The weather gods were smiling on Overton as more than 500 runners descended on the small village for the 26th running of the popular 5-mile road race.
As usual, the event kicked off the Hampshire Road Race League, an annual competition that pits clubs and runners from all over the county in a series of road races throughout the autumn and spring.
Given the near-perfect conditions, entries into the Overton 5 swelled on the day and the packed field assembled on the start line for the very sociable 2pm start.
The five-mile race is run over two fairly challenging laps. There’s a small uphill climb after the first 300 metres, and then two much stiffer ones in the rest of the lap. Of course, what goes up must come down, and the sweeping downhill section to the finish gives all the competitors a chance to test their legs.
Course record holder Toby Lambert was back in the field after a couple of quieter years – and was soon to the fore after the gun sounded. With a PB dating back to 2010 of 23.49, Winchester’s Lambert was the class of the field and, while he didn’t have it all his own way, he had more than enough in the tank to see off Stubbington Green’s Dan O’Boyle in 25.20. The pair were more than a minute ahead of third-placer James Knight who clocked 26.23 – and the V40 prize.
The women’s race was an equally competitive affair with Hart Runners’ Lesley Locks taking the victory in 30.10, ahead of Erica Fogg (New Forest Runners) and the evergreen Kath Bailey in third.
• next year’s race is likely to be held on September 6. For more details and full results, click http://www.overtonharriers.org.uk/club-races/overton-5/
• The club also hold a 16-mile cross-country race between Combe Gibbet and Overton in April. Entries open in January via www.overtonharriers.org.uk