SPARKLING team performances by City of Salisbury runners among the total of 775 to cross the line were the backdrop to a remarkable number of personal bests in their annual 10 mile league road race, writes JOHN RUSKIN.

A cool and almost windless Sunday morning made for a fast start from Ashley Green and it was soon clear that conditions were unusually good for distance running.

At the line, Southampton AC’s Richard Waldron took top spot in 54min 06sec.

In an outstanding fourth place, Salisbury’s Chris Southern improved his previous best at the distance with an excellent run of 55.04.

A further hat-trick of host club personal bests followed, from Shaun Brown in 56.10, Aaron Wilson 56.53 and James Hassan 59.11 to complete a fine men’s A team performance for a good second place overall behind the much larger Southampton.

The day’s high standards were such that it took three more pb’s to earn places in the men’s B team, from Andrew Holme in 60.23, Lee Syrett 63.30, and Richard Davidson 63.51, the only exception being veteran Mike Brewster whose 62.39 was still one of his best.

In the women’s team race, won in 61.64 by Emma Jolley of Portsmouth AC, Salisbury’s Sian Thomas clocked her best of 63.19 for a hard-fought fourth place overall and second in her age group. Sarah Kemp crossed the line in 70.32 and Jo Bailey won her age group with a pb 72.56 to complete the A team.

Not far behind, the women’s B team comprised Emma Clarke, Sarah Brewster and Heather Hitchins with 74.38pb, 74.59 and 82.22pb respectively.

A special feature of the race this year was the presence at the finish of two special camels from Little Durnford Manor, which is on the race route, to add to the event’s charity appeal. Their owner Lady Chichester kindly presented the prizes under their watchful eye.

Other Salisbury finishers were: Peter Callanan in 65.29pb, Nick Cooke 65.55pb, Phil Smith 66.41, Mike White 66.44pb, Craig Weatherburn 67.08pb, Ben Saunby 67.15pb, Ian Lawrence 67.35pb, Nick Hudson 68.15pb, John Duffy 68.44pb, Andy Budgell 69.36, James Ballard 70.18pb, Jason Bennett 70.21pb, Phil Perry 73.18pb and James Welsh 73.48pb.

A further 25 Salisbury finishers’ results can be found at