Landmark race sees boost in numbers

James Baker, centre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133287-1167)
James Baker, centre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133287-1167)
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ORGANISERS have been swamped with entries for the 25th anniversary D-Day 10k.

Almost double the usual amount of runners are set to be on the start line for Sunday’s race.

Around 700 athletes have registered for the City of Portsmouth-organised event with it forming part of the Hampshire Road Race League.

And there is an extra poignancy to this year’s race with it being the first since the death of long-time race director Gerry North.

The race also takes place across a packed weekend commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

It is set to be a keenly-contested men’s field at the front end.

Chichester Runners’ James Baker will be involved and, as ever, he will be in the offing for honours as he bids to defend his title.

But Baker isn’t going to have it all his own way with former winner, Newham & Essex Beagle Joe Corbett, taking part.

Last year Baker came out on top but the roles were reversed in 2012 between the pair.

Winner of the first round of the Lakeside 5k, Joe Wade, also competes.

Another former winner in Bournemouth AC’s Mark Hargreaves will be a contender in the veterans’ category.

City’s Emma Montiel will be aiming to defend her title in the women’s race.

But she will face competition from Winchester & District’s Kath Bailey and Ropley 10k winner Fiona Lynskey.

Entries are now closed for the event and race director, Peter Newton, is looking forward to the action unfolding.

He explained runners will be taking on a new course.

Newton said: ‘We have two Hampshire road races through the year and didn’t want to make them common.

‘Latterly, with the numbers involved, we had to look for a new course.

‘There is definitely an 
extra impetus for this year’s race.

‘It’s going to be well contested – there are a few contenders.’

The D-Day 10k begins and ends at 1000 Lakeside in North Harbour from 11am on Sunday.