Staged in the heart of the small, scenic village of Stubbington, the illustrious Stubbington 10k is now in its 33rd year running and remains as popular as ever with the locals and other runners from nearby clubs in the southern region of Hampshire.
It isn’t just the race that’s been around for a while though. Having taken part in the Stubbington 10k on numerous occasions before, Sanjai Sharma is a seasoned campaigner. In fact, he’s competed in 6 or the last 7 years, so is very familiar with the picturesque landscape, country lanes and coastal roads that the route encompasses.
Renowned as one of the biggest and best races of its kind that the south coast has to offer, the Stubbington 10k course is fast and mostly flat, with a sprinkling of gentle inclines.
As so many people have been recently, Sanjai has been suffering from a cough and cold and has spent the last few weeks trying to recover. With that in mind, he wasn’t expecting to be at his absolute peak on the day but was still aiming for a sub 38 minute finish.
As you would expect from a January morning, the temperature was cold but, aside from that, the conditions were good. Despite his recent illness, Sanjai had a good run, completing the course in a stellar time of 37:17.
That put him in 77th place in a field of 1,657. Although he was desperately hanging on in the last kilometre, Sanjai was happy with the result, which put him 3rd in the Vet Male 55 category.
This was almost an identical time to what Sanjai has produced in this race the previous two years. In 2017 he crossed the line in 37:14 and in 2016 he clocked a 37:13, so he’s been remarkably consistent over the past few years.
Last year’s race winner Matthew Bennett of Southampton AC was beaten into 4th place, with Joe Wade of Aldershot, Farnham & District seizing victory in a blistering time of 31:11. Ben Brewster of Southampton AC was 2nd in a time of 32:07, with George King of Winchester & District claiming 3rd in 32:17.
In the ladies race, Jen Elkins of Southampton AC retained her title from last year, finishing in a time of 34:47. She finished 19th overall. The next female to cross the line was Rebecca Lord, who came in 47th overall in a time of 36:21. Sarah Kingston of Southampton AC was 3rd in a time of 36:38, putting her 56th in the overall standings.