The fifth Tulip 10k road race in Spalding was a test of will, as well as stamina, in bright but breezy conditions on Sunday.
More than 100 runners resisted the lure of other races in Boston, Grantham and Lincoln to take on a seemingly straighforward course, both from and back to Springfields Events and Conference Centre, Spalding.
The race winner was Drew Warnes (28) of Spalding and Nene Valley Harriers in 34mins 51.47secs.
Warnes said: “I was aiming for 35mins so I was pushing pretty hard on the outward run, although I was up against a headwind which made it fairly tough.
“It was fine to win as I’ve been training specifically for this race before doing some club races in July.
Clubmate Philippa Taylor (48) of Stamford was the first woman to finish in 38mins 24.91secs and there was a creditable showing by teenager Alfie Bobbins (15) of Norfolk who came 11th in 42mins 55.69secs.
Philippa said: “This was the first Tulip 10k for me and the course was flat, but quite breezy going out.
“The race was very much a marker to see where I’m at and so it was a perfect, but low-key chance to push myself and make me work as a runner.”
Another teenager, along with Alfie, to complete the run was Spalding rugby under-16 player Ollie Rees (16) who clocked 48mins 39.16secs.
He said: “The race was tough but definitely worth it as the marshals around the course made it a friendly, but competitive atmosphere by encouraging us to run faster and ‘dig deep’.
The race really enjoyable and I was very pleased with my time as I finished in sub-50 minutesOllie Rees (16) of Spalding
“The course was flat and the sun was shining, making the race really enjoyable and I was very pleased with my time as I finished in sub-50 minutes.
“I’ll definitely be coming back to compete again next year.”
Race organiser Aimee Stocker of Spalding Triathlon Club said: “The race went well and we had a lovely day for it.
“It was a lot easier to organise this year because it’s now settled in the calendar.
“The standard of runners completely varied and it attracted people from further afield, although there were a lot of other races in the area this year.