FIVE members of Chichester Runners lined up for one of the toughest races in the south, the Exmoor Stagger 16-mile category A Fell Race.
After a climb of 1,702ft to the top of Dunkery Beacon, it was Chichester’s James Baker who crossed the line as race winner a clear five minutes in front of the rest of the field.
It was a similar margin to his recent win in the inaugural multi-terrain Chichester half marathon.
The Exmoor race involved negotiating rocks and boulders as well as patches of challenging moorland mud and his time of 1hr 51min 28sec was even faster than he achieved last year when conditions were nowhere near as severe.
Coming at a stage in the season where both cross-country and road-based half marathons feature strongly, Baker looks to have every change of making his mark on the local scene and giving his rivals a tough test for the 15th season in succession.
Battling to the end, the rest of the Chichester squad all achieved respectable performances with Mark Jennings 61st in 2.42.43 followed by Michael Moorcroft, 104th in 2.56.02, David Knight 133rd in 3.09.20 and Kevin Batt close behind in 3.13.30.