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Lewis Chalk wins Solent Half Marathon
5:00am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
A LATE surge from Stubbington Green’s Lewis Chalk saw him take the honours at the Solent half marathon.
The race, which was first run 28 years ago, is the third leg of the Hampshire Road Race League series and the first of the campaign over the the half marathon distance.
The Solent race has been won by some great solo performances from front running specialists in the past, but this year saw a leading back of four battling for supremacy from the off.
Chalk, Stuart Holloway (Salisbury), Julain Manning (Denmead) and Nick Buis (Totton) all had their go at the front as the runners went across Bealieau Heath.
This continued on past Exbury Gardens and down along Lepe Foreshore, where Buis dropped off the leading group.
It was still too close to call going into the last three miles, but, at the 11-mile mark, Chalk made his break.
The Stubbington runner has been concentrating on marathon training over recent months and this extra stamina paid dividends as he recorded his first League victory in 73 minutes 15 seconds.
Holloway was a close second, just 16 seconds adrift, and Manning was 28 seconds back on them.
In the veteran age groups Stubbington’s Andy Simpson won the vet 40 group (77 mins 7 secs) and newly transferred club colleague Simon McMorran won the vet 50 group (80 mins 25 secs).
In the tightest of men’s team finishes ever seen Stubbington Green just squeezed out City of Salisbury, with Overton not far behind.
The women’s race was an equally hard-fought tussle.
Last year’s runner up Jessica Barling, from Lordshill, was always in the ascendency but first had Fiona Powell from Winchester for company then the experienced Erica Fogg from New Forest Runners laid down a challenge in the second half of the race.
Barling, pictured below, held them both off, however, and went through to win in 82 mins 53 secs – an improvement of over 2 minutes on her 2012 personal best time.
Fogg was a mere 17 seconds down for the silver position, while early pace setter Powell held firm for third place in 84 mins 24 secs.
Top veteran was Kath Bailey from Winchester (85 mins 22 secs) who finished in fourth place and helped her club to the team gold for round three of the league.
There are only three weeks before the fourth round of the road league takes place when Lordshill Road Runners stage their 10-mile event from Lorsdhill Outdoor Recreation centre, with the hub being the Oasis Academy. Entry for this November 3 race can be made up to October 30 either by paper or on line through www.lordshillroadrunners.org.uk This Sunday sees The Minstead Stinger, a 10-mile race across the trails of the New Forest, take place from Ocknell Camp at Stoney Cross.
Entries will be taken by the race organisers on the morning up to 10am.
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