At the front from the off, he battled for much of the distance with Matthew Bennett of the Southampton AC hosts, running strongly all the way round the urban circuit. But at the finish he had to accept a good second place – his third of the campaign – to stop the clock at 33min 9sec, just 22sec from a win.
Many runners struggled with the warm humidity, but Mike Brewster held on to his super-vet status by finishing second in his age group with a sterling 36.53, track specialist Andy Holme’s 38.02 and Mark Glanville at 39.26 completing the club A team.
Quality run of the day came from Ruth Thom who shattered her previous best at the distance with a first-class 40.47, placing her second in her age group and giving the Salisbury club a flying start in the ladies’ team standings.
The versatile Emma Clarke clocked 43.37 and Sarah Brewster made up the scoring trio with 45.26.
The men’s B team comprised Angus Paton in 42.01, Reece Ingram 42.07, Ian Lawrence 42.17 and Peter Manning 43.02.
Mike White and Phil Smith both made swift returns from injury with 43.04 and 43.07 respectively, and they were followed by Andy Budgell in 44.20, Joanne Bailey 44.32, Jon Kershaw 45.22, Steve Mitchell 45.57, Phil Perry 46.17, Charlotte Ingram 46.49, Richard Larcombe 46.57, Tim Phillips 47.42, Catherine Marsden 48.05, Nick Willetts 48.21, Jane Whiteley 54.01, Norbert Weber 55.05, Lisa Milner 55.57, Paul Bellamy 58.59, Colin Martin 63.53, Mel Holloway 65.52 and Marie Manning 76.54.
Winners of the club’s 10k championships were Stuart Holloway and Ruth Thom, pictured at the finish.