‘Summer’ weather does no favours for Hayling Billy runners

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Runners battled the awful weather to post some pretty good times in the 16th Hayling Billy five-mile race.

Heavy rain and strong winds made for the worst conditions in the history of the Victory AC-hosted event and entries were down, as a result.

It did not stop some fantastic junior races, though, as they kicked off the action on Wednesday evening.

The main race followed but times were hit by a strong head wind in the second half of the flat, five-mile, out-and-back course along the old Hayling Billy railway line nature trail.

Joe Corbett, of Newham & Essex Beagles, won the men’s race in 26min 50sec.

Stubbington Green’s Lewis Chalk (26.54) was second and Denmead Striders’ Julian Manning (27.34) finished third.

Corbett’s time was more than a minute slower than the 2012 winning time of 25.41, recorded by James Baker, who did not compete following his D-Day 10k win over Corbett on Sunday.

Gemma Corbett was the first senior woman in a time of 33.48, ahead of Stubbington’s Jen Elkins (34.06).

Organiser John Gallagher felt the race was well received despite the miserable weather.

He said: ‘It was the worst conditions we have had in the history of the race.

‘The second half of the senior race was into the teeth of the wind. You can’t help the weather, though.

‘Everybody I have spoken to really enjoyed it, even though they were up to their eyeballs in mud.’

Harrison Notter stormed to victory in the male 15-17-year five-mile race, with a time of 33.45.

Oli May came second in 36.13 and Jacob Lynch was third in 36.18.

Victory AC athlete Alabama Pirie recorded a home victory in the female 15-17-year category with a time of 39.16.

In the boys’ 12-and-under two-mile race, Ted Yeates finished in 11.33, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival, while Gabriella Mula (18.37) won the girls’ event.

Harry Lyne was first in the boys’ 14-and-under two-mile race, with an impressive winning time of 11.16.

Speedy City of Portsmouth athlete Elizabeth Hedley won the girls’ 14-and-under race in 12.13.

The 10-and-under age group ran one-mile races. Robbie Blake (6min 18sec) and Lucy Eglin (8.21) were the winners.

Victory AC members turned out in force to marshal the course and Hampshire Countryside did a superb job getting the course ready.

The total raised for charity in the history of the race will now be pushing close to the £20,000 mark.

This year the race supported Guide Dogs for the Blind and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.