TWO of the Isle of Wight’s top distance runners — Matt Sharp and Joe Wade — had excellent runs in this year’s London 10k Road Race.

From the gun in Green Park, training partners Sharp and Wade were in the leading group as they passed the first kilometre mark in three minutes — a pace they kept up for another kilometre, until Welsh Commonwealth Games athlete, Josh Griffiths, upped the ante.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ryde-based top British coach, Geoff Watkin, with star GB runner, Cowes-based Matt Sharp. FILERyde-based top British coach, Geoff Watkin, with star GB runner, Cowes-based Matt Sharp. FILE

In the warm city conditions, finishing times were not going to be quick, but the quality of the field among the 9,000 runners ensured an excellent race.

Sharp, returning to full fitness, came in strongly in fifth in a time of 30mins 52 secs, with Wade two places and five seconds adrift.

Their trainer, Ryde-based Geoff Watkin, said: “It was an excellent result for Joe, who has been working very hard in training.

“He will use the race as a springboard to more positive results.”

Despite still feeling a little jaded following her fourth place at the Island Games in Gibraltar, Laura Brackley put in a fantastic run to finish in 127th place overall and 12th woman, winning her W35 age group.

After setting off at a steady pace, Brackley managed to pick up the pace in the second half of the race and recorded a fast 38mins 29secs.

Watkin further enhanced his reputation as a top British coach by seeing one of his other athletes, Josh Grace, of Aldershot, finish second, and Ross Skelton, of Hastings, Kent, come ninth.

“On a personal note, I was delighted to have seen four of my athletes make the race’s top nine positions, from a field of 9,000 runners,” Watkin added.