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Justin beats own record on way to race victory

By West Briton  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

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TWO of Cornwall Athletic Club's top distance runners – Justin Thomas and Donna Raggett – won their respective Men's and Ladies' races in Sunday's Great Flat Lode 5 mile Multi-Terrain race, organised by the Redruth Rotary Club.

Thomas was in a class of his own as the field of more than 100 runners set off in rather wet conditions from the Trewirgie area of Redruth.

By the one mile mark along the path at the base of Carn Brea, the Cornwall AC runner was already clear of his pursuers, led by Luke Murray (Clevedon AC), who took time out from a family half term holiday in St Ives and Tony Dunn (Cornwall AC).

Powering his way up the long climb through Tregajorran, which eventually levelled off on the road into Carnkie, Thomas could afford to relax a little and cruised along the Great Flat Lode on his way back to the finish line at Redruth Cricket Club.

His time of 28 minutes 46 set a new course record, beating his own best time set in 2011 by the significant margin of 52 seconds.

After the race Thomas said: "I'm glad I didn't have to run flat out in the latter stages today, as I am preparing for the Cornish Marathon next month and had planned to run with Tony (Dunn) around the old Redruth 10K course after the race, as I need to keep building my mileage for the marathon."

The Ladies' race was a much closer affair with the first three across the line separated by just 29 seconds.

At the halfway point approaching Carnkie, Donna Raggett (Cornwall AC), Tamsin Uren-Webster (U) and Beth Popperwell (Mile High) were running within touching distance of each other, before Donna made her move, initially moving ahead of Tamsin, with Beth in third place.

Along the Great Flat Lode Donna extended her lead, taking advantage and feeling more comfortable on the flatter section, winning her first race since the 2011 Race for Wildlife more than 12 months ago, this time by 17 seconds.

A gutsy run from Beth saw her close on and then pass Tamsin inside the final mile, gaining some ground when Tamsin fell heavily on a flooded section of a footpath but recovered to finish a bloodied third, eight seconds behind the Mile High runner.

Cornwall AC retained both the Men's and Ladies' team titles with Thomas and Dunn joined by Tim Drayson (7th) and Andrew Eddison (8th) in the winning team.

Falmouth Road Runners, with their four scoring runners in the top 13 finished second (33 points), with Newquay Road Runners (69 points) in third place.

In the Ladies' competition Cornwall AC's winning margin was much greater with Donna joined by Jenny Almey (4th), Rachael Thomas (8th) and a jubilant Nicole Billinge (14th), who won her first ever team trophy.

Race Organiser, Lee Jeffery said: "The members of Redruth Rotary Club were delighted with the support given to their annual Charity Run.

"All funds raised at the event will be donated to Headway Cornwall Brain Injury Association approximately £1500. With support from Cornwall Athletic Club, 5th Redruth Scouts, Redruth Cricket Club, St. Johns Ambulance and the local Police."

Results, page 110.

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