Double delight for in-form Baker

James Baker,  far left, in action during the Midsummer 5
James Baker, far left, in action during the Midsummer 5
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There’s no stopping James Baker at the moment.

The Chichester runner continued his extraordinary run of first-place finishes by winning race three of the Lakeside 5k series on Wednesday.

That followed his success the previous week when he took the honours at the Midsummer 5, held in Goodwood.

Always a top contender at local running events, Baker made it a hat-trick of victories at this year’s Lakeside 5k when he crossed the line in emphatic style with a time of 15min 45sec.

The defending champion will now be hoping to emulate his unbeaten streak of last year that earned him an overall series win.

Provided he finishes the remaining two races, he’ll be a certainty for the series crown again.

Havant’s Matt Gordon finished Wednesday’s race in second place, 28 seconds behind Baker in 16.13.

The 19-year-old took the honour of being the first runner under-20 to cross the finish line.

Meanwhile, Rosie Hiles, from Guildford & Godalming, claimed victory in the female race with a time of 18.02sec.

She was closely followed by City of Portsmouth’s Emma Montiel, who trailed her race rival by nine seconds.

Ted Yeates gave City’s inter-club challenge hopes a boost after coming first in the under-15 race, the youngster completing the course in 17.51.

New to this year’s event, the inter-club challenge has a prize value of £1,300 for the top six teams based on points accumulated in the series and currently sees City of Portsmouth leading the way.

Portsmouth Joggers’ Ronnie Adams came in fourth overall in a time of 16.27, and was the first veteran male over 50 to finish. And Chichester’s Jane Harrop was the first veteran female, clocking 19.32.

The fourth race of the competition will be at 1000 Lakeside on Wednesday, July 24 at 7.15pm.

Many of the same athletes also caught the eye at the Midsummer 5.

Baker took top spot in 25.49, ahead of Stubbington Green Runners’ Lewis Chalk (26.41) and Denmead Strider Julian Manning (26.59).

Adams was sixth in 27.25 – as he also took the vets’ over-50 title.

City of Portsmouth’s Robert Fryer came home in ninth place (28.17), with Victory AC’s Daniel Bailey completing the top 10 (28.38).

Harrop took a decisive triumph in the women’s race, despite being in the veteran over-50 category.

She was a winner in a time of 32.23 in front of her club-mate Fay Cripps who finished in 32.59.

Cripps narrowly edged out Portsmouth-based Gemma Corbett, as she came home third in 33.05.

Chichester Runners’ dominance continued in the team events, winning both the men’s and women’s titles. Portsmouth Joggers came home third in the men’s three-to-score competition.