ATHLETICS: Pike so close to delivering Pinchbeck 10k win

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SPALDING postman John Pike delivered his fastest ever 10k in this country last Sunday – but it wasn’t quite enough to win one of South Holland’s biggest races.

The 36 year-old, who has enjoyed an excellent year, finished two seconds behind winner Paul Butcher at the West Pinchbeck Mike Barnsdale Memorial 10k.

He was delighted with his first class time of 32.55mins but felt he would have won if he hadn’t been cheered on so loudly by spectators at the finish as it alerted Butcher to the fact he was rapidly closing.

Pike said. “It’s always great to have people cheering you but on this occasion it didn’t help me.

“Paul also beat me at the Mansfield 5k, where he finished second and I was third, but I’m in fairly good shape and I should have won.

“I’ve had a good year and am running with confidence so I went off from the gun and my halfway split of 15.47 was faster than I’ve run for any 5k race this year.

“He took the lead shortly after halfway and by 6k was about 50-100m clear but much of the second half was into the wind.

“I used to live at Surfleet Cheal when I was 18 and trained on a lot of the course and it can be very open and windy.

“Paul is tall so it must have been hard for him running into the wind and I was closing on him. I got very close to him with 150m to go but he didn’t know I was there until the crowd starting cheering me. He looked around and kicked.

“I thought I should have won but Paul ran a fantastic race. He’s very strong and he ran better than me.”

Nene Valley Harriers athletes Sam Hunt and Adam Birch were third and fourth respectively, while Peter Thompson was sixth.

• Bourne Town Harriers’ Senior Series for 2011/12 got officially under way at The Pinchbeck 10k.

It was defending champion, Vaughan Roberts who was first in for the club, followed by Rich Lomas-Brown and Tony Gilbert.