SOUTHAMPTON AC’s Matthew Bennett won the Romsey 5 at the Broadlands Estate.

Last year’s runner-up led the 400-strong field from the start before finishing the picturesque five-mile course in 25 minutes, 49 seconds.

It began from just inside the main entrance gate and required three circuits to complete.

Team Bath runner Anupam Das (26mins 43secs) came in second behind Bennett, who is currently training for longer races including next month’s Bramley 20 Mile.

The next four places were closely contested as Andy Grigg (Lordshill Road Runners) just held off the first veteran 40 man, Mike Tanner (Southampton AC), for third place.

Southampton AC’s Tim Sherman finished fifth (27:55) to settle the men’s team honours with veteran Simon McMorran, who won the 50+ category (28:00).

Women’s race winner Ellie Monks (Southampton AC), pictured above, fought out the early places with the men, before finishing 15th in 29 mins, 19 secs.

Liz Hartley (Reading Road Runners) finished five seconds clear of local girl Amanda Hull (Romsey Road Runners) in 30:24.

Southampton AC’s Nicki Blandford was the second veteran lady in fourth, while 15-year-old Lauren McCarthy (City of Portsmouth) was fifth.

Sixth-placed Rachel Evans ensured Southampton AC completed the double, the men’s and women’s teams both winning the gold award.

The entry list might have been bolstered by the cancellation of the previous day’s South of England Cross Country Championships, now rescheduled for Saturday, February 16.

This Sunday, the Road Race League moves to the Isle of Wight for the Ryde 10.

Full results for the Romsey 5 in today's Southern Daily Echo