Johnson defends his British Masters title

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Mansfield Harriers’ super veteran athlete Mark Johnson successfully defended his prestigious British Masters 5km Road Race title in Bolton on Sunday.

A hotly-contested race saw overcast and humid conditions for the 200-strong field on a fast and flat, three lap course that saw Johnson at the front, and always in contention with the lead pack.

By the last lap Johnson controlled the race with ease by opening up a 50m lead over reigning British 10k champion Michael Aldridge, from Northampton, and Telford’s Paul Ward.

This is how the race remained to the finish as the SDC Trailers-sponsored Johnson crossed the line in a swift time of 15 minutes and 24 seconds, which will undoubtedly catch the eyes of the England selectors again for the Home Countries International later on in the year.

Beth Mortiboy, the former Mansfield Harrier and Samworth Church Academy student, retained her title as Midlands Champion in the triple jump at the Midlands Athletics Championships in Birmingham, achieving a new personal best jump of 11.55m.

Harriers also contested the third round of the Booths Decorators Road League at Denby Dale on what was a different, more challenging 4.75 mile course to usual, due to the heavy rain that proceeded the event.

Run on more of a trail type of course than road, much of which was extremely muddy underfoot and very narrow meant that starting as close to the front as possible was imperative.

Harriers had another great turnout in all age categories once again, Andrew Wilson leading them home in 11th place with a time of 26:42.

Other Mansfield times: Ian Beckingham 26:48, Alice Venkatesan (leading junior female) 30:12, Tim Raynor 30:47, Matthew Bradbury 33:10, Adrian Bellingham 35:15, David Ward 35:21, Beverley Armstrong 35:39, John Harrison 35:47, Ian Dobb 36:41, Sharon Armitage 37:20, Susan Bellingham 37:49, Dave Rose 39:42, Maddy Collinge 40:24, Jessica Raynor 42:14.

After three rounds, the men lie in fifth position, the ladies fourth and combined lie in fourth position in the overall Booths League.