An invasion of club runners from all over the south stole the show at City of Salisbury’s classic 10mile road race on Sunday, when a record field of 850 entrants converged on the highly-regarded Avon Valley course in early-Spring conditions initially too cool to put speed records under threat.
The opening pace rapidly thinned out numbers at the front as the pack wound its way northwards through the Woodford Valley and by the half way stage a leading trio dominated proceedings. At the finish on the running track at Five Rivers it was these same three who shared the spoils.
Matt Revier of Southampton AC crossed the line in first place with 53min 51sec and he was followed by Imperial AC’s Christopher Thomas in 54.12 and Julian Manning of Denmead with 54.20.
Kathy Bailey of Winchester AC was clear winner of the women’s race in 61.18, with Eastleigh RC’s Hannah Howard second in 62.28 and Erica Fogg of New Forest Runners third with 65.24.
Course record holder Toby Lambert of Winchester AC was present at the Salisbury Fire Station race HQ but opted not to start, as did Salisbury’s Stuart Holloway who this year put running shoes aside to make his debut as race director.
Fastest of the host club was the flying vet Mike Brewster despite feeling below par still broke the hour at 59.45. With Andrew Holme 62.18, William Watson 64.27 and Dave West 65.14 these comprised the A team but they were unable to challenge Imperial AC for supremacy.
The Salisbury men’s B team was made up by Ian Lawrence in 67.45, Rithy Hy 68.26, Darren Clissold 70.44 and Andy Budgell 72.12.
Ruth Thom led out the women’s team with 73.24, supported by Chrissie Gorham in 81.58 and Jane Whiteley 83.36.
Other Salisbury finishers were Phil Perry 76.16, Christopher Burton 79.19, Paul Woodhouse 80.59, John Chamberlain 81.37, Paul Slaughter 82.23, Jon Kershaw 85.46, Katie Clements 86.19, Ali Restall 89.00, Jay Friedlander 90.05 and Jackie Chlebowski 92.47. Phil Smith did duty as tail runner, gallantly crossing the line in 723rd and last place.
Salisbury Tri Club were also represented, finishers including Adam Herridge with 65.45, Michael Boardman 68.29 and Jane Knight 86.28.
Commenting on the huge volume of positive comment the race received in the hours following the event, race director Stuart Holloway paid homage to the input of the hundred volunteers on the day. He also stressed the large contribution made to the day’s success by Salisbury Fire Station, where firefighters and the Serve On special unit gave generously of their time and enabled the race to be headquartered there instead of Five Rivers leisure centre where ongoing construction work might have put the race in jeopardy.