Ryan Burling quickly shrugged off the effects of his England debut in last weekend’s unduly warm Lillbaelt Half Marathon and ran out a comfortable 35 minute 55 second gun to tape victory in the traditional Liberation Day 7 mile road race.
Burling’s only worry came a mile into the race with indecision over a road turning and a delay to clarify the route with other racers but once back on track he pulled out a margin of over 3 minutes on Andrew van Kints. Peter Amy finished strongly to pip James de Garis for third but the fourth placed stalwart had plenty to smile about as he dipped below 40 minutes for the first time.
There were particularly strong runs from the women’s contingent with no less then four placing in the top 20. Louise Perrio was marginally slower than her 2017 course record but was still strong enough to pull clear of Sarah Mercier in the final 600 metres. Perrio was 7th overall in 40:45 with Mercier 10 seconds behind in 8th. Ulrike Maisch was a strong 15th in 43 minutes 22 and Jenny James ran a big personal best for 20th in 43:52. These leading four women all now feature strongly in the top ten women’s times ever run in this historic event.
It was the largest ever field for the traditional event with 190 runners completing the course that took the runners from the Rousse start line to finish at North Beach.
Prior to the event’s start the prizes for the age and gender graded Chertsey House series of road races took place with Julie Lawlor taking the main prize ahead of Ryan Burling and Steve Dawes.