Over 400 runners chose to spend a blustery Saturday evening at Sticker last weekend, taking part in the Sticker 5 mile road race, round eight of the Cornwall Grand Prix Series, sponsored by Cornwall Glass and Glazing.
This popular event attracted a high quality field in both the Men's and Ladies races, with Tony Brewer (Mile High) and Emma Stepto (Cornwall AC) claiming the top individual prizes.
In the Men's race 19 year old Dan Nash (East Cornwall Harriers) soon moved ahead of the pack and by the three mile point had built up a lead twenty seconds ahead of a formidable chasing pack, which included Brewer, the Cornwall AC pair Justin Thomas and James Waldie, Dan Alsop (St Austell Running Club) and Dan Rodgers (Launceston Road Runners).
Nash began to tire on the hills as the race entered the tough closing few miles and Brewer soon sensed an opportunity to strike, which he took full advantage of, passing Nash before the four mile marker and moving clear of the rest of the chasing pack, to win his second successive Grand Prix race. Nash rallied with the finish in sight, losing by just seven seconds, with Thomas third, just three seconds behind the East Cornwall Harrier.
With Colin Snook (8th), Veteran 50 winner Dave Buzza (9th), Veteran 50 runner up Chris Harry (10th) and triathlete Ceri Whitmore (14th), Cornwall AC proved unstoppable in the team competition with a low score of 48 points. St Austell Running Club (120 points) finished second, with NewquayRoad Runners (136 points) hot on the heels of their mid Cornwall rivals.
An intriguing battle looked likely in the Ladies race, with Cornwall AC's Emma Stepto prepared for the expected challenge from Miranda Heathcote (Newquay Road Runners) and Jane Khan (Hayle Runners), who has chosen to avoid the summer heat of Dubai by spending some time back home in St Ives.
Stepto and Khan shared the lead for the first mile, with Heathcote tucked in behind, before the Cornwall AC marathon international upped the pace and moved ahead.
Once in the lead and scenting a sniff of victory, there was no stopping Stepto, who gradually built a substantial lead, crossing the finish line almost a minute ahead of Heathcote, with Khan a further nineteen seconds adrift of the Newquay athlete.
At the post race press conference, held in the corner of the Sticker AFC bar, a relieved Stepto said: "After missing much of April and May due to injury, I was pleased and surprised with my run at Cubert and hoped it wasn't a one off, so today I was hoping to repeat the Cubert form, which I am pleased to say I did, running a new PB on this course, beating my previous best set last year by 54 seconds. I feel more confident now and can plan my races up to the autumn."
The Cornwall AC Ladies (62 points) made it a double team success for the club, with Heidi Tregenza (4th), Jenny Almey (8th), Kathryn Burgess (11th), Karen Harrison (18th) and a much improved Jenny Evans, showing her best form for many years in twenthieth place.
It was good to see Truro Running Club (134 points) feature in the team prizes, led by their England Ultra Distance international Isobel Wykes, who finished fifth. The Truro Ladies deservedly claimed the runner's up prize, with the Newquay Ladies (143 points) matching the result of their Men's team in third position.
The Under 20 competition reached the halfway point with Sticker being the third of the five race series. The overall race runner up, Dan Nash, was not surprisingly the undisputed winner of the category and again two promising youngsters caught the eye, with Gareth Smith (Newquay Road Runners) finishing second and more significantly, eleventh overall, followed just over one minute later by the Mount's Bay Harrier Ben Hicks.
The Under 20 Ladies competition has produced a different winner in each of the opening three races, suggesting the 2013 awards will probably not be settled until the final race, the Newquay 10K, in October.
At Sticker it was the turn of Jess Behennah (East Cornwall Harriers) to claim the individual honours from Grand Prix debutant Tabitha Allen (Truro Running Club), with the Cubert winner Caitlin Mulroy (Cornwall AC) struggling with a back injury, being forced to settle for third.
It was a repeat performance for Falmouth Road Runners Richard Dalton and Tammy Jenkin, who led their respective Falmouth teams home in the second successive Grand Prix race.
Dalton improved by four places from Cubert, finishing fifteenth and with strong support coming from Richard Keefe (30th), Stephen Strachen (39th), Andrew Carter (43rd), Paul Gwynne (48th) and Robin Watson (52nd), Falmouth finished in fifth position. Tammy moved up one place from her Cubert result, finishing fifteenth but on this occasion, the Falmouth Ladies team were unable to make an impact in the team standings.
KEY FOR CLUBS
BWRC Bodmin Womens Running Club, CAC Cornwall AC, CR Carn Runners, ECH East Cornwall Harriers, HR Hayle Runners, LRR Launceston Road Runners, MBH Mounts Bay Harriers, MH Mile High, NG Norfolk Gazelles, NRR Newquay Road Runners, STA St Austell Running Club, TL Tri Logic.
Men: 1 Tony Brewer MH 26.29, 2 Dan Nash ECH (1st U20) 26.36, 3 Justin Thomas CAC 26.39, 4 James Waldie CAC 27.00, 5 Dan Alsop STA 27.13, 6 Dan Rodgers LRR 27.26, 7 Russell Turner HR 27.46, 8 Colin Snook CAC 27.49, 9 Dave Buzza CAC 27.54, 10 Chris Harry CAC 28.02. Age Categories: Under 20: 1 Dan Nash, 2 Gareth Smith NRR 28.11, 3 Ben Hicks MBH 29.19. Under 35: 1 Tony Brewer, 2 James Waldie, 3 Dan Alsop. 35-39: 1 Justin Thomas, 2 Colin Snook, 3 Simon Knowles HR 28.23. 40-44: 1 Darren Orchard NRR 29.06, 2 Alex Daniels NRR 29.31, 3 Jason Webb CAC 29.46. 45-49: 1 Paul Whear CR 29.10, 2 Stephen Hands STA 29.42, 3 Darrin Porter TL 29.50. 50-54: 1 Dave Buzza, 2 Chris Harry, 3 Laurie Lee STA 31.27. 55-59: 1 Neville Witham CAC 33.19, 2 Peter Allen NRR 33.27, 3 Mark Andrews ECH 33.39. 60-64: 1 Malcolm Roberts STA 33.07, 2 Tom Polglase CR 35.33, 3 Gregg Hall STA 37.02. 65-69: 1 Brian Wiles LRR 33.56, 2 Pat Lockett NRR 37.09, 3 John Lillis NRR 39.48. 70-74: 1 Ron Shapland NRR 45.54, 2 Richard Saundry HR 52.07. 75+: 1 Peter Mander LRR 44.27. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 48 points, 2 St Austell Running Club 120 points, 3 Newquay Road Runners 136 points, 4 Hayle Runners 137 points, 5 Falmouth Road Runners 228.
Ladies: 1 Emma Stepto CAC 28.23, 2 Miranda Heathcote NRR 29.22, 3 Jane Khan HR 29.41, 4 Heidi Tregenza CAC 30.59, 5 Isobel Wykes TRC 32.41, 6 Mhairi Saville MBH 33.08, 7 Jessica Buscombe STA 33.30, 8 Jenny Almey CAC 33.35, 9 Revis Crowle ECH 33.48, 10 Katherine Trehane NG 34.08. Age Categories: Under 20: 1 Jess Behennah ECH 37.13, 2 Tabitha Allen TRC 37.27, 3 Caitlin Mulroy CAC 37.50. Under 35: 1 Jane Khan, 2 Heidi Tregenza, 3 Jessica Buscombe. 35-39: 1 Isobel Wykes, 2 Mhairi Saville, 3 Kathryn Burgess CAC 34.16. 40-44: 1 Emma Stepto, 2 Miranda Heathcote, 3 Claire Davidson ECH 37.49. 45-49: 1 Nancy Hill MBH 35.15, 2 Karen Harrison CAC 36.15, 3 Kathy Elliott NRR 36.58. 50-54: 1 Revis Crowle, 2 Jayne Angilley CAC 37.29, 3 Deb Grills STA 39.46. 55-59: 1 Pat Coates NRR 37.37, 2 Ann Senior HR 43.12, 3 Wendy Lowe BWRC 43.26. 60-64: 1 Susan Mellis STA 43.27, 2 Sandy Jamieson CR 44.47, 3 Sue Burges LRR 47.30. 65-69: 1 Carole Drew CR 51.14, 2 Linda Whitney NRR 55.05. 70+: 1 Timothea Cardell HR 47.43, 2 Val Hawken NRR 59.32. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 'A' 62 points, 2 Truro Running Club 134 points, 3 Newquay Road Runners 143 points, 4 Cornwall AC 'B' 196 points, 5 Hayle Runners 198 points.