The Brownlees’ stronghold on the annual Chevin Chase continued on Boxing Day, with Olympic gold medal prospect Jonny Brownlee defending his title in style.

With Jonny’s older brother Alistair – the reigning world triathlon champion and winner of the race in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 – choosing to run yesterday’s Ribble Valley 10K instead, all bets were off when it came to predicting the winner.

Jonny may have won by a comfortable margin of nearly two minutes, finishing the seven-mile course in 37min 57sec, but it was certainly no Bank Holiday stroll for Bingley Harriers’ world sprint triathlon champion.

“There was a strong headwind on the final part of the course which made it very tough,” said Brownlee, who used the race as part of his winter preparations for next year’s ITU World Championship Triathlon Series, which gets under way in April.

He explained: “It is a great event and I run it every year. It has become a tradition.

“It’s the first time I have been racing since the triathlon season finished. It’s a nice low-key race before the season starts up. There is always great support and it’s nice that my family can come and watch.

“I’ll be doing a bit of cross-country in the next few months before the first of my world championship series races in San Diego in April.

“You have to race in five. I’ll give the next one in Sydney a miss before running in Madrid in May. I’ll take July off, heading to San Moritz for some altitude training, and then it’s the Olympics in August.

“After that it’s Lausanne later that month and my fifth world series race is in Auckland in September.”

Breaking off from the interview every minute or so to shake the hands of his fellow competitors, who were keen to wish him well for the Olympics, Brownlee said the pressure of being one of the favourites for gold at London 2012 did not weigh heavily on his shoulders.

He said: “It is something me and my brother have talked about a lot. We both see it as a good thing.

“I’m thinking along the lines of ‘wow, I’ve got a chance of winning a medal the Olympic Games’. I need to use that as a positive and that’s what both of us are doing.”

Monday was the 32nd running of the Chevin Chase, which is organised by Aire-Centre Pacers.

So popular is it that the 980-runner race limit was reached last month and entries had to be closed.

The hilly multi-terrain course, which set off from Guiseley Infants School, attracted the usual blend of serious club runners and fund-raisers donned in fancy dress.

The runner kitted out in a full-body bear costume may even have thought he had a slight advantage, given the blustery conditions and severe wind-chill factor, though it is uncertain how he fared on the bridleways, rough tracks and fields, while the stiles may also have caused him one or two problems.

While Brownlee blitzed the field as expected, runner-up Andrew Thake of Hallamshire Harriers was also well clear of third-placed Quentin Lewis (Baildon Harriers).

The women’s race was far closer, with Racheal Bamford (Otley AC) coming home less than 20 seconds ahead of nearest rival Jo Waites.

Leading finishers – Men: 1 Jonny Brownlee (Bingley Harriers) 37min 57sec, 2 Andrew Thake (Hallamshire Harriers) 39:53, 3 Quentin Lewis (Baildon Runners) 41:03, 4 Hector Haines (Ilkley Harriers) 41:30, 5 Matthew Lockyer (unattached) 41:55, 6 Greg Hull (Leeds City) 42:01, 7 David Cowlishaw (unattached) 42:05, 8 Richard Pattinson (Pudsey & Bramley) 42:16, 9 Nigel Bedell (Keighley & Craven) 42:49, 10 Sam Kerfoot-Roberts (Halifax Harriers) 42:59.

Women: 1 (42 overall) Racheal Bamford (Otley AC) 46min 52sec, 2 (49) Jo Waites (unattached) 47:10, 3 (55) Pauline Munro (Bingley Harriers) 47:52, 4 (62) Donna Edmondson (unattached) 48:18, 5 (79) Lizzie Spencer (Leeds & Bradford Triathlon Club) 49:31, 6 (85) Alison Raw (Bingley Harriers) 49:50, 7 (86) Melanie Smith (unattached) 49:52, 8 (101) Emma Barclay (Ilkley Harriers) 50:37, 9 (141) Stephanie Haughton (unattached) 52:26, 10 (148) Shona Stone (Aire Valley Runners) 52:35.