RUTH Barnes had her best run since winning the Bath half marathon in March as she finished in the top 10 at the Great South Run in Portsmouth.

The Avon Valley Runners’ athlete has had a low-key summer following a house move and change in job but she showed her competitive instinct is still burning brightly as she rubbed shoulders with a high quality domestic field to finish sixth in 10-mile race with a time of 57 minutes 49 seconds.

“It was a tough race especially as the wind in the last wo miles off the sea front felt like running into a brick wall so I was pretty pleased with that,” said Barnes.

“It was a slow start as people were trying to keep out of the wind but when the pace picked up I felt comfortable and managed to stick with the leading group until just after halfway.

“At that point the top three pushed on and broke clear. I then concentrated at running at my own pace. I probably settled for sixth in the last couple of miles as I was well clear of seventh but the finish was agony into that wind.

“Nonetheless, last year I was ninth British runner in the same race and now I have improved to sixth in what was a very strong field.”

The conditions probably cost Barnes and the other runners a minute so her time of 57:49 compares favourably to her personal best of 56:46 set last year.

“I think with moving house and job I lost some momentum after winning Bath and as you get older you do start to wonder if you can keep improving,” added Barnes.

“I realised my time is not up yet.

“It was a really good boost as I was feeling a little bit deflated.”

Barnes will next turn her attention to the Over The Hills 12k multi terrain race on Sunday November 5, an event which is promoted by the Avon Valley Runners.