Grand start for defending champion Hampson

Alex Hampson.

Alex Hampson.

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A heron was defeated by a harrier as Nene Valley’s Alex Hampson started the defence of his Peterborough 5k Grand Prix title at Ferry Meadows last week with victory over Eye Community Runner Ben Heron.

The 18 year old trainee electrician sparked the race into life leading from the off, but it took him until the final kilometre before he was able to shake off the persistent pursuers, including Heron, who had been snapping at his heels for much of the race.

Hampson was delighted with his race win but admitted that things hadn’t gone fully to plan saying: “I didn’t want to lead all the way, and tried to get other runners in the group to share the front running. I realised that they were not interested, and was delighted that I was able to see them off and win the race the hard way.”

The long striding Harrier crossed the line in 16:03, nine seconds clear of runner-up Heron.

James Mogridge of Yaxley Runners won the battle for third place with a 16:24 clocking.

The Peterborough AC duo of Amittai Ben-Israel and Shaun Walton chased him all the way finishing fourth and fifth.

The ladies race was won comfortably by Rachel Doherty of Northamptonshire club Higham Harriers in 17:03. Nene Valley’s Grace Mullins was the second lady home in 18:18, which represented a seven-second personal best for the 20 year-old.

Maggie Skinner of Stamford Striders finished third closely followed by March AC’s Melissa Neal and Nene Valley’s Nicky Morgan.

The curtain-raising Junior 3k race was dominanted by youngsters from Nene Valley Harriers.

Benjamin Roberts won in 10:05 and was followed home by team-mates Ethan Ellison, Matthew Church and Matthew Dowling.

Flo Brill finished sixth overall and first girl, crossing the line in 10:56.

Fellow Harriers Ella Robinson and Olivia Mead were second and third respectively.