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Greenleaf lands Solent Half Marathon
10:22am Tuesday 16th October 2012 in Sport
The third round of the Hampshire Road Race League featured the well established and often scenic roads of the Solent Half Marathon, now in its 27th year.
Over the seasons the race has always managed to avoid the worst of the autumn weather and Sunday’s cool, still, sunny morning helped competitors to the fast times all runners target.
A congested distance racing fixture list meant a clash with Saturday’s Cross Country League but that appeared to do little harm to overall numbers. There were more than 400 entries.
Apart from the flooded Gang Warily Playing Fields at the start and finish, the course was no problem – passing Exbury Gardens at five miles, Lepe Foreshore at seven and climbing back to Holbury then Fawley for the full 13 miles.
Race winner Andy Greenleaf of Winchester AC, who had run for his club in the Cross Country League less than 24 hours earlier, ran the race from the front for the second successive year, winning by a clear minute from Stuart Holloway (City of Salisbury).
It was the consistent Greenleaf’s fourth outing at the Solent Half in five years and he has been ‘placed’ each time, although this year’s winning time of 71min 23 secs was a little down on last year.
Third man home was from Totton Running Club’s Nick Buis.
The men’s team title went to City of Salisbury who closed their four scorers ahead of perennial champions Winchester to mount a stern challenge in the league this season.
Another Winchester runner, Paul Stoodley, finished top vet 50 in 12th (79.35) despite competing for his club in Saturday’s afternoon’s Cross Country at Farley Mount.
Yet another Winchester runner won the women’s race – the highly experienced Kath Bailey in 83min 36sec.
Surprise package was a total newcomer to the distance. Jess Barling , a fresh face at Lordshill Road Runners, made her half marathon debut by landing second place (85.12) and overhauling two very successful distance runners towards the end of the 13 miles in Helen Wallington, (Totton RC) in third and Karen Rushton (South Western Vets) in fourth.
For full results and pictures, see today's Southern Daily echo.