Coleman cruises home
Givaudan Ashford 10k road race
A RECORD field of nearly 950 runners enjoyed perfect conditions for the 19th annual Ashford 10k road race, sponsored by Givaudan, on Sunday.
Not that many of them will have seen race winner Mike Coleman at all until the presentations.
The talented Medway and Maidstone runner was a class apart taking the title, and his second Kent 10k championship gold medal, in commanding style.
He finished nearly a minuteand-a-half clear of his nearest rival with a superb 30:58 and was unchallenged from the start.
He set a blistering pace that second-placed Blackheath and Bromley runner Peter Tucker, who finished in 32:24, simply couldn’t match.
Tucker finished comfortably clear of former team-mate Jamie Atkinson who was third with 33:01.
Last year’s winner, Andy Welch of host club Ashford AC, was just outpaced by Atkinson to finish in 33:05.
And there was delight for Folkestone Running Club’s men who took Kent championship team gold led home by the ever improving Sam Rigby in fifth with a huge personal best 33:35.
He was closely followed by team-mate and former race winner John Creane with 33:43 with talented newcomer Jason Brett making up the winning trio in 18th with 35:51.
Silver team winners were Ashford and District Roadrunners led home by fine runs by Rob Carpenter and Kevan James in 15th and 16th with 35:45 and 35: 47 respectively.
Making up an excellent trio was Pat Butler in 21st with 36: 12, which also gave him the veteran men’s 50s silver medal as well. James won the bronze in the V40 category.
It was another splendid day for Ashford and Ashford Athletics Club, which organises the race.
The race, organised by Paul Jakeman, has consistently earned rave reviews from participants.
The decision to return it to Ashford town centre has been consistently justified raising the profile of the town by attracting record entries each year.
The race had added status this year by being the Kent championship and also part of the Grand Prix Series.
Ladies winner Jess Trowbridge with Tina Oldershaw and Helena Penfold
Race winner Mike Coleman strides home