear of those in the chasing pack with the final podium position going to Nathan Blunden of Headington Road Runners in 1.20.58.

Totton’s Wiley had a brilliant run as she took the ladies’ title in 1.29.25. She was 26th overall and she was quickly into a fast pace from the start along the seafront.

Southend on Sea’s Annabel Matthews-Smith was the second lady as she finished in 1.35.31.

Kirsty Shannon completed the podium in 1.35.39 with Baffins Fit Club runner Louise Griffin close as well in 1.35.55.

With calm conditions it was a case of getting warmed up well and negotiating some of the icy sections, then digging in around the muddy beach and along the grass at Milton Common and Bransbury Park.

It’s a nice mix of terrain so it makes for a very enjoyable run.

It had sold out in advance and more than 700 people completed the race with everyone doing well. It is always a very popular event, organised by Rob Piggott and his Believe & Achieve team with lots of support from the running community around the course and a great atmosphere.

Lots of the local clubs were well represented, even with the Ryde 10 going on just over the Solent which was the latest Hampshire Road Race League event and another race that quickly sold out all the places.