Half marathon brings the best out of Corbett

Jo Corbett celebrates his half marathon victory / Picture by Ian Hargreaves
Jo Corbett celebrates his half marathon victory / Picture by Ian Hargreaves

CHICHESTER’s Jo Corbett triupmhed in the Gosport Half Marathon.

Gosport Road Runners put on a great event for their 30th half marathon on Sunday and despite wet and very windy conditions, 1,575 runners finished the flat course.

Running around the streets of the town on a course that also took in a stretch of the seafront, a lead group quickly formed that included Chichester Runners & AC member Corbett.

Corbett stepped on the gas at the turn point for the second lap and opened up a comfortable lead to take the victory in a time of 1hr 11min 09sec – a victory margin of 34 seconds and a personal-best time over the distance.

Race director Dave Little praised Corbett, saying: “The front runners were predicting the wind would add about three minutes to their times. We usually have a winning time of around one hour and seven, or eight, minutes. So we weren’t surprised it was one hour 11 minutes.

“Jo is a new winner on our list and he clearly had a decent lead when he came into the finish.”

Club-mate James Baker, a previous winner of this event, missed this group and spent the rest of the race unsuccessfully trying to catch up. Baker lost a couple of places in the closing stages but still finished a creditable fifth, clocking 1.12.29.

Baker said: “I had a terrible start and wasted too much energy running into the wind on my own. I salvaged fifth place. I’ve managed to finish in the top five at Gosport 13 times since my debut there in 2001.”

Three newish members of Chichester Runners turned in great runs at Gosport.

Ivan Prince finished in 205th place with a personal-best time of 1.31.03 and is already planning his winter training programme to break next year the 1.30 barrier.

Also obtaining a personal best by a huge ten minutes was Lynette Woodward, who clocked 1.56.46 in 975th position. Sonsoles Acosta was very happy with her continued improvement with a run of 2.14.43 in 1,355th place.

It was the milder and calmer climes of Valencia in Spain last Sunday that lured USA athlete Chris Zablocki, who has joined Chichester Runners while working in the UK.

Zablocki met up with 7,000 others including 15 sub-2.10 marathon runners for 26.2 miles through the flat roads of suburban Valencia, including a section along the coast.

The high-class field clearly spurred on Zablocki, who achieved a personal best of 2.15.39 finishing in 16th place.

This weekend the main focus for Chichester Runners & AC is the mud and hills of Little Common, Bexhill, from the under-11s through all age categories to the senior veterans, competing in the second match of the Sussex Cross Country League.


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