SALISBURY'S international athlete Verity Ockenden upped her normal race distance to compete in the Great South 10 mile at Portsmouth last Sunday, writes JOHN RUSKIN.

She showed new talent at the distance by finishing an excellent second to the outstanding Eilish McColgan of Dundee Harriers, .

After starting fast in the elite women’s group, Ockenden, who trains with the City of Salisbury club just held off a late challenge from Cardiff’s Jenny Nesbitt to finish three seconds ahead of her in a notable 55min 15sec.

In the under 20’s section at the same event, Ben Saunby also produced a cracking run to improve his best at the distance by a huge eight minutes and take fourth spot in his age group with 57min 34sec.

Iain Weber was City of Salisbury’s next home clocking 68.40, then came Chris Maple 69.03, Phil Perry 73.50 and Richard Williams 81.19.

Another of the day’s big personal bests followed, Grace Cousins slicing nine minutes from her previous mark with 81.26.

Stuart Robertson was next in 82.17, then Catherine Rynne 96.04 (personal best), Katie Mahoney 97.17, Vanessa Maple 99.50, Fi Thatcher 103.06, Mel Holloway 104.41, Lisa Phaure 105.27, Shelley Tolcher 105.28 and Janine Kemm 109.26.

In the Great South junior 2.5k, Nevie Cousins clocked 10min 40sec for sixth spot and Freddie Bosworth came home in 11.28.

At the Abingdon marathon, Rob Drag took a good eighth place overall as he finished in 2 hours 42 minutes 6 seconds to improve his personal best by nearly four minutes.

He was followed by James Mills in 2.55.12 and James Ballard 3.38.11.