Another record turnout for city's annual event

The 23rd Annual Winchester 10k road race took place last Sunday, February 27th, with over 900 competitors, a record entry, entering this well established race.

Runners assembled in the High Street before being led to the start in Jewry Street and finishing at the Winchester City FC ground at Abbotts Barton.

Runners came from all over the South and as far away as Amsterdam for the annual 10km road race.

Traffic was literally stopped when the race was started by Councillor Cecily Sutton, the Right Worshipful Mayor of Winchester, at 10.30am.

The success of the event has means that it has outgrown its location, and organisers are looking to move the start closer to the finish at Winchester City Football Club in future.

The race winner was James Baker (Chichester Runners & AC), in 32mins 51secs, ahead of Mark Hargreaves, Bournemouth AC in 33mins. Third was local runner Matthew King (Winchester & Dist AC) who finished close behind in 33.06.

James employed the same tactics as for the Hampshire Chronicle Romsey 5-mile, which he won in January by powering away from the main field and opening up a gap - but Mark began to pull him back just after the 5km marker. James stepped up the pace, though, and stretched the distance between them again to finish alone.

Mark Hargreaves was second overall and First Male Vet (40yrs). The first team to finish (top three club members) was Winchester and District AC.

The Stefan Hudson Memorial Cup went to the first Wessex Road Runner, Rob Bentley, who was seventh overall and who also won in 2004.

The trophy was presented by the late runner's mother Mrs Pat Hudson.

The women's race was won by Erica Sheldon of Winchester in 36mins 58secs ahead of Georgia Benson, also of Winchester, in 37mins 50secs. Third was Christina Squire of Team Concept, in 38mins 50secs. Fourth woman was Debbie Shepherd of Andover, who was also first Female Vet in 40mins 05secs.

The first women's team to finish was again Winchester and District AC.

Thanks go to all the support groups, Hampshire Police, British Red Cross Society and to Winchester City FC for hosting the finish.

Next year's date for the Hampshire Chronicle Winchester 10k Road Race is Sunday, February 26th.

Full results round-up and pictures can be found on Page 24 in this week's edition of the Hampshire Chronicle