28 Jun

Cragg Wins In Brighton

Mansfield's Luke Cragg claimed the inaugural Stanmer Park 5 mile race in Brighton on Sunday in 24:11, while Hillingdon's Julia Bleasdale took top spot in the women's race with 27:11 placing her second on the season's UK rankings.

In Cragg's first UK competitive appearance of the year after 11 races in the States, the 24-year-old broke away from Wells City's Ben Tickner with one and a half miles remaining. After covering the final mile in 4min 40sec, the fastest of the race, Cragg enjoyed a five-second advantage at the line.

"It was a tough race," said Cragg, "but I've got loads in the tank and I am looking forward to having a good summer and running some fast times." On a warm, humid morning Tickner was caught by Leeds City's Dave Webb and the two slugged it out to the end with Tickner prevailing by one second.

Returning from Achilles tendon injury and making her debut over the distance, Bleasdale won by the comfortable margin of 20 seconds over race favourite, Justina Heslop of Clapham Chasers.

It was Heslop who made the early pace, but once Bleasdale took over with two laps remaining, she simply extended her lead to the finish. Belgrave's Getenesh Tamirat was third a further 39sec down.

"It has been a frustrating time for me," admitted Bleasdale who had only had one month's full training before the race. "I was training earlier in the year with Helen Clitheroe in Kenya, but three weeks before the World Cross Country championships I picked up the injury that just got worse."