BEN Cole and in-form Catie O’Donoghue raced to record-breaking victories in the 12th Rough ‘n’ Tumble 10-miles multi terrain race at Milton Lilbourne, near Pewsey.

Swindon Harrier Cole smashed his own record, which he set on his debut in the event last year, by a staggering 2mins 54secs as he dominated the race from gun to tape to cross the finish line over seven minutes clear of the field in 61mins 27secs.

“At halfway I could tell that I was potentially on for the record so decided just to go for it rather than ease back,” said Cole, who lives in Shaw Ridge.

“It was nice to win the race again and the conditions were definitely easier underfoot than last year so that helped and I am also in good shape but I wasn’t expecting to run that fast.”

O’Donoghue also had a big gap on her nearest rival – just over six minutes – but only just sneaked inside the previous record set by international runner Ruth Barnes just two years ago.

With Barnes having won the South West Cross Country title the week before, in which O’Donoghue finished a very creditable 10th place, the former Swindon Shin Splints runner from Lakeside will take massive encouragement from shaving off 25 seconds from the previous record.

“I’m dead happy with that,” said O’Donoghue.

“I wasn’t sure what the record was before so to beat it was really exciting. I just went for it and ran my little socks off.

“It is just such a fun race, one of the best in Wiltshire and to get 600 entries is incredible.”

While the win adds further support to the emergence of O’Donoghue as one of the most exciting runners in the county Cole’s win was no surprise as he has been putting together a series of good results this winter.

“I have had a really good spell of consistent training since the autumn and ran a personal best in the Leeds 10k in November (30mins 15secs),” added Cole.

“I feel as fit as I have been for a long time and now my big targets are the English Cross Country Championships next month and then the London Marathon.”

Further local success came for the Swindon Shin Splints squad as the trio of Maurice Price, Chris Giles and Chris Morgan clinched the senior men’s team title.

In addition Swindon Harrier Steve Connolly won the veterans’ over 50s prize, Richard Pearce of Pewsey Vale was crowned over 70s champion and Morie Dobie of Swindon Shin Splints won the female over 65s prize.

Race organiser Steve Goulding paid his own tribute to Cole’s outstanding victory.

He said: “The course is 10.15 miles so Ben was very close to an hour for 10 which is indeed a great run considering you can’t run the hill at 5 miles, it is more of a climb for 600m so very impressive.”

Goulding also expressed his thanks to the Milton Lilbourne Village hall committee and residents for once again laying on a spectacular array of cakes and for their help with the car parking and marshalling.

Awards – senior men: 1 Ben Cole (Swindon Harriers) 1.01.28 (record); 2 Paul Murrin (Chepstow) 1.08.44; 3 Simon Byrne (Swindon Harriers) 1.09.30.

Veterans – over 40s: Paul Murrin (Chepstow) 1.08.44; over 50s: Nick Parry (Team Bath) 1.17.49; over 60s: Steve Connolly (Swindon Harriers) 1.29.22; over 70s: Richard Pearce (Pewsey Vale RC) 1.51.50.

Women: 1 Catie O’Donoghue (Bristol & West) 1.15.22 (record); 2 Niki Morgan (Chepstow) 1.21.25; 3 Sarah Bell (Chepstow) 1.22.44.

Veerans – over 35s: Bell; over 45s: Morgan; over 55s: Fiona Ross Russell 1.30.59; over 65s: Morie Dobie (Swindon Shin Splints) 3.08.30.