Published: 06:00, 06 August 2021
Teenager Charlie Brisley produced a dominant performance to win the Pentland Homes Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday.
The 19-year-old, who competes for Newham and Essex Beagles, takes over the mantle from six-times winner Abel Tsegay (Invicta East Kent) who was absent this year.
Brisley was dominant from the start, ran away from the field and finished in a time of 51min 19sec.
Finishing a distant second and third but running strongly throughout were Neil McClements (54.33) and Jay Smith (54.43) both from Tonbridge AC. Last year’s runner-up Mark Wilkins from Medway & Maidstone AC was fourth in 57.38. He also received the vets over-40 prize.
The Ladies’ race resulted in a clear victory for last year’s winner Helen Gaunt (Tonbridge). She finished first in 1:04.06. She was too strong for Kat Owens (Crawley AC) who put in a gutsy performance, again finishing second in 1:06.11. Horsham veteran Elspeth Turner finished third, just behind her in 1:07.11.
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 1,454 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 organising club Invicta East Kent AC.
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.”
Age group winners: Men V50: David Sadler (Faversham Running Club) 1:05.23, Men V60: Mick Cooper (Unattached) 1:08.09, Men V70: David Winch (Thanet Roadrunners) 1:16.07, Ladies V35: Sally Brown (Unattached) 1:13.30, Ladies V45: Kerstin Sung (Maidstone Harriers) 1:10.05, Ladies V55: Susan Barrett-Austin (Pilgrims Hospices) 1:20.54, Ladies V65: Vanessa Patching (Sittingbourne Striders) 1:21.38, Men’s team race: Maidstone Harriers (Cameron Chambers, Kev Buchanan, Chris Mudge & Keith Dean), Ladies’ team race: Canterbury Harriers.