Summer has started with a bang on the south coast where the Gosport Golden Mile, organised by award-winning local retailer Absolute Running, returned in style and provided a great day for the Hampshire running community. Conditions were challenging on Sunday 31 May - gale force winds and waves crashing over the sea wall - but that didn't prevent some great performances.
Local lad Lewis Banner of Stubbington Green Runners retained his Mile title but was pushed hard in a thrilling finish by Kenyan Sammy Dismas Nyokaye and this race also saw a terrific effort from Gosport’sown rising star Joseph Wales with a fourth place finish.
An attempt by City of Portsmouth starlets Josie Czura and Lachlan Wellington to capture under 15 mile records was thwarted by the gale force winds but this did not stop them recording superb times in the adult race. Another City of Portsmouth AC star Jacob O’Hara won both junior Golden Mile and the senior 5K fun run.
Despite the winds and waves hundreds of kids and adults enjoyed a great day in both the Golden Mile and 5K. Record breaking Gosport sailor Alex Thomson started the proceedings and Big Rick Jackson of Wave 105 Radio, also turned up and ran the race. The team at RunFast brought two of their future Kenyan middle distance stars to add an international flavour.
One disappointment was the eleventh hour cancellation of the wheelchair mile. Race organisers paid tribute to contestants, including one from Germany, who had to deal with the frustration: "11 wheelchair athletes turned up and we so wanted to make it a great occasion for them and Gosport but do you know, they never uttered a word of complaint which makes us more determined to ensure that they get their race next summer."
The Absolute Running team is now looking ahead to summer 2016 and are inviting local businesses to work with them to continue to build a great community occasion in Gosport.
Seaside running continued on 14 June with the first of the four evening 5k runs in the Bayside Summer series (with 1k fun run). Victory AC's Daniel Bailey was fastest on the night (16:40) with Gosport Road Runner Laura Cornborough (25:35) the mid-point runner; the field closing on 46:41. Race 2 is on Tuesday 14 July (7.30) at the usual venue - Stokes Bay Road, close to the Bayside Cabin Cafe.
Back at the Absolutely Running store on Stoke Road, refurbishments are almost complete as Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi classes continue to grow in popularity and Lawrence Knott establishes his sports therapy clinic.
More details at the store website.