Horsham Joggers’ superb men’s team of Neil Boniface, Max Dumbrell and Gareth Leighton defeated 86 teams from 34 other running clubs across southern England to take first prize in the Chichester 10k on Sunday.
Chichester is a fairly fast course and, like the Brighton 10k, a major draw for top home counties athletes, so competition for the first ten places is fierce.
Boniface exceeded all his prize-winning 2013 race times to take tenth place overall in 31mins 33secs, while the athlete he has been coaching, Max Dumbrell, astonished everyone by out-running Chichester’s James Baker by 12 seconds to take 20th place overall in 32m 53s.
A stunning 34m 46s run by Gareth Leighton, who has improved his time over this course by a whole minute since 2012, secured outright victory for Horsham.
The women’s team of Lucinda Potten (42m 49s), Samantha Smith (44m 19s) and Ali Campbell (45m 38s) secured a creditable tenth place.
There were outstanding individual performances by the following runners, who beat their previous best times for the course by the amount shown in brackets: Stephanie Charman - 1hr 5m 26s (6m 21s); Mike Thornton - 43m 45s (5m 33s); Samantha Smith - 44m 19s (4m 11s); Nicola Paton - 57m 55s (3m 7s); Steve Wilson - 42m 4s (2m 47s); and John Willcox - 41m (2m 20s). There were 1,636 finishers, of whom 36 were Horsham Joggers.
Two days before, at the Awards Evening for the Sussex Road Racing Grand Prix 2013, presented by Graham Ashdown, president of Sussex Athletics, and Sussex Grand Prix chairman Graham Chapman, Horsham Joggers were awarded no fewer than 21 prizes.
Rachael and Samantha Lloyd-Smith, Catherine Corck, Janine Littler and Alison Gormley took first prize in the Ladies’ Open Team category, while Bryan Camfield, Paul Oakley, John Dyckes, Raff Vitale, Alan and Dan Pettitt, Mark Smee, Tony Johnson, Mike O’Grady and Steve Wilson took third prize in the Men’s Open Team category.
Bryan, Paul, Tony, John and Mike also took second prize in the Men’s Vets’ Team category. Overall, Horsham Joggers achieved an outstanding second place out of 23 participating Sussex clubs.
Individual prizes were awarded as follows: Bryan Camfield: 1st Male Overall, 1st Vet 45 and 1st Vet Overall; Steve Wilson: 1st Vet 60; Daniel Pettitt: 1st Junior Male; John Dyckes: 3rd Vet 55; Paul Oakley: 19th Male Overall; Rachael Lloyd-Smith: 1st Senior Lady, 2nd Lady Overall; Catherine Corck: 2nd Senior Lady, 3rd Lady Overall; Janine Littler: 3rd Lady Vet 40, 10th Lady Overall; Samantha Smith, 12th Lady Overall; Alison Gormley, 2nd Lady Vet 45, 14th Lady Overall; Julia Johnson, 2nd Lady Vet 55.