Baker wins D-Day honours in his second home of Portsmouth

James Baker on his way to victory in the D-Day 10k Picture by Mick Young
James Baker on his way to victory in the D-Day 10k Picture by Mick Young

While other members of Chichester Runners have been tackling the ultra endurance end of the sport, a number of others have been racing over the more conventional distances of 5k and 10k - with great all-round success.

Making the city of Portsmouth a virtual second home recently has been James Baker, who has maintained his unbroken run of victories and has shown a dominance similar to that of Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

In the second of the 5k Promenade series, the 34-year-old Chichester athlete broke the tape in 15min 30sec to be followed by Chris Bird, sixth in 16.33.

Chris Jack scooped first veteran over-40 prize in 17.17, 14th overall in the race, with the club also picking up wins in two other categories: Jane Harrop in the over-50s in 19.26, 49th overall, followed by Sue Baker, first over-55 in 24.30 for 119th overall.

Other competitors were Terry Healy (69th, 20.47), Andrew Harrop (105th, 22.45) and Darren Knight (118th, 24.28).

In the popular D-Day 10k, also in Portsmouth, Baker again showed the way to the rest of the field by winning in 31min 58sec, more than a minute clear of the rest.

Again, Chris Jack was near the front of the field in ninth, but this time he had to settle for second in the over-40 stakes in 36.39.

Felicity Paton and Sue Baker flew the flag for the ladies in 114th and 189th respectively.

Also in action were runners in the West Sussex Fun Run league in the Hove Park 5k, although team manager Jill Renson was resigned to Chichester having their lowest turnout of the year because of clashes with the South Downs Relay and other races at this time if year.

It was a chance for Tony Cooley to lead home the club in 78th followed by Mark Hazlewood in 85th, Phil Gaunt 92nd, David Knight 93rd and Dave Barty 156th.

The ladies packed closely with Sue Barty having the honour of being first home in 142nd, followed by Amanda Godfrey 149th and Jill Renson 188th. Next action in the series will be the popular Steyning race on July 6.