There were unattached winners in both main categories in the fifth Chew Valley 10K from Bishop Sutton village hall on Sunday (11 June). Graham Wadsworth enjoyed a rare outing to take the men's trophy and Victoria Baker was equally dominant in the women's race in another sold out event in the North Somerset village of Bishop Sutton.
Heather Fell Sounds The Bell
The guest starter this year was Plymouth-born Olympian Heather Fell who won silver in the Modern Pentathlon at Beijing 2008 and gold in the 2012 World Championships in Rome. Not content with just sounding the start gong, Heather joined in and raced through the field to set the third fastest women's chip time (42:26).
The men's race saw Graham Wadsworth in action for the first time since finishing second in the Cheddar Gorge 10K three years ago (42:44). His best time (35:01) dates back to the Bristol 10K in 2013. On this occasion, 36:24 sufficed for a comfortable victory from Elliott Jones (Devizes, 37:17) and M40 Paul Jefferson (38:02) of winning team Bristol and West AC.
There was impressive running from the leading masters M50 Mark Finn (Somer AC, 41:23), M60 Peter Clardy (44:25) and M70 Desmond Gillingham (50:21).
Victoria Baker (W35, 40:45) enjoyed a 90-second cushion over defending champion Anna Godfrey (Reading, 42:16), despite the latter running 20 seconds faster than before. Lauren Price (Yeovil Town, 43:18) was third past the post, and also claiming an Olympian's scalp were Jane Colman (W45 Bristol & West, 34:26) and Beth Jackson (W40 Bath Amphibians, 44:27) as Heather Fell was working off her self imposed 2:20 handicap at the start.
Higher age group winners included W55 Alison Engledew (Bristol & West, 49:24) and W65 Lesley Haley (59:12). Once again the crowd support on the hill up to Hinton Blewitt and at the finish with Swiss-style cow bells was appreciated along with the jelly babies en route and cup cakes at the end – a Chew Valley tradition.
Bristol and West's winning time was 2:43:38 (four to score). There were 723 finishers in 1:30:05; 440 inside 60:00 and 175 beat 50:00.
For details visit the runABC South race listings.