Wilesmith and Perrio proved victorious in 7 Mile road race.
This year’s incarnation of the classic Liberation day road race saw good numbers despite somewhat adverse conditions. The race resumed its traditional format, with a Rousse start and North Beach finish.
A group of 5 runners soon drew clear of the 100+ field. This pack gradually split until Dave Emery, Matt Loveridge and Mike Wilesmith had cleared a gap at the 2 mile mark. Wilesmith began to push the pace from there on, claiming that ‘much to my shock, I managed to pick up the pace every mile’. He then dug up a minute over his rivals to finish first with a personal best of 37:29. Emery finished in 38:31 for second place, making 10 seconds on Loveridge.
Louise Perrio was the first woman to finish, with a time of 42:22. After a steady start and a ‘hard week’ of training, she pushed on in the second half to gain a 4-minute lead on her gender group competitors. Jenny James drew ahead of Chantal Green after a similarly controlled start to finish in 46:56. Green was third woman with a time of 47:40.
Runners were challenged by headwinds for the first few miles around L’Ancresse, but a slight tailwind from there onwards allowed runners to make up some of the lost time. Slight drizzle eventually gave way to heavier downpour, but not before the first few finishers came in.
The two winners are both set to take part in the Highgate 10000m later this month which doubles as the Olympic trials and provides an opportunity to run fast times against quality competition.