JULIAN MANNING and Emma Jolley successfully defended their Chilly Hilly Cross Country crowns.
The second edition of the popular Portsmouth Joggers’ winter race at Queen Elizabeth Country Park was a huge success.
This year a bigger field of 260 runners completed the event which was 6.6 miles around the trails.
Race director Kiernan Easton had to make a late change to the course due to some work in the country park.
The route was a bit longer than in 2016 but lots of runners still set faster times for the challenging muddy, hilly event.
‘It’s a difficult course and it creates that camaraderie,’ said Easton.
‘There’s a good atmosphere, with the runners encouraging each other.
‘We had lots of volunteers and we saw some really outstanding times.
‘After the race we had a fantastic bowl of chili for all finishers, provided by RKdia catering.’
Manning won for the second year in a row with a time of 41min 50sec.
Jolley retained her crown, finishing in 48.05, 44 seconds faster than her winning time from 2016.
Easton added: ‘Julian is always strong and Emma has been running really well.
‘She did a quicker time this year and that shows how well she is running.
‘Matt Cheyney finished fourth this year and he was sixth last year, while Dwayne Bartram ran it in 57.29 in 2016 and did an excellent time of 54.49 this year.
‘Kirsty Shuker had a really good run to beat her 2016 time by a big margin and Andrea Maynard was the star improver.
‘Lawrence Craddock is doing really well, while we had lots of great performances throughout the field, including Karen Clark, Natasha Armstrong and Lisa Emson. They all did well.’
Simon Langley and Jonny Langley both ran the race after they had been out early to ensure the new course was ready, while people helped out from many of the local running clubs and parkrun events.
Great prizes were provided by race partners Perfect Pickles and eGlove.
Entries will soon by open for the Portsmouth Joggers’ Summer XC race on Wednesday, June 28.