James Baker Wins the Exmoor Stagger Fell Race Again
Having already notched up two long distance wins in October, James Baker made it a hat-trick by defending his Exmoor Stagger Fell Race title at Minehead on Sunday 23rd October 2016. The 39 year old has gradually shaken off his injury problems of the late summer and seems to be returning to his best by winning his home Chichester Half Marathon, then going to Hastings to win their special 950th anniversary race before once again travelling to the West Country for the category A Fell Race at Minehead. This year‚Äôs course was longer than previous years at 16.4 miles but this did not deter James who once again broke the two-hour barrier with a time of 1.54.37 seconds and just over 5 minutes ahead of his nearest challenger.
What makes the time even more impressive is that runners scale the highest point on Exmoor at Dunkery Beacon and then negotiate a boulder strewn descent in the process. Local West Country athletes must be tired of the sight of the Chichester man as he has recorded seven straight wins in the event since first entering in 2010 and had minutes to spare over all challengers during that time. Just a couple of months before his 40th birthday, all eyes will be on James to see if he can continue his remarkable success into the veteran ranks.
Rebecca Moore and Chichester Men Shine at Great South
There was much to celebrate for Chichester at the Great South Run at Southsea on Sunday 23rd October 2016 with one sparkling individual performance from Chichester‚Äôs top woman and an encouraging team performance from Chichester‚Äôs quartet of top men.
Rebecca Moore has been in the news recently by winning outright a mixed race in Cambridgeshire and showed that this form was no fluke when lining up in the Great South Run on Sunday as part of the elite women‚Äôs field. Not overawed by the array of world champions and GB internationals on the start line, Rebecca proceeded to cover the 10 miles in a personal best time of 56.30 that gave her a position of 11th place in the women‚Äôs field in a race won by none other than multiple World and Olympic Champion, Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba. Rebecca was only beaten by five other UK athletes and her time ranks her in 7th place in the UK for 2016. This is likely to put the Cambridge University student in the frame for further selection following her first England vest in the Dublin 10K earlier in the year.
While not quite being able to emulate Rebecca‚Äôs placing, Chichester‚Äôs top four men put in a fine all-round showing with a team placing inside the top 10 and all four finishing inside the top 120 in a field of over 24,000 finishers. Peter Concannon was first home in 37th place with a new personal best time of 55.10. Winner of the 10-mile event at the Chichester Half Marathon, Peter found the flatter Portsmouth course more to his liking and was one of the first athletes to finish who was not in the elite men‚Äôs field, even finishing before a couple of the elite men in the process. Chris Bird was next home in 48th place in 57.06 with Chichester‚Äôs third scorer also making the top 100 with Mike Houston setting a new personal best with 60.12 in 94th position. Just over 20 seconds further back in 113th was another athlete who set a new fastest time with Mikey Neville coming home in 60.45.
Team wise, Aldershot had the first two finishers with Chris Thompson and Andy Vernon reversing their positions from the Great Birmingham Half Marathon a week earlier but Chichester were one of the few clubs to have four athletes finishing in just around the hour mark resulting in their best road showing of 2016.
A full list of Chichester Runners in the Great South Run will be published in the Newsletter dated 28th October.