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Wednesday 12 December 2012 Updated: 12/12 18:07
SUE HARRISON ended the year on a high note by winning the Midland Masters Athletic Club annual championship which was held as part of the Sneyd Striders 10 mile road race near Walsall on Sunday.
It was just the tonic for the Leamington C & ACV international who is battling her way back to full fitness following an injury plagued summer.
Cold and blustery conditions greeted the 500 starters who lined up for a fairly flat two laps of a five mile circuit.
Harrison went through a quick first mile in 5-43 and found herself some 30 metres behind GB International triathlete Jodie Stimpson with Midland Masters title rival Sarah Harris (Long Eaton Athletic Club) just 20 metres back.
Maintaining a strong pace, Harrison went through five miles in 28.51 but was a minute back on Stimpson although she had opened up a gap on Harris.
The wind picked up on the second lap and mile eight was particularly tough. Harrison said:"One gust almost stopped me in my tracks and at 6.09, this was my only mile outside six minutes."
Continuing to chase she was unable to close the gap on Stimson who has competed in triathlons for Great Britian around the world, narrowly missing out on a 2012 Olympics spot.
Stimpson crossed the line in 57.16 with Harrison second in 58.15 which meant she had covered the second five miles in 29.26.
She was a clear winner of the Midland Masters gold medal ahead of Harris who faded slightly but still ran a fast 59.45.
Harrison's time, which shot her up the Uk rankings into 15 place for 2012, was the third fastest ever on the course by a woman in the 27 year history of the race, Stimpson's being second fastest.
Harrison said:"It has been a disappointing year with injury ruining the summer months but with the support of the Warwickshire Golf and Country Club, Warwick Sports and Mizuno, I have been able to begin my rebuilding programme.
"I must also mention my coach, Les Barnett, who has been a tower of strength for me."
The men's race was won by Leicester's Gordon Lee in 52.47, while Harrison finished a superb 23rd overall of the 478 finishers.
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