Leamington C&AC’s Sue Harrison claimed victory at the Stratford Marathon on Sunday, her longest race for two years.
The injury-plagued Great Britain veteran said: “I needed to know where my fitness levels were so I decided this was the ideal local race to go for. My hope was that I could run under three hours.”
Running at a controlled pace, she reached 20 miles on target in 2hr 14min 51sec but knew that a headwind had picked up along the five-mile stretch of the Greenway, while the last two miles involved plenty of twists and turns and a grass finish.
Having led the ladies’ race from the start, Harrison held a six-minute lead over her nearest rival but knew she had to dig deep to dip under three hours.
She eventually crossed the line in 2:59:46 to record the third-fastest time by a lady on the course in its 36-year history, with just 12 men in front of her.
She added: “Those last two miles were tough and with the uneven ground and turns I must have lost over a minute and half. However it was mission achieved.”
The race was won by Nicholas Twomey of Ranelagh Runners in 2:41:41.