Chichester pair threaten the record books in long-distance races

While the Corporate Challenge races have been testing local athletes over a distance of less than 5k, many members of Chichester Runners have been lining up in a variety of longer events.

Angela Carpenter became one of the fastest women runners in the club’s history with a personal best of 1hr 26min 51sec in the Fleet half marathon and picked up the Masters prize in the process.

On the same weekend, eight Chichester members travelled to the New Forest for the popular Exbury 10k, with Terry Healy leading the club home in 40th place in 40.44 followed by John Betts (64th in 46.52), Hugh Davies (138th, 51.59), Peter Shaw (151st, 53.02), Roger Hobbs (154th, 53.11), Sarah Richardson (225th, 58.00), Ann Walford (246th, 59.17) and Francine Hedley-Goddard (366th, 78.35).

Farther afield, new members Christine Holyoake was just outside the two-hour barrier in her first-ever half marathon at Hastings while Eva Mikushka was 147th in the Cranleigh 15 in just over 2hr 30min.

The best run of the past couple of weeks was undoubtedly Jo Corbett’s fine second place in the Worthing 20-miler last Sunday in a club record time of 1hr 52min 20sec, less than a minute behind the winner. Having started his athletics career as a schoolboy sprinter with Chichester, Corbett ranks in the top five all-time in the club’s rankings over 200, 400, 800 and 1,500m.

Recently he has turned his attention to the longer distances with dramatic effect and looks set to become a real force in endurance running.

Two other club members were also in action with Peter Collins having his first run for the club in 52nd in 2.23.36 followed by Colin Harley, 106th out of 447 finishers in 2.36.01.

A record field of 1,780 runners turned out for the Eastleigh 10k, which has established itself as one of the fastest 10k road races in the south.

Cross-country international John Beattie led the field home with a 29.36 clocking with James Baker the dfirst Chichester member home, just outside the top ten in 12th with a time of 32.36, followed by Chris Jack 88th in 36.00.

Next in was Jane Harrop, who claimed the second over-50 prize in 220th overall in a time of 39.41, and completing the club quintet were John Betts (509th in 45.27) and Sue Baker (922nd, 50.55).

PHIL BAKER