Published: 00:00, 09 May 2002
MIKE Coleman retained his Hythe Round the Houses 6km title but it only came after a terrific battle with Shaftesbury's Ewen Malloch which produced one of the best contests for several years.
There was nothing between the duo in the opening four laps through Hythe's streets until Dover international Coleman stepped on the gas in the final straight to open up a decisive lead.
It was Coleman's third win in four years running for Maidstone and Medway this year after moving from Ashford AC but the 17:56 was outside his fastest run of 17:46 set last year.
Malloch, better known as a steeplechaser was a comfortable second with 18:04 from local man John Creane of South Kent Harriers who was just happy to get back to competitive form with 18:17. "It is the closest I have got to Mike so far," he commented afterwards.
Creane's Harriers teammate Barry Watson also had a good run to be fifth overall and the leading veteran in 21:10 from former champion Mike Gratton with 21:23 who was making his first competitive return since his last win back in 1994.
Gratton was the inaugural winner in 1991 and his 17:27 time stood as the course record for five years. Another Harrier Trevor Heath was third veteran in 21:32.
Fourth was Daniel Gillett with 20:32 and another former winner David Weekes, of Canterbury Harriers, was 10th with 21:47 behind team-mate Simon Kendall who was sixth with 21:19. Both had been part of the Harriers winning relay squad that had run just before the main race along with Roy Palmer and Steve Clark.
Ladies honours went to regular visitor Mathilde Heaton of Belgrave who combines visits to the area with local races.
She also produced a strong final lap to take the trophy in 22:35 holding off the challenge of Philippa Jackson who had led earlier and closed with 23:02. Jackson has been a Folkestone resident for the last year and was still running in her Berwick colours.
Third was Folkestone runner Maggie McArdle with 24:16 with local runner and first veteran Carol Giles fourth with 27:23. Close behind was Folkestone's Kira Fawke, who runs for Ashford AC, with 27:34 and sixth was Pam Rigley in 29:44.
In the junior runs there were outstanding runs from both secondary school winners with the only course record to fall on the day coming in the boys race. There Ashford AC's rising young star Andrew Welch bettered the previous mark of 4.31 set back in only the second race in 1992 with a superb 4:26.
And Ashford AC teammate Lauren Fawke (FSG) also shone in the girls race with a comfortable win over her teammate Bethany Dearlove to retain her crown won last year.
But it was another superb day all round raising valuable revenue for the Rotary Club of Hythe who stage the event with help from Folkestone AC.
There was good backing this year from Portex and Blue Shield Insurance and in the past 12 years the races have raised more than £22,000 for charities.
Open 6km event: 1 Mike Coleman (Medway & Maidstone) 17:56, 2 Ewen Malloch (Shaftesbury) 18:04, 3 John Creane (South Kent Harriers) 18:17, 4 Daniel Gillett (collingwood) 20:32, 5 Barry Watson (SKH) (1st vet) 21:10, 6 Simon Kendall 21:19; 7 Mike Gratton (invicta) 21:23, 8 Andrew Olsson 21:28, 9 Trevor Heath 21:32, 10 David Weekes (Deal Tri) 21:47, 11 Ross Carter (Cam Harriers) 21:49, 12 Keith Waters (SKH) 21:51, 13 Steve Clark (Cant H) 21:54, 14 Tim Chambers (Folk AC) 22:27, 15 Peter Morgan (Folk AC) 23:22, 16 Granville Battersby (Folk AC) 23:22, 17 Peter Worsley 23:34, 18 P Hill (Folk AC) 23:44, 19 Colin May 23:47, 20 Simon Read (Deal) 23:58.
Women: 1 Mathilde Heaton (Belgrave) 22:35, 2 Philippa Jackson (Berwick) 23:02, 3 Maggie McArdle (Folk) 24:16, 4 Carol Giles (Folk) 27:23, 5 Kira Fawke (Ashford AC) 27:34, 6 Angela Ayling 28:09, 7 Pam Wrigley 29:44, 8 Angela Taylor 30:37, 9 Sonette Schwartz 31:29, 10 Natalie Lansdell and Debbie Taylor 35:24.
High Street relay: 1 Canterbury Harriers 9:45; 2 Harvey Girls 190:12, 3 Firs Fitness Club 10:34, One One Way 12:35, Hythe Aqua 12:40, St Marys B 15:20, Saltwood School Speedos 15:31, St Marys A 16:16, St Marys C 16:41.
Pre-School (Under-5s): 1 Levi Tomsett.
Primary Schools (to Year 3): 1 Jordan Tomsett (Palmarsh) 3:26, 2 Matthew Benstead (St Marys) 3:29, 3 Alex Newson (Eastry) 3:30.
Primary Girls: 1 Charlotte Green (Lympne) 3:43, 2 Kate Funnell (Lympne) 3:59, 3 Zoe Barnes (St Marys) 4:00.
Primary boys (Year4-6): 1 William Funnell (Lympne) 2:53, 2 Matthew Brett 3:02, 3 Jack Green (Ashford AC) 3:08.
Girls to Year 6: 1 Lauren Williams (Ashford AC) 3:07, 2 Amy Gratton (Basingstoke AC) 3:08, 3 Amy Hoyland 3:17.
Secondary School Boys: 1 Andrew Welch (Ashford AC) 4:26 (course record); 2 James Davis (Invicta EK) 4:30, 3 David Boughton (Harvey G) 5:10.
Secondary Girls: 1 Lauren Fawke (Ashford AC/FSG) 5:22, 2 Bethany Dearlove (Ashford AC/Highworth) 6:01; 3 Lucy Gratton (Basingstoke) 6:10.