Big field make it a marvellous Midsummer 5

James Baker on his way to winning the Midsummer 5  Picture by Sara Ellis
James Baker on his way to winning the Midsummer 5 Picture by Sara Ellis

Near-perfect weather conditions greeted a record field of nearly 350 runners in the popular Midsummer 5 road race.

It is reckoned to be the oldest established midweek race in the south, having started in the late 1980s and has had just one enforced change over the years in terms of the route.

In the early years the runners were able to run into Goodwood Park and through the grounds in front of Goodwood House. That was before the days of the Festival of Speed so the route now makes a circuit of an equally-famous local landmark, the Goodwood motor-racing track.

This year’s race saw the runners stream off from Lavant village green with a large pack at the front of the field including Chichester athletes James Baker and Harry Leleu.

Baker gradually stamped his authority on the race and finished in another good time of 26.26min, with Hampshire duo of Julian Manning from Denmead and Lewis Chalk from Stubbington Green occupying the minor places.

Harry Leleu, only just outside the under-17 ranks, stuck to his task in fourth in a fine 27.35 with the next two club finishers veterans Chris Jack in ninth and Jim Garland 11th overall and second and third in the veterans’ age group.

A regular visitor to Chichester, Emma Montiel from City of Portsmouth, won the women’s race in front of Kari Mack from Tone Zone Runners. Chichester duo Fay Cripps and Jane Harrop – the latter scooping the over-45 prize – were third and fourth.

Host club Chichester Runners had a fine turnout of nearly 70 runners. Chichester finishers: James Baker 26:26; Harry Leleu 27:35; Chris Jack 29:04; Jim Garland 29:10; Michael Neville 29:24; Conrad Meagher 29:39; Jon Healy 29:47; Stephen Davy 30:34; James Campbell 31:13; Keith Akerman 31:36; Fay Cripps 31:39; Jane Harrop 31:40; Mike Houston 32:08; Harry Lyne 32:20; Lee Neumann 32:52; Nick Palmer 32:56; Beth Garland 33:26; Andrew Moore 34:11; Charlotte Reading 34:28; Matthew Sheldon 34:41; Gareth Glass 34:49; Mike Moorcroft 35:03; Sarah Edmunds 35:11; Michael Ridley 35:13; Kim Nelson 35:18; James Woodward 35:42; Mark Jennings 35:54; Polly Gick 35:54; Dave Reading 36:18; Ashley Hiom 36:23; Andrew Wingham 36:35; Kevin Lockyear 36:52; Martin Miller 36:52; Kevin Batt 36:57; Winston Bond 36:58; David Pike 37:14; Kasia Dickson 37:16; Mark Hazlewood 37:42; Tony Cooley 38:20; Norman Marshall 38:52; Stefano Cerea 38:58; Jane Leonard 39:39; Scott Balandis 40:51; Julia Hammond 41:15; Stephen McNally 41:55; Steve Taylor 42:21; Sue Baker 42:34; Peter Shaw 43:53; Mark Middleton 44:02; Judith Darley 44:19; Gary Tompsett 44:50; Simon Thompson 45:13; Julian Roberts 47:50; Nicola Moss 48:24; Gina Quest 48:31; Jessica Roberts 48:47; Sam Reading 49:01; Jennifer Harland-Jones 49:40; Sadie Middleton 50:16; Victoria Balandis 52:26; Lis Peskett 54:16; Maggie Medhurst 54:36; Brigid Darby 54:58; Bridget Hicks 55:15; Carol Seymour 57:44; Hayley Motton 58:18; Dian Beaney 59:43; Dave Grunwell N/A.