ATHLETICS: Bruce pips Hamilton to bag White Horse double

Abingdon’s Dan Hamilton (395) and Highgate’s David Bruce (580) are prominent at the start of the White Horse Half Marathon at Grove, with Woodstock’s James Bolton (465) in between

Abingdon’s Dan Hamilton (395) and Highgate’s David Bruce (580) are prominent at the start of the White Horse Half Marathon at Grove, with Woodstock’s James Bolton (465) in between

First published in Sport Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

David Bruce held off the challenge of Dan Hamilton to collect a title double in the White Horse Half Marathon at Grove.

Bruce, from Oxford, finished 13 seconds clear of second-placed Hamilton (Abingdon) on a course affected by strong winds.

Running for first-claim club Highgate Harriers, Bruce clocked 1hr 10mins 57secs to Hamilton’s 1.11.10.

This gave him victory in the open race and the Oxfordshire Championship, which took place concurrently.

The pair were part of a lead group of five including James Bolton (Woodstock Harriers), Paul Fernandez (Abingdon) and James Eve (Headington Road Runners) in the early stages of the race, but broke clear around the eight-mile mark.

Despite a fast finish from Hamilton, Bruce always looked strong as he powered to victory.

Fernandez, a winner in three of the previous four races, had to be content with third place this time in 1.11.50.

He did, however, have the consolation of winning the open and Oxfordshire vet 40 titles.

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Former Scotland international Shona Crombie-Hicks

Shona Crombie-Hicks, 42, who competed in the marathon for Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, was the first lady home and 36th overall.

Crombie-Hicks (Bourton Road Runners) recorded 1.24.53 to finish a minute clear of another veteran, 40-year-old Rachel Masser, of Woodstock Harriers.

Masser, who clocked 1.25.54, had the consolation of landing the overall and vet 35 Oxfordshire titles.

Continuing with the veteran theme, 41-year-old Sarah Wheeler (Stratford-upon-Avon), came home third in 1.27.15.

Eynsham Road Runners’ Hannah Hale was fourth lady home to win the open and county senior prizes after clocking a club record time of 1.28.50.

With fourth-placed Bolton (1.12.03) leading them home, Woodstock Harriers retained the open and county men’s team prizes.

Both ladies’ team titles went to Headington Road Runners, whose highest placed athlete Jessica Bruce (1.29.56) was fifth in the individual race.

Host club White Horse Harriers also enjoyed success, with Ian Lambourn winning both vet 50 men’s categories after clocking 1.23.45 for 31st.

Jonny Cornish, who is a second-claim White Horse member, finished seventh in 1.15.07 to land the Kit Trophy for the club’s leading runner in the race.

Lucia Singer secured the Coachman Trophy, which is the ladies’ equivalent, having recorded 1.41.45 for 178th place.

Woodstock’s Bryan Vaughan bagged a vet 60 men’s double in a time of 1.26.32, while Alchester’s Nigel Lambert (2.10.37) took the county vet 70 honours.

Unattached pair Helen Jones (1.44.58) and Wendy Millatt (1.54.43) won the Oxon ladies’ vet 45 and 55 crowns.

But both finished behind the evergreen vet 65 winner Kate Williamson (Eynsham), who recorded the impressive time of 1.42.07, aged 68.

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