Two hundred and eight four runners certainly had to brave the elements last Sunday with a very strong wind blowing off the Atlantic making the tough Trevornick 10 mile race even harder. This multi terrain race, sponsored by Trevornick Holiday Par, Personal Best Running and the National Trust, which doubled as round five of the Cornwall Grand Prix Series supported by Cornwall Glass and Glazing, provided the platform for a superb comeback victory in the Men's competition for Tony Brewer (Mile High) and an equally determined win in the Ladies race for Zelah Morrall (Cornwall AC).
Race tactics over the steep climbs, fast downhill stretches and constant undulations over Cubert Common and the North Cornwall coastal path, cried out for a cautious first half of the race, which were the tactics Brewer used to his advantage. Justin Thomas (Cornwall AC) moved into the lead after a couple of miles, with most of the top ten occupied by the yellow and green Cornwall AC vests and the blue and white vests of Mile High. A team race to savour was certainly in the making.
Brewer caught and soon passed Thomas before the halfway point, with Ceri Whitmore (Cornwall AC) and Cornwall AC's debutant, Paul Smith, running alongside Paul Whear (Carn Runners) and the Mile High pair Andrew Martin and Mitch Weegman in the chasing group.
As the miles ticked by Brewer, who, due to injury,has not raced since the Cornwall Cross Country Championships last November, continued to increase his lead with Thomas now settled into second place, also moving ahead of their pursuers. Brewer eventually crossed the line well over one minute ahead of Thomas, becoming the sixth different winner of the Men's race in the six years since the inaugural race in 2009.
The real interest lay in the battle for team honours, with Whitmore finishing strongly for his first Grand Prix podium placing, ahead of the rapidly improving Whear (4th), with Martin (5th) and Weegman (6th) being chased down by Smith (7th) and another Cornwall AC man, Steve Wherry (8th), who looked in great form moving through sensibly after a steady start. Cornwall AC team captain, Dave Buzza, making his 2014 Grand Prix debut crossed the line in eleventh place, followed by a trio of Mile High Runners, Richard Pascoe (12th), Nick Martin (13th) and Aaran Benney (15th), before a great run from Cornwall AC's Jason Webb (16th), secured victory for the defending Grand Prix champions by a very narrow five point margin. Newquay Road Runners finished third, some way behind the top two.
The Ladies race was equally exciting, led out by the An Res Hellys winner Eleanor Davis (Newquay Road Runners), closely followed by Emma Schuck (Hayle Runners) with Cornwall AC's Zelah Morrall in third. The race was only ever going to be settled between these three leading Ladies and on a downhill stretch approaching the eight mile mark, they were running side by side. Morrall who said afterwards: "I have always been able to relax and stride out going down the hills and this is where I decided to make a move, hoping to open a gap before the final climb at nine miles." The tactic certainly worked as the Cornwall AC runner crested the top of the final climb, with daylight between her and Schuck, as Davis faded a little in the closing stages. Morrall came home seventeen seconds ahead of the Hayle athlete, with Davis thirty two seconds later. In overall terms, only four race places covered the top three, with Alan Williams (Tamar Trotters) spoiling the party and infiltrating their space.
Cornwall AC's Ladies won their fourth Grand Prix team race of the year, enjoying a more comfortable victory than the club's Men's team, with Hayle Runners collecting the runner's up prizes and Newquay's Ladies, equalling the success of their Men, finishing third.
Key for clubs:
BWRC Bodmin Womens Running Club, CAC Cornwall AC, CR Carn Runners, ECH East Cornwall Harriers, FRR Falmouth Road Runners, HR Hayle Runners, IoS Isles of Scilly, LRR Launceston Road Runners, MBH Mounts Bay Harriers, MH Mile High, NRR Newquay Road Runners, STA St Austell Running Club, TL Tri Logic, TRC Truro Running Club, TT Tamar Trotters, U Unattached.
Men: 1 Tony Brewer MH1.00.31, 2 Justin Thomas CAC 1.01.49, 3 Ceri Whitmore CAC 1.02.31, 4 Paul Whear CR 1.02.42, 5 Andrew Martin MH 1.03.03, 6 Mitch Weegman MH 1.03.24, 7 Paul Smith CAC 1.03.37, 8 Steve Wherry CAC 1.03.51, 9 Iain Ware NRR 1.03.58. 10 Jordan Morant HR 1.04.12. Age Categories: 35-39: 1 Ceri Whitmore, 2 Jonas Gummesson NRR 1.05.39, 3 Marc Bayly NRR 1.07.10. 40-44: 1 Justin Thomas, 2 Paul Smith, 3 Scott Abraham HR 1.06.25. 45-49: 1 Paul Whear, 2 Jason Webb CAC 1.06.09, 3 Adrian Ball CAC 1.06.21. 50-54: 1 Steve Wherry, 2 Dave Buzza CAC 1.04.19, 3 Nick Martin MH 1.05.03. 55-59: 1 Martin Davis NRR 1.09.01, 2 Barrie Cardew CR 1.10.45, 3 Steve Rawson TRC 1.12.53. 60-64: 1 Richard Morton TT 1.25.16, 2 Kim Hemsworth FRR 1.27.50, 3 Kevin Burnett NRR 1.29.15. 65-69: 1 Doug Alsop STA 1.17.17, 2 Peter Uren MBH 1.20.02, 3 Pat Lockett NRR 1.21.44. 75+: 1 Peter Mander LRR 1.44.30. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 'A' 47 points, 2 Mile High 52 points, 3 Newquay Road Runners 135 points, 4 Hayle Runners 160 points, 5 Carn Runners 166 points, 6 Cornwall AC 'B' 233 points. Veterans 55+: 1 Newquay Road Runners 31 points, 2 Mounts Bay Harriers 91 points, 3 Hayle Runners 92 points.
Ladies: 1 Zelah Morrall CAC 1.09.20, 2 Emma Schuck HR 1.09.37, 3 Eleanor Davis NRR 1.10.09, 4 Joanna Herd NRR 1.12.01, 5 Kathryn Burgess CAC 1.13.33, 6 Jessica Buscombe STA 1.15.44, 7 Donna Raggett CAC 1.16.51, 8 Janna Eyre CR 1.17.33, 9 Faye Toms HR 1.18.04, 10 Julia Pearce CAC 1.19.35. Age Categories: 35-39: 1 Joanna Herd, 2 Kathryn Burgess, 3 Faye Toms. 40-44: 1 Donna Raggett, 2 Anne Waller MBH 1.19.54, 3 Ann Quarmby ECH 1.24.53. 45-49: 1 Zelah Morrall, 2 Sharon Daw ECH 1.20.19, 3 Emma Murray STA 1.20.41. 50-54: 1 Ruth Nicholls IoS 1.28.27, 2 Sandy Fish U 1.30.05, 3 Sarah Wilkinson NRR 1.35.37. 55-59: 1 Carol Penberthy TL 1.32.16, 2 Liz Prady MBH 1.40.18, 3 Wendy Lowe MWRC 1.41.01. 60-64: 1 Janet Watson FRR 1.30.39, 2 Susan Mellis STA 1.41.09, 3 Penny Uren MBH 1.43.12. 65-69: 1 Cheryll Leach LRR 2.18.19. 70+: 1 Val Hawken NRR 2.25.16. Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 60 points, 2 Hayle Runners 116 points, 3 Newquay Road Runners 122 points, 4 St Austell Running Club 150 points, 5 Mounts Bay Harriers 196 points, 6 Carn Runners 319 points. Veterans 50+: 1 Mounts Bay Harriers 32 points, 2 Truro Running Club 34 points, 3 Launceston Road Runners 48 points.