After a few weeks’ break, Chichester’s West Sussex Fun Run League squad have resumed their programme and were rewarded with a fine turnout for the popular Lewes Downland 10k.
No fewer than 30 club members lined up in what is one of the biggest fields of the calendar with 535 athletes finishing the course.
Just two days after his two competitions on one day, James Baker was in no mood to rest on his laurels and added another win to his illustrious career.
He was chased all the way by Robbie James from the host club with the pair well clear of the rest as Baker crossed the line in 33min 46sec, a good run over the undulating terrain.
Five further Chichester athletes were inside the top 50 with Chris Jack leading the way in 13th place in 38.43 followed by Jon Leonard 25th in 40.26, Jon Healy 29th in 40.59, Ed Porter 40th in 41.43 and Fay Cripps 47th in 42.12.
This put Cripps third in the women’s race for maximum ten bonus points to go with the first three men, all inside the league top 20, a feat matched by Jenni Harley in sixth place and 73rd overall.
A points total of 84, just one short of the maximum, keeps Chichester well in line for another end-of-season high finish.
The rest of the squad were: Tom Blaylock 64th, Kevin Lockyear 100th, Terry Healey 124th, Jan Hill 137th, Dave Reading 147th, Mark Jennings 148th, Colin Harley 149th, Mark Hazlewood 214th, Jane Leonard 242nd, Tracy Jayant 258th, Roger Hobbs 269th, Darren Knight 278th, Eva Mikushka 286th, Peter Shaw 298th, Sue Barty 302nd, Nigel McNestrie 312th, Sue Baker 324th, Tony Cooley 340th, Jill Renson 413rd, Andrew Moore 426th, Sarah Richardson 450th, Sarah Fenmor-Collins 482nd and Lynn Harley 514th.
This weekend (May 7-8) Chichester’s main junior team will be in action at Winchester on Sunday in the first fixture in the National Young Athletes’ League.
With many of last season’s table-topping team moving up an age group into the under-20s it will be a chance for a new crop of athletes to emulate the 2010 team.
A number of the medal-winning cross-country squad from the winter will be eager to have their first competition on the track while national indoor high-jump champion Isobel Brown is likely to spearhead the field events.
In any event the team of close to 60 athletes in three age groups – under-13, 15 and 17 – will be aiming to get Chichester’s season off to a flying start with action starting at the recently- built Winchester University track at 11.30am.