Jogger Johnson wins the Stamford Grand Prix

Steve Robinson (right) finished third in the Stamford heat of the Peterborough 5k Grand Prix series.

Steve Robinson (right) finished third in the Stamford heat of the Peterborough 5k Grand Prix series.

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Werrington jogger Anthony Johnson has made huge strides in the two years that he’s been racing and has now established himself as one of the most feared long distance runners on the local circuit.

Johnson took full advantage of the absence of Nene Valley stars Alex Hampson and Lloyd kempson at Stamford last Wednesday, seeing off some of the region’s top talent to record his first Peterborough Grand Prix victory in style.

The two-lap course is always the most testing of the five race series, with two long hills to climb. In the first lap Johnson was part of a five man leading group, but he used the hill to his advantage on the second lap, pulling away from John Pike of Newham and Essex Beagles and Peterborough AC’s Steve Robinson, to secure victory in a time of 15:56.

Pike finished second 10 seconds further back, after outsprinting Robinson in the finishing straight.

Yaxley’s James Mogridge placed fourth in 16:18, and he was followed home by a Nene Valley trio of Rhys Goddard, Chris Wright and Jake Richardson.

Another Harrier in top form was Grace Mullins, who is almost certain to be crowned the ladies champion after winning her third win of the series with a time of 18:43. Maggie Skinner, representing host club Stamford Striders, came in second in 18:57. with Sarah Caskey of Peterborough AC pipping Nene Valley Harrier, Nicky Morgan for third place.

The 3k youngsters race was dominated by Nene Valley ‘s squad of talented distance runners.

Nandeli Palembe won in an impressive time of 10:34, with his teammates Ethan Ellison and Oliver Oakley finishing second and third in 10:39 and 10:43 respectively.

It was a 1-2 for Nene Valley in the girls race with Amelia Monaghan finishing a superb sixth overall in 11:00 ahead of Amber Park who came home second with a time of 11:35. Kettering Town Harriers, Danielle McGann-Gaskell, finished third.

The final race of the series takes place at Werrington Sports Centre on Wednesday August 5. The youngsters race begins at 7:00pm with the senior 5k starting 30 minutes later.

It promises to be quite a showdown for the men’s title with three runners in contention. Nene Valley teenage talent, Alex Hampson, with two first place finishes to his name already, will win the series if he crosses the line first at Werrington However Hampson’s clubmate and rival,Lloyd Kempson, has a first and second place finish to his name, as does Johnson.

Both athletes will know they must win the race to have any chance of victory in the series.