Zablocki steps up pace to secure Gosport Golden crown
CHRIS ZABLOCKI switched on the afterburners to win the Gosport Golden Mile.
The American, who runs for Chichester Runners, powered to victory with a time of 4min 25sec on Sunday.
He was 23 seconds clear of second-placed Scott Pulley, of Lordshill (4.48).
First lady Kelly Fielding also won the Gosport Golden 5k as she enjoyed a double success.
Her time for the mile was 5.56 and she then won the 5k with a time of 21.39.
Organiser Nick Carter, of Absolute Running, in Gosport, was impressed with the way Zablocki performed – even though Tom Payn’s course record of 4.17 remains intact for another year.
It was also a double celebration for Chichester with Zablocki’s training partner James Baker winning the 5k in a time of 16.35.
Carter said: ‘Chris was hoping to have a go at the course record but he had nobody breathing down his neck.
‘It’s a very good time, though. To get 4.25 is impressive.
‘He’s a good quality athlete – he took Michael East’s record at the Chichester Corporate Challenge this year so that shows his pedigree.
‘James Baker won the 5k and it was nice to have him in Gosport – he is a local running legend.’
With the community coming together, including lots of local business representation and Gosport Borough Council, it made for another great occasion.
More than 700 entrants were booked in for the events, including the junior mile and the first Gosport wheelchair race won by City of Portsmouth’s Craig Boardman.
Carter added: ‘It was our most successful year yet.
‘The mile is a bit different to the other events around.
‘It’s a nice friendly race and we had good weather.
‘To see the promenade full is great and it was father’s day as well so that was a nice backdrop to it.
‘I must thank Gosport Borough Council.
‘The storm damage to the promenade meant we had to make a minor diversion to the course with their help.
‘They have been very, very good to us.’
‘Deputy Gosport mayor Linda Batty was very encouraging to everyone and we had lots of fantastic marshals from Gosport Road Runners and representation from the other clubs.
‘Bayside Cabin Cafe and Anytime Fitness were among the businesses to provide great support and we couldn’t do it without them.’
Unfortunately, due to a registration issue with the junior and senior golden mile events City of Portsmouth duo Lachlan Wellington and Steven Cross did not feature in the results but Carter hopes to put that right.
He added: ‘It was no fault of their own. They ran in the senior mile but had been entered into the junior mile by their school so it caused some confusion with the timing system.’
‘We will look to put that right.’
Don’t miss the Sports Mail on Saturday for a picture special from the Gosport Golden Mile events.