More than 600 runners take on Peter Driver Memorial Fleet 10k in memory of Commonwealth Games medallist
Despite threats of rain and hurricane-force winds, the sun shone brightly for the 650 runners taking part in Sunday’s Peter Driver Memorial Fleet 10k.
First runner home was Mark Symes in 34min 11sec, almost a minute ahead of Jimmy Heal. James Wallace of Hart Road Runners came third.
Lesley Locks, also from Hart Road Runners, was the first woman home in 36min 33sec, which saw her finish sixth overall.
Rebecca Bunting of London Heathside Runners AC was the second woman home in 39min 14sec and third was Bethany Heddle of Camberley & District AC in 41min 3sec.
Local running clubs will be fighting to sign up winning runner Symes, who is presently unaffiliated. He is well known to local runners, having won the local Frimley Lodge park run 74 times in the last three years.
Winning woman Locks has also enjoyed an impressive season, winning all three Yateley 10k races, the Alton 10-miler and the Burnham Beeches, Wokingham and Windsor half marathons.
Aldershot Farnham District won the men’s team event and Reading Roadrunners claimed victory in the women’s team competition.
Ben Raggett was the first man home for organisers Fleet and Crookham Athletic Club and the first woman was Yvonne Farrell. Tim Wright won the 5km race in a time of 17min 41sec.
The race is held in memory of Mr Driver, who won gold in the six-mile event at the Empire (now Commonwealth) Games in Vancouver in 1954.
Mr Driver, who died from cancer in 1971, moved to Fleet in 1961 and joined Fleet and Crookham AC, then a small new club. He became secretary and helped to improve and expand the club, giving it the base from which it has flourished.
Race director Mickael Hegesippe said: “With entries up for three years in a row, the Peter Driver Memorial Fleet 10k goes from strength to strength and has established itself as the leading Sunday 10k in North East Hampshire.
“Runners left with a genuine sense of satisfaction for their achievements and, with medals, sport drinks, bottles, Sweatshop vouchers and chocolate bars given away at the finish and prizes in each age category, the value for money of the Fleet 10k has shone again.
“Marshals and the organisation were highly praised and many locals now make the race their objective for the year and tailor their training around it.”
The club has already started preparing for next year’s Brooks pre-London Fleet Half Marathon on March 16.
Race director Penny Abbott said that more than 1,000 entries had already been received online .
“The last race was filled before the end of the year so runners are urged to get their entries in early,” she added.