Maiden victory for local runner Charlie Brisley at the
Pentland Homes Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race.
The 2021 Pentland Homes Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race was run in cool and calm conditions on Sunday 1st August. The race resulted in a first win for locally based athlete 19 year old Charlie Brisley who currently competes for Newham and Essex Beagles. He takes over the mantle from 6 times winner Abel Tsegay (Invicta East Kent) who was absent this year. Charlie was dominant from the start, running away from the field and finishing in the very good time of 51min 19sec. Finishing a distant second and third but running strongly throughout were Neil McClements in 54min 33sec and Jay Smith in 54min 43sec both from Tonbridge AC. Last year’s runner-up Mark Wilkins from Medway and Maidstone Club was 4th in 57min 38sec. He also received the vets over 40 prize.
The Ladies’ race resulted in a clear victory for last year’s winner Tonbridge runner Helen Gaunt who finished first in 64min 6sec. She was too strong for Kat Owens of Crawley AC who put in a gutsy performance, again finishing second in 66min 11sec, Horsham veteran Elspeth Turner finished third, just behind her in 67min 11sec.
Due to Covid-19 and a change of date to a summer race, numbers were well down this year with 402 finishers. This compares to 1454 finishers last year when the race took place in January before any worries about a Covid-19 pandemic. However, the race organisers were once again grateful to title race sponsors, local property developer, Pentland Homes. Sub-sponsor was local running shop The Running Outlet. Once again, the race was based at Christ Church University Sports Centre.
The event charity was Pilgrims Hospices. Their strong ties with the event continued with the provision of marshals and sponsored runners taking part. This was to raise funds, in addition to a donation by Invicta East Kent AC, the organising club.
Helped by the good weather conditions, the runners of all abilities performed to a very creditable standard and many completed the course in personal best times.
There were various age group winners as follows :
Men V50 David Sadler (Faversham Running Club) 65m 23sec
Men V60 Mick Cooper (Unattached) 68m 09sec
Men V70 David Winch (Thanet Roadrunners) 76m 07sec
Ladies V35 Sally Brown (Unattached) 73m 30sec
Ladies V45 Kerstin Sung (Maidstone Harriers) 70m 05sec
Ladies V55 Susan Barrett-Austin (Pilgrims Hospices) 80m 54sec
Ladies V65 Vanessa Patching (Sittingbourne Striders) 121m 38sec
In the Men’s team race, Maidstone Harriers (Cameron Chambers, Kev Buchanan, Chris Mudge & Keith Dean) managed to win what was a very close contest from Bexley AC and Istead & Ifield Harriers. In the Ladies’ team race, Canterbury Harriers won going one better than their second place finish last year. They finished ahead of Orpington Road Runners in second and Faversham Running Club in third.
Race Director Glenn Mousley said : “despite the lower numbers, we are glad that we took the decision to hold the race this year. It was challenging to organise with all the uncertainties that Covid-19 brought. The standard of the race was high and we crowned a worthy new winner in Charlie Brisley. We were also pleased to welcome back Helen Gaunt who once again triumphed in the ladies race. I would also like to thank all of the runners for helping to make the race happen and to the many volunteers and organisers who give up their time to help on the race. We hope to be back to our normal time in January for next year’s race”.