Bognor 10k win is race triumph number 889 for Baker

James Baker won the Bognor Prom 10k for the fourth time - then revealed he'd soon be only 100 wins from a remarkable record of 1,000 race victories.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 8:30 am
Winner James Baker about to break the tape / Picture by Liz Pearce
Winner James Baker about to break the tape / Picture by Liz Pearce

Evergreen Baker is now the oldest winner of the popular Bognor race, hacing crossed the line this year aged 42. He has run it every year for the past 22.

In near perfect running conditions, Baker led all the way although did need to hold off a late challenge by another Chichester star, Will Boutwood. Baker broke the tape in 33min 25sec, just four seconds ahead of Boutwood.

Baker told us afterwards: "It went really well. I led from start to finish and just stayed strong all the way.

Winner James Baker about to break the tape / Picture by Liz Pearce

"I was out on my own all the way but I didn't realise I had Will Boutwood in second and he was coming back at me at the end.

"I thought I had a bigger lead - someone said 300m at one point - so I probably chilled out a little bit too much."

Baker said Boutwood was a serious challenger who had pushed him close in a number of races and had beaten him in a recent Chichester Corporate Challenge contest.

Baker won the Bognor race in 2003, 2007 and 2011 - and only being beaten by a sprinting Jo Corbett in 2015 stopped him having a perfect record of winning every four years from his first victory until now.

"I'm pretty sure I'm the oldest winner of the race now," he added. "I'm just motivated to win as many races as possible - that's my main motivation. I want to win 1000 races and I'm up to 889 now, that's since 1994."

Baker praised the organisation of an event which has grown steadily over the years and is always efficiently put together and well-supported by local people.

"It's always one of the best races to come back to and it's only five miles from my house. I've done every one since 1997 so I've nearly done all 25. We've been lucky again with the weather this year."