Carpendale crowned Woodbridge 10K champion, while Davies breaks female course record
- Credit: Archant
Ben Carpendale won an exciting head-to-head tussle with Matt Spencer to lift the Woodbridge 10K title this lunchtime, while Helen Davies broke the female course record on her way to an impressive third-placed finish overall.
Another bumper field - the entry quota was quickly filled, as usual - took on the hilly two-lap challenge of the 38th annual Woodbridge Round-the-Town Charity 10K road race, supported by another successful junior run.
The pace was hot at the top of the field, with Carpendale and Spencer going toe-to-toe for most of the event, which started outside Woodbridge School on Burkitt Road and finished outside the Shire Hall on Market Hill.
In the end Carpendale, of Felixstowe Road Runners, put in a decisive kick during the final uphill stretch to the finish to claim victory in 33 minutes 22 seconds.
Spencer, a member of Bungay Black Dog, took second spot just five seconds behind in 33:27.
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And there was another impressive run from Suffolk's leading lady, Helen Davies, who had completed a hat-trick of Brighton Marathon victories only a month ago.
Davies, of Ipswich JAFFA, who is set to represent Great Britain at the World 50K Championships in Romania later this year, posted a swift time of 34:23, despite only treating the race as a "tempo run," in the words of her coach Clive Sparkes.
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Davies therefore blitzed the previous course record of 37:06, which had been set by Jennie Roberts 10 years ago, back in 2009.
The men's course record remains the 31:19 registered by former Woodbridge Shuffler, Aaron Scott, in 2013. Last year's champions were Framlingham Flyers' Andrew Rooke (31:54), who had also won in 2017, and Hadleigh Hares' Elisa Bostock (40:14).
Men's champion Carpendale said: "I'm delighted with the way I ran, and with the win. That's the closest race I have ever been involved in, in terms of winning.
"I was neck-and-neck with Matt (Spencer). I wasn't surprised with that because we had finished very close to one another at the previous weekend's Ipswich Twilight 5K.
"We kept swapping places at the front, although I guess I was just ahead for most of the race, and in the end it came down to a sprint.
"I didn't have much left, but Matt didn't come past me and so I gave it everything that I had got up the final hill," added Carpendale, who lives in Felixstowe.
Runner-up Spencer said: "It's a very tough course. I've run it a few times before.
"I only finished a second behind Ben (Carpendale) at the Twilight 5K, so the plan was to stick with him and see what happened.
"I had run the London Marathon a month ago, but I didn't have that in my legs," added Spencer, who comes from Saxmundham.
Once again the streets of Woodbridge were lined with hundreds of spectators and well-wishers, with the races helping to raise money for local charities.
Last year, £12,000 was raised and shared between five charities from the sponsorship received from local businesses.
And this year the following six charities were supported by the race: East Anglian Air Ambulance, Fresh Start New Beginnings, Just42, Lapwing Education, MIND and Suffolk Accident Rescue Service.
In addition to the main 10K event, for runners aged 15 and over, there was also a junior 1.5km race for runners aged between seven and 15 inclusive.
This saw a superb run by Ruby Vinton, who is a pupil at Woodbridge School. Vinton was not only the first female but also first overall, in a time of 4mins 52secs.
Vinton, a member of Ipswich Harriers, won her age group race at the London Mini Marathon last month, and was crowned Inter Counties Cross Country champion at Loughborough in March.
Harriers' club-mate Ryan Grady was second overall and the first boy in 5:02, followed by Woodbridge School's Ethan Rattenbury in third with 5:03.
Top 10 finishers: 1 B Carpendale (Felixstowe RR) 33:22; 2 M Spencer (Bungay BD) 33:27; 3 H Davies (Ipswich JAFFA, first lady) 34:23; 4 N Goddard (Ipswich Harriers) 34:46; 5 J Last (Framlingham Flyers, first over-40 veteran) 35:35; 6 C Le Fanu (Woodbridge Shufflers) 35:41; 7 K Evans Lombe (Ips/Harr) 35:49; 8 B Williams (Unattached) 35:53; 9 S Cooper (Blackheath & Bromley, first over-45 veteran) 35:57; 10 L Barber (Framlingham Flyers) 35:58.
WOODBRIDGE JUNIOR 1.5K
Top 10 finishers: 1 R Vinton (Ips/Harr, first girl) 4:52; 2 R Grady (Ips/Harr) 5:02; 3 E Rattenbury (Wood School) 5:03; 4 C Manman (JAFFA, first 14-15 year-old) 5:04: 5 L Sinclair 5:08; 6 R Hammond (first 10-11 year-old) 5:12; 6 A Goddard (Ips/Harr, second girl) 5:13; 7 I Alexander (Ips/Harr, second girl) 5:17; 9 A Shaw 5:21; 10 F Akyol (Wood School) 5:22. Also: 11 I Mitchell (fourth girl) 5:23.