Midsummer 5 Road Race

Runners for this year’s Midsummer 5 Road Race encountered the hottest conditions in the 30-year history of the race but battled nevertheless to some fast times. With the course encompassing a lap of the Goodwood Motor circuit, the field was led off from the start once again by local favourite James Baker with fellow veteran Julian Manning from Denmead Striders and Chichester club mate Conrad Meagher offering the nearest challenge. With both the top two now in the over 40 age group, they still showed the way to their younger rivals and when they arrived back at Lavant Village Green after a hard 5 miles of effort it was the familiar sight of James who had opened a clear lead to cross the line in 26.41. Julian Manning was just under a minute further back in 27.35 with Conrad Meagher a few seconds adrift in 27.48.


This was the start of a successful evening for promoting club, Chichester Runners & AC, as next home was the first of the club’s top juniors, Leo Stallard, who not only enabled his club to win the team prize but scooped the U20 award as well. Seniors Mike Houston and Mikey Neville finished 7th and 12th respectively while two more of the clubs U20’s were next in line with Ben Morton 13th and Charlie Benson 14th. They just pipped first O50 home, Jim Garland, in 30.14 making eight Chichester athletes in the top 15. Further back another local runner John Miles was first O60 home in 53rd overall while the first O70 went to Roger Osgood from Havant AC in a fine time of just outside 40 minutes.


Chichester runners were no less impressive in the women’s race with the first ever clean sweep by the club in the event. In a fine 31st place overall, Fay Cripps strode home for the victory in 33.32 followed by Lucy Thraves in 34.03 who pipped Ann Sydenham for the runners-up spot. With a perfect score of six points the team event was wrapped up and there was further good news for Chichester when Rose Ellis came home to win the U20 prize and Kim Nelson was first in the O45 category.


In the junior one-mile race before the main event it was Chichester clubmates Liam Dunne and Tom Bocquillon who stamped their authority on the field after a mad dash at the start by nearly 100 runners. This was a few days after Liam had received the excellent news of making it into the Hampshire squad for the English Schools track and field championships in Birmingham in July thanks to his fine 800m in just over 2 minutes in the Inter Counties the previous weekend.