Bennett and Elkins step up pace in Stubbington 10k
MATTHEW BENNETT and Jen Elkins were on top form to record victories in the Stubbington 10k on Sunday.
The talented Southampton duo were dominant as they left the rest chasing.
Bennett won with a time of 31min 47sec, with his club-mate Richard Waldron second (32.20).
Elkins finished in 35.42, an impressive new personal best and nearly three minutes faster than her 2016 time for the popular race hosted by her former club Stubbington Green Runners.
She took the prize for first lady ahead of Winchester’s India Lee (36.19).
In total 1,646 people completed the 10k and although it was raining the conditions were good for running.
Race director Kevin Ashman was delighted with the success of the 32nd edition of the event.
He said: ‘It went really well, certainly the feedback I got was very positive.
‘The weather was unfortunate. It was a shame for the marshals, having to stand out in the rain for a couple of hours.
‘They defied the bad weather and gave great encouragement to all the runners.
‘We had lots of comments about how good the support was from the marshals around the course.
‘Matthew Bennett finished first and he had a good run, while Jen Elkins, who finished first lady, was very quick.
‘She was only about 40 or 50 seconds outside the course record.
‘Jen is running very well, she has been improving her times.’
It was the perfect way to start the year for Elkins who is clearly in excellent form.
She said: ‘My previous personal best for 10k was 36.22 at Eastleigh.
‘It’s nice to do it at Stubbington too because I used to be a Stubbie runner so lots of marshals knew my name.
‘The race was so good although the weather wasn’t great.
‘But once we were running it was absolutely fine.
‘We had fabulous marshals and support all the way around the course and at the finish.
‘I love this race anyway, so I was really pleased.’
Stubbington won the men’s team prize, while Fareham Crusaders, Gosport Road Runners, Portsmouth Joggers and Victory were among the clubs with fantastic turnouts.
Ashman added: ‘With this race we support local charities.
‘We will have raised money for the charity Canine Partners and Fit for Felix and we’re doing it with a volunteer work force.
‘This year we also had two new prizes.
‘One of our club’s founder members, Dennis Woodward, sadly died just before Christmas and his wife Pat donated two trophies to us for the first Stubbington vet female and first Stubbington vet male.
‘They were won by Andy Simpson and Susie MacGregor.’