4 Dec

Matt Sharp Retains Victory 5

Victory 5 2017

Matt Sharp (Enfield & Haringey) headed 714 finishers as he retained his title in the 71st staging of the City of Portsmouth AC Victory 5 on a revised course on Sunday (3 December).

The continued work on the Portsmouth sea defences prevented the use of a section of the normal course and an alternative route from Mountbatten Centre to avoid the closed section was rejected by the local authority. A new course was therefore established at Lakeside North Harbour, Cosham. 
The lightly raced Sharp was the only man inside 24 minutes as he sailed to 23:56 for victory over Joe Wade (Aldershot, 24:47) and Chris Powner (Winchester, 25:13). The top six were rewarded with prizes and the leader board was completed by Daniel Eckersley (Kingston & Polytechnic, 25:39), Rob McTaggart (Bournemouth, 25:48) and Richard Waldron (Southampton, 26:12).
Also among the awards were leading masters Anthony Roper (M50 Bristol & West, 28:47), Jon Cross (M60 Hart RR, 29:43) and Peter Young (M70 Ryde Harriers, 33:26). Southampton AC claimed the men's team awards from host club Portsmouth and Winchester & District AC.
The women's race was a much more exhilarating contest with Lucy Reid (Tonbridge, 27:34) prevailing by 15 seconds from Laura Brenton (Southampton, 27:48) and Beth Kidger (Brighton Phoenix, 27:53). Reid's PB by a whopping 79 seconds moves her to third on the UK rankings for 2017. Jen Elkins (Southampton, 27:58), Emma Jolley (Portsmouth, 29:22) and Sarah Kingston (Southampton, 29:28) completed the top six. 
Women's age group winners included W40 Emma Jane Monteil (Portsmouth, 29:54), W45 Kathryn Bailey (Winchester, 29:44), W55 Cath Wheeler (Overton, 32:47) and W65 Jane Georghiou (Farnham, 37:16). Southampton AC took the team honours from City of Portsmouth and Victory AC. There were 90 athletes operating at sub-six minutes per mile and the midpoint runner was home inside 38 minutes. 
The Portsmouth club has been promoting a 5 mile race since 1946 and the Victory 5 is one of the top 5 mile races in Europe, attracting many leading runner from the UK and overseas. The outright race records are held by Rob Denmark (22.43) and Nnenna Lynch (USA, 25.35).     
Full results are available at runABC South race listings