Leamington C&AC’s Sue Harrison finished 22nd lady and first V45 at the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday to justify her place on the elite start line.
A fast start saw Harrison run sub six minutes for the first mile and she then settled into a steady pace for the next ten miles.
It was at that point when the early pace began to tell as two brutal uphill miles met the runners.
Working hard through to the finish, the Warwickshire Golf and Country Club-supported athlete found herself in a battle with clubmate Craig Biggerstaff down the last 200 metres of the race.
Biggerstaff, who had been looking to overhaul Harrison for most of the final mile, eventually passed her before the finish to clock a new personal best of 1hr 27min 47sec for 247th place.
Harrison came home in 1:27:59, more than a minute faster than her target time, for 257th overall.
Leading the Kenilworth Runners contingent was the in-form Matt Dyer who set another new personal best of 1:22:35 to finish inside the top 100.
Colin Bailey also set a new PB of 1:35:28, but suffered on the final hill and will be looking at Milton Keynes next month to dip under 1:35.
Martin Belcher (1:40:36) was the lead MV65 runner, while Suzy Lovett was the first Kenilworth lady to finish in 1:42:08.
The race was won by Andy Vernon of Aldershot and Farnham in 63:32.
Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): 237, Josh Layton (Spa Striders, 1:27:42); 292, Tom Gotts (Spa Striders, 1:28:35); 317, Keith Wilson (Spa Striders, 1:29:12); 1,355, John Weir (1:40:15); 1,465, Richard Zanetti (1:40:55); 1,520, Chris Wilson (Spa Striders, 1:41:19); 1,526, Greg Harris (Spa Striders, 1:41:23); 1,596, Steve Yates (1:41:40); 1,755, Adam Newton (Spa Striders, 1:42:53); 1,962, Gary Morgan (1:44:05); 2,205, Emma Kennedy (Spa Striders, 1:45:26); 2,485, David Johnson (1:46:57); 2,787, Pavan Ayyalasomayajula (1:48:30); 3,298, Claire Dyer (1:50:56); 3,541, Sandra Stokes (Spa Striders, 1:52:05); 4,006, Steve Pope (sap Striders, 1:54:24); 4,013, Russell Weston-Walker (Spa Striders, 1:54:25); 6,531, Louise Cross (2:05:46); 7,514, Aiden Keher (2:10:46); 10,015, Amanda Males (2:21:48); 12,949, Ellen Powell (3:28:16); 12,950, Maggie Bowes (3:28:16).
Kenilworth Runners’ Stuart Hopkins finished 118th and 14th V40 in the Manchester Half Marathon in a time of 1:19:52.
The race was won by Adan Hickey in 1:04:41.
Fourteen Spa Striders made up almost half of the participants at Stratford’s Welcome Wobbler 10k on Saturday.
The scenic, undulating course offered excellent cross-country preparation, with Dexter Teale bringing Striders home in 39:52 for fourth.
Other Striders finishers: 5, Rich Sykes (40:03); 8, Simon Parsons (41:19); 9, Carolyn Wilkinson (41:41); 11, Emily Field-Lucas (42:32); 12, James Hartwright (42:51); 13, Melissa Venables (42:54); 14, Rob Mantell (43:15); 15, Susie Stannard (44:41); 18, Adam Newton (46:13); 19, Stuart Lee (46:23); 23, Doug Rattray (49:16); 25, Clare Hinton (51:42); 28, Amanda Wiggins (54:54).
In wet and windy conditions, Spa Striders’ Paul Edwards clocked a personal best of 1:19:30 to finish 109th in the Manchester Half Marathon.
His wife Fiona was 913th in 1:35:55, with Helene Wright (1:50:56) also running a best time.
Fellow Strider Dawn Clark finished second female in 45:46 at the Clumber Park 10k trail race.
Kenilworth Runners’ Tom and Pauline Dable ran the multi-terrain Buckingham 10k, finishing in 62:03 and 63:29, respectively.