A firm favourite among local running clubs and organised by Stubbington Green Runners, this course is known for being fast and flat and is often viewed as an ideal way to get a baseline 10km time at the start of the year.
The route had a few deviations this year, but still took in the beautiful views of the Solent and surrounding villages.
Alton Runners had 34 club members complete the race – the biggest turnout for a Hampshire Road Race League (HRRL) race in 12 years – and despite it being a wet and windy day, positive attitudes were the order of the day as many club members set out to beat their personal bests.
Club chairman Jim Armitage said: “As we were standing at the start line, the heavens opened and we got soaked, but only for a few seconds.
“This year’s course was different to previous years because of the new Stubbington bypass which opened last year.
“I am not a big fan of the new course, though. It started on a closed road, but soon we had to run along a narrow footpath at the side of a busy main road.
“After a couple of miles or so it opened out as we passed by the Daedalus airfield. After that, we had a bit of deja vu as the course followed roads we ran just a couple of months ago in the Gosport half marathon.”
Andrew Tarrant said: “It’s a fantastic course – a bit narrow at the beginning and we started gradually, but I found my rhythm and enjoyed it.
“All the Alton Runners did really well.”
With Alex Hall pacing him to the 5km point, James Perrett took the men’s first place for Alton, followed closely by Alex Hall and Sam Larcombe in third. In the women’s team, Rachel Walsh came in first, followed by Kat Barratt and Esther Park in second and third.
Other runners had mixed reactions to their race times, with many club members starting training for other events in the year. Adrian Lambeth was delighted to achieve a sub-45 10km time despite running a challenging 50km just two weeks ago and counting it towards the first part of his training for the 100km Serpent Trail race in the summer. Patrick Tuite expressed a little frustration at being just 13 seconds over his 50-minute target but harboured no dampened spirits.
Other runners offered winning strategies for racing on a windy day; Diane Byrne confessed to ‘finding somebody taller and hiding behind them’ as she ran. A plan that clearly works as Diane also scooped up a sub-50-minute race time.
The next race in the HRRL season is the Ryde 10 mile on Sunday, February 5.