Two Cornwall Athletic Club athletes, Justin Thomas and Emma Stepto, stormed to victory in the Storm Force 10 mile road race last Sunday.
Emma set a personal best and new course record of 56 minutes 09 seconds, with Justin also clocking a personal best for the distance, running twenty five seconds faster than his winning time last year.
Justin’s time of 54 minutes 23 seconds was just two seconds outside the course record set by Dan Alsop in 2012.
This race marks the start of the 2014 Cornwall Grand Prix Series, sponsored by Cornwall Glass and Glazing, and the attraction of these road races show no sign of diminishing, with five hundred and thirty one runners lining up for the start along the Barripper Road on the outskirts of Camborne.
Thomas had planned on running hard from the start and by the two mile point just past Carnell Green he was already one hundred and fifty metres clear of team mate Noel Kindon.
Settling into a smooth rhythm he had doubled his lead by six miles along the fast flat stretch of road between Leedstown and Praze, eventually winning by one minute and forty six seconds.
History was being made behind the leader, as Kindon came under pressure from Stepto.
The international marathon runner closed and then passed Kindon on the hill at five miles and never looked back, achieving the distinction of being the first lady to finish in a top three overall position in a major mixed gender race in the county.
After the race Emma said: “I didn’t really know what to expect today, as I haven’t raced since November and I have had a quieter training time in December, so I am really pleased with my run.”
Kindon held onto third overall, twenty seconds ahead of Jez Mancer (St Austell Running Club), who passed Mile High’s Andrew Martin in the closing stages.
One of the few Devon visitors to the race Ami Yetton (Plymouth Harriers) made the journey across the Tamar worthwhile, collecting the Ladies runners up prize behind Stepto, with young Eleanor Davis (Newquay Road Runners) finishing third.
The defending Grand Prix Men’s Team Champions, Cornwall AC, began the defence of their title with a clear win, with Steve Wherry (12th), Ceri Whitmore (13th) providing close support to Thomas and Kington.
The team was completed by Adrian Ball (22nd) whose presence was sorely missed throughout much of 2013 due to injury and a recent recruit, Mike Dowrick (29th), who has recently transferred from Hayle Runners.
The Penryn based Mile High squad proved to be the surprise package, filling the runner’s up spot ahead of the much larger clubs, St Austell Running Club (3rd), Hayle Runners (4th) and Newquay Road Runners (5th).
The Mile High performance was even more impressive as their number one runner, Tony Brewer, could only spectate due to injury and his presence would surely have secured the club’s first Grand Prix team title.
The defending Grand Prix Ladies Team Champions, Cornwall AC, also began 2014 on a winning note, with Emma joined be Kathryn Burgess (8th), Julia Pearce (15th), Jenny Almey (19th), Karen Harrison (22nd) and Jayne Angilley (25th) in the victorious team.
Truro Running Club proved to be the ‘Mile High’ of the Ladies race, finishing second, which is probably their highest Grand Prix team placing to date. Only twenty points separated second to fifth teams, with Hayle Runners sneaking into a podium place in third, just four points behind Truro.
The Falmouth Road Runners were certainly out in force, with a huge turnout of forty two runners.
In the age categories, Terry Marshall produced the Falmouth performance of the day, winning her 60-64 age group by well over two minutes.
In a very competitive race, high finishing positions were hard to come by, although Tammy Jenkin ran strongly finishing high up in the Ladies race in 21st place and Jason Longhorn crept into the top 30 in the Men’s race, coming home in 19th position.
KEY FOR CLUBS
CAC Cornwall AC, CR Carn Runners, ECH East Cornwall Harriers, FRR Falmouth Road Runners, HR Hayle Runners, LRR Launceston Road Runners, MBH Mounts Bay Harriers, MF Massey Ferguson, Coventry, MH Mile High, NRR Newquay Road Runners, PH Plymouth Harriers, STA St Austell Running Club, SWRR South West Road Runners, TAV Tavistock AC, TRC Truro Running Club, TT Tamar Trotters.
Men: 1 Justin Thomas CAC 54.23, 2 Noel Kindon CAC 57.38, 3 Jez Mancer STA 57.58, 4 Andrew Martin MH 58.27, 5 Paul Whear CR 58.47, 6 Jordan Morant HR 58.56, 7 Stuart Nicholas STA 58.57, 8 Alex Daniels NRR 59.17, 9 Thomas Humphrey HR 59.26, 10 Mitch Weedgman MH 59.40. Age Categories: Under 35: 1 Noel Kindon, 2 Andrew Martin, 3 Jordan Morant. 35-39: 1 Ceri Whitmore CAC 59.51, 2 Jamie Youlden STA 59.53, 3 Mark Bayly NRR 1.03.33. 40-44: 1 Justin Thomas, 2 Jez Mancer, 3 Alex Daniels. 45-49: 1 Paul Whear, 2 Steve Wherry CAC 59.50, 3 Mike Feighan SWRR 1.00.42. 50-54: 1 Nick Martin MH 1.01.08, 2 Tony Symons TAV 1.01.37, 3 Mark Omori MBH 1.03.13. 55-59: 1 Martin Davis NRR 1.02.37, 2 Laurie Lee STA 1.05.07, 3 Barrie Cardew CR 1.05.40. 60-64: 1 Malcolm Roberts STA 1.09.54, 2 Mike Beatie PH 1.09.56, 3 Mike Kestle NRR 1.16.16. 65-69: 1 Brian Wiles LRR 1.12.20, 2 Doug Alsop STA 1.12.36, 3 Peter Uren MBH 1.13.59. 70-74: 1 Stewart Townend HR 1.24.00, 2 Norris Kington CAC 1.31.29. 75+: 1 Tony Berry TRC 1.23.14, 2 Roy Willbond-Smith MF 1.32.53. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 79 points, 2 Mile High 115 points, 3 St Austell Running Club 130 points, 4 Hayle Runners 149 points, 5 Newquay Road Runners 213 points.
Ladies: 1 Emma Stepto CAC 56.09 (Course Record), 2 Ami Yetton PH 1.01.39, 3 Eleanor Davis NRR 1.03.51, 4 Kensa Rescorla CR 1.05.14, 5 Isobel Wykes TRC 1.05.43, 6 Anne Luke TT 1.06.06, 7 Carol Randall MBH 1.06.16, 8 Kathryn Burgess CAC 1.09.26, 9 Jessica Buscombe STA 1.09.53, 10 Revis Crowle ECH 1.10.07. Age Categories: Under 35: 1 Ami Yetton, 2 Eleanor Davis, 3 Jessica Buscombe. 35-39: 1 Isobel Wykes, 2 Kathryn Burgess, 3 Wendy Chapman TRC 1.10.14. 40-44: 1 Emma Stepto, 2 Kensa Rescorla, 3 Carol Randall. 45-49: 1 Emma Murray STA 1.10.40, 2 Karen McClay MBH 1.11.19, 3 Fiona Phelps TT 1.12.29. 50-54: 1 Revis Crowle, 2 Jayne Angilley CAC 1.16.11, 3 Lisa Player STA 1.17.35. 55-59: 1 Anne Luke, 2 Jane Bremner TT 1.12.59, 3 Pat Coates NRR 1.23.10. 60-64: 1 Terry Marshall FRR 1.35.26, 2 Susan Mellis STA 1.37.47, 3 Penny Uren MBH 1.38.40. 65-69: 1 Mary Mullarkey ECH 1.28.41, 2 Carole Drew CR 1.44.50, 3 Cheryl Leach LRR 1.45.41. 70+: 1 Timothea Cardell HR 1.35.26, 2 Val Hawken NRR 2.08.44. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 90 points, 2 Truro Running Club 192 points, 3 Hayle Runners 196 points, 4 St Austell Running Club 210 points, 5 East Cornwall Harriers 212 points.