Gunby aim­ing to ex­tend fine record at Ely

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sports Awards -

BAR­NACK triath­lete Matt Gunby seeks to end 2011 on a win­ning note when he de­fends his Ely New Year’s Eve 10k ti­tle on Satur­day.

The former Peter­bor­ough Ath­letic Club mem­ber has an ex­cel­lent record in the race, fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Matt Barnes-smith in 2007 and Will Clarke in 2009 be­fore tast­ing vic­tory 12 months ago.

Gunby ac­tu­ally ran faster when beaten by fel­low triathlon in­ter­na­tional Clarke in 2009 than he did when win­ning last year.

He clocked 30.46 to Clarke’s 30.05 while March-based in­ter­na­tional Glen Watts had to set­tle for third in a high qual­ity race in 31.16.

Two years ear­lier he ran 30.58 but fin­ished 10 sec­onds adrift of tal­ented young­ster Bar­nesSmith.

Last year’s race saw a com­fort­able win for Gunby as he clocked 30.47 to deny John Her­bert - who was also fifth in 2009 - a 26th road race vic­tory of the year.

It could well be the same onetwo to­mor­row as Her­bert, who has moved up sev­eral gears in the last two months af­ter a quiet year, is again in ac­tion.

Gunby clearly en­joys rac­ing in events or­gan­ised by Ely Run­ners as he won the Grunty Fen Half­marathon in 2008.

Vic­tory on Satur­day would see him join Nor­folk vet­eran Guy Amos as a dou­ble win­ner of the race but would still be one shy of Rob Joy’s three vic­to­ries.

Gunby’s record in the race is not as im­pres­sive as his girl­friend’s though.

Former Peter­bor­ough 5k Se­ries cham­pion Felic­ity Mil­ton seeks her fourth women’s suc­cess, hav­ing won in 2007 (34.35), 2009 (34.20) and 2010 (34.44).

The Bri­tish in­ter­na­tional from Oakham was the 700th and fi­nal en­trant for the pop­u­lar race which has once again reached it’s en­try limit.

Mil­ton, who also won the Grunty Fen Half-marathon in 2008, should again be in the top 10 over­all hav­ing fin­ished sev­enth in the last two years.

Mak­ing the top 10 might prove eas­ier than fin­ish­ing first wo­man as Bris­tol ace Claire Hal­lis­sey is in ac­tion.

Nene Val­ley Har­rier Ruth Jones should be the first city wo­man af­ter a fine end to the year.

Cambs Road League cham­pion Michael Moore also looks to end an im­pres­sive year on a high.

A fine year in lo­cal road races was re­warded with a first in­ter­na­tional call-up as first re­serve for the Eng­land Over 35 team at last month’s Bri­tish Masters Cross-coun­try In­ter­na­tional in Glas­gow.

Although not pro­moted into the team proper he fin­ished run­ner-up to Her­bert - who was sec­ond re­serve for the Over 40 side - in the open race.

An­other lo­cal run­ner look­ing to do well on Satur­day is Hunts Ath­letic Club’s Dave Con­nell who has a con­sis­tent record in the event.

Con­nell, who has run well on the roads re­cently af­ter a fine sea­son on the track in the steeple­chase, was third in the in­au­gu­ral race in 33.04, filled the same po­si­tion 12 months later in 32.17 and was sev­enth in 2005 in 35.25 when a young Aaron Scott - the Stam­ford ath­lete has pro­gressed well and is now an Eng­land in­ter­na­tional - was 12th in 36.25.

Con­nell then fin­ished ninth in 2006 in 36.34, eighth in 2007 in 34.30 and sneaked into the top 10 last year in 35.00.

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