Hat-tricks are the order of the day as Corporate Challenge ends

The start of the final secondary boys' race in the 2011 Corporate Challenge
The start of the final secondary boys' race in the 2011 Corporate Challenge

Harry Carter completed a notable hat-trick when he won the third and final Chichester Corporate Challenge road race of the 2011 series.

The 19-year-old City of Portsmouth ace had the 4.5k race in the bag from early on to make it three wins from three in the month-long spectacle.

And the only other man who has won all three races in a year - Chichester’s James Baker - was hot on his heels in second, which he has also managed in each of the 2011 contests.

Carter’s achievement is all the more impressive when you consider he took up athletics only two years ago and is more used to track running.

He and Baker paid tribute to one another at the end with Carter admitting: “Knowing James is in the race made me get off to a pretty quick start each time. It spurs you on having that sort of opposition.”

Baker has had a few injury problems in recent weeks but was pleased to finish second again - he reckoned it was the 33rd time he’d been in the top two in a Corporate Challenge race.

There was a different face in third place - DSTL’s Colin Dixon beating Dan Bailey and Mark Burchett to the bronze position.

The senior race could take place only after a 20-minute delay - and it wasn’t just any delay, it was an M&S delay.

A lorry delivering building supplies to construction workers at the Marks store in east Street parked itself across the course and it was deemed dangerous for the event to be started until the lorry had gone.

Organiser said safety was always their primary concern.

Earlier, the junior races had all been completed in daylight and, happily, the rain the city had seen earlier in the day held off.

The primary boys’ race was won by Ben Collins, with last time’s winner, William Broom, in second.

In the primary girls’ race there was another win for Maisie Grice, ahead of Emily Morley.

The secondary girls’ crown was taken by Worthing runner Leah Harris, beating Chichester’s Georgina Warner into second place. The Year 7/8 boys’ race saw a familiar one-two-three - with Edward Gerwat coming in ahead of Harry Lyne and Casey Keates.

Top Yr 9/10 finisher was Felpham’s James McKenzie, who was later told he had equalled the course record of 8min 34sec for his age group.

* See the Observer next week (April 7) for a report, pictures and a full list of finishers and their times.

* You can order photos taken at the final race night - go to www.chichester.co.uk and click on ‘how to order a photograph’ at the bottom of the home page.

If selecting the order online option, the reference number for the event is C110523.