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Canterbury 10 - Tsegay 6th Win

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Canterbury 10 Race Report 2020

Stunning run from Abel Tsegay secures his 6th consecutive victory at the Pentland Homes  Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race.

The 2020 Pentland Homes Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race was run in cold but calm conditions on Sunday 26th January. The race resulted in a sixth consecutive win for locally based Invicta East Kent athlete Abel Tsegay. He was dominant from the start, running away from the field and finishing in the very good time of 52mins 29sec. Finishing a distant second but running strongly throughout was Mark Wilkins from Medway and Maidstone AC in 55min 51sec. Following him home in third place was Chris Biddle from Dartford Harriers AC in 57min 21sec who in the later stages moved ahead of Tunbridge Wells Harriers pair, Alexander Jeffreys and Patrick Bareham. 

The Ladies’ race was opened up by the late withdrawal of pre-race favourite Lucy Reid from Tonbridge AC. This allowed a victory from her Tonbridge clubmate Helen Gaunt who finished first in 63min 6sec. She was too strong for Kat Owens of Crawley AC who put in a gutsy performance ; finishing second in 65min 12sec, just ahead of race regular Hazel Behagg of Dartford Road Runners who was third in 65min 27sec.

For the fifth year in succession, record numbers of runners turned out to take part in this long standing event, with it being a sell-out 2 weeks before race day. There were over 1500 entrants and 1454 finishers, with the race continuing to be the largest event of its kind in East Kent. There was new title race sponsorship provided by local property developer, Pentland Homes. The race was based at the regular race HQ, Christ Church University Sports Centre.

The event charity was once again Pilgrims Hospices. Their strong ties with the event continued with a number of  sponsored runners taking part. This was to raise funds, in addition to a cheque for £ 1,500 donated by Invicta East Kent AC and collected by Pilgrims Hospices Event Organiser Lydia Todd.

Helped by the calm weather conditions,  the runners of all abilities performed to a very creditable standard and many completed the course in personal best times. There were also a substantial number of spectators who lined the picturesque route.

There were various age group winners as follows :

Men V40 Paul Jones (Istead & Ifield Harriers) 59m 59sec
Men V50 Gavin Kitchingham (Orpington Road Runners) 64m 14sec
Men V60 Ian Stokes (Canterbury Harriers) 67m 14sec
Men V70 David Winch (Thanet Roadrunners) 76m 14sec

Ladies V35 Nichola Evans (Tonbridge AC) 67m17sec
Ladies V45 Tina Oldershaw (Tonbridge AC) 67m 22sec
Ladies V55 Kate Williams (Kent AC) 77m 15sec
Ladies V65 Mickey Motley (Pilgrims Hospices) 93m 19sec

In the Men’s team race, Orpington Road Runners (Matthew Steere, Graeme Lugar, Tom Foster & Robert Jackson) managed to win what was a very close contest from Dartford Harriers AC and Thanet Road Runners.  In the Ladies’ team race, Tonbridge AC (Helen Gaunt, Tina Oldershaw & Nichola Evans) were runaway winners, finishing well ahead of Canterbury Harriers in second and Beckenham Running Club in Third.

In the 2019 race there was a freak accident when Nikki Goodwin (Folkestone AC) badly broke her leg. She returned this year after a remarkable recovery and put her demons to rest with a strong run, finishing in 71min 23sec.

Race Director Glenn Mousley said : “the conditions were the best for several years, leading to many personal bests over the distance. It was great to see Abel Tsegay back to his best after a number of injuries in the last year. We were also pleased to welcome Helen Gaunt who achieved her first win in the race. The atmosphere was excellent and I would like to thank both the runners for supporting the event and to my organising team and volunteers who helped to make the race possible.”