Helen Davies wins Capel 5 outright

Helen Davies, winning the Colchester Half-Marathon, had the distinction of finishing first overall a

Helen Davies, winning the Colchester Half-Marathon, had the distinction of finishing first overall at last weekend's Capel 5. Picture: NIGEL BROWN - Credit: Archant

It is not very often that a local road race is won outright by a female athlete, but that was exactly what happened at last Sunday’s Capel 5.

Former international marathon runner, Helen Davies, was not only first lady but also first overall over a new five-mile course at this ‘Tony King Memorial Race,’ held on a new course from the village of Capel St Mary and organised by Capel Cheetahs.

Davies, a member of Ipswich JAFFA, was well clear of a field of 126 in a time of 28mins 13secs. Ironically, her closest challenger was her husband!

Gavin Davies, also of JAFFA, was a runner-up in 29:10, followed by Framlingham Flyers’ Darren Sheppard, who was third in 29:41.

It was a good workout for Helen Davies, who represented Great Britain at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010, and also ran for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later that same year, both over the marathon distance.

Returning from a break from competitive running, to start a young family, Davies is now targeting an Autumn marathon, having won the ladies’ title at the Brighton Marathon for the last two years.

“It felt strange to be out on my own, at the head of the field,” admitted Davies. “It has happened once to me before, when I won the Langham 10K back in 2009, but I had other runners closer to me on that occasion.

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“I basically ran off on my own, and soon had a 100 metre lead. I had a hunch that this might be the case, waiting at the start-line. It’s only a small event, but it’s local to me and it’s a great little race.

“I would obviously have liked some company on the run. My husband Gavin was following behind, but otherwise I only had the lead cyclist for company. It was a little surreal.

“It’s not a position that I am used to being in, because there are usually some fast fellows around. I would have liked to got under 28 minutes, but it was a tough course, especially the last mile, which is uphill and where I lost quite a bit of time.

“I’m looking towards an Autumn marathon, building up with some 5K and 10K races,” added 38-year-old Davies.

The top five at Capel was completed by Carl Baker (fourth in 29:46) and 15-year-old Ryan Bumphrey (fifth in 29:55).

Second female to Davies was Joanna Arscott, of Bishop’s Stortford RC, in 35:35. followed by Colchester Harriers’ Debbie Cattermole (35:46).

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