Lucy Reid's triple victory in Victory 5
City of Portsmouth AC's annual Victory 5 road race has been a magnet for top athletes since 1946 – surely one of the oldest, continuously held events in Britain. There were 815 finishers in the 73rd edition of this historic race on Sunday (1 December).
Lakeside North Harbour, Cosham – described as the south coast's leading office campus – provides the base for the three-lap blast on perfectly flat, smooth tarmac paths, which also hosts the Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun. The outright Victory 5 race records are held by Rob Denmark (22:43) and Nnenna Lynch (USA, 25:35). The race is managed by Nice Work.
Victory 5 often rewrites the UK rankings and this proved to be the case again as the top three dipped under 25-minutes. Matt Bergin (Bedford & County, 23:39) does not feature on that list due to his Irish heritage but a PB for Henry McLuckie (24:18) took the under-20 Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier to number one junior for 2019. Third-placed Joe Wade (Ryde Harriers, 24:31 PB) rose to 12th best in the UK this year.
Lucy Reid – pictured below – of Tonbridge AC, has been unbeaten in Victory 5 for three years and trimmed her own club record by a second (27:04). Her time is second fastest in UK this year. Maisie Trafford (Arena 80, 27:33 PB) and Emily Wicks (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 28:00) were among seven women inside 30-minutes.
There were plenty of higher age-group performances to admire. Examples include M40 James Baker (Chichester, 26:21); M50 Simon Stevens (Winchester, 28:02); M60 Jon Cross (Hart Road Runners, 29:18) and M70 Peter James (Ryde Harriers, 34:20).
Charlie Metcalfe (W40 Ryde Harriers, 29:33) was sixth in the women's race and other category winners include Winchester's Karen Rushton (W50, 31:09) and Lynne Whitaker (W60, 34:48).
The top 100 averaged better than six-minute-mile pace and Gosport Road Runners over-70 age group athletes Michael and Marie Bowers were the final finishers in just over 75 minutes.
Full results and race details via runABC South race listing here
Images courtesy Nice Work/Victory 5 and Mark Hookway/Tonbridge AC