Leamington C&AC’s Paul Caruana, running his first marathon since 2011, was quickly into his running at the Leicester City Marathon and held on to his race pace for the first 20 miles which took the runners out through villages to the north of the city.
Slowing slightly over the last 10k he was delighted to stop the clock at 3hr 17min 21sec for a three-minute personal best, crossing the line 80th of the 671 finishers.
There were also fine performances from the four Kenilworth Runners who took part in the half-marathon.
Neil Sheward finished 45th and second V50 in a 1:25:30, with Dave Pettifer 129th and winner of the V60 category in 1:33:22.
Louise Andrews was fourth in the LV40 category in 1:34:33, while Darren Pettifer ran a new PB of 1:38:15.
The race was won by Ryan Burling of Luton AC in 1:08:53 and there were 1,932 finishers.
Selected others (Spa Striders unless stated): Marathon: 612, Chris Jones (5:10:19). Half marathon: 183, Tom Holbrook (1:37:21); 1,255, Kimberley Fryer (2:12:17).
A fantastic turnout of both runners and supporters at the Stroud Half Marathon reflected the decision of Spa Striders members to run the race in memory of clubmate Oli Brown, who recently lost his short battle with cancer.
Despite still feeling the effects of his half-marathon PB the previous weekend, Paul Edwards (1:21:26) ran strongly to lead the team home.
The race was won by David Bell (Cirencester) in 70:09.
Other finishers (Striders unless stated): 48, Adam Notely (1:24:58, PB); 71, Rob Thompson (1:27:26); 72, Simon Parsons (1:27:29, PB); 79, Rich Sykes (1:28:06, PB); 96, Tom Gotts (1:29:04); 101, Dan Fleming (1:29:20, PB); 183, Gethyn Friswell (1:35:17, PB); 194, Neil Smith (Kenilworth Runners, 1:35:35); 217, Hartwig Busch (1:35:59); 241, Emily Field-Lucas (1:36:57, PB); 296, Adam Newton (1:39:36, PB); 306, Fiona Edwards (1:40:17); 362, Vicki Smith (1:42:36); 391, James Civil (1:43:16, PB); 398, Doug Rattray (1:43:41, PB); 599, Caroline Whitehouse (1:50:22); 604, Pete Schofield (1:50:29); 606, Lorraine Parsons (1:51:03); 1,027 Frank Walsh (Kenilworth Runners, 2:08:55).
Spa Striders’ racing weekend got off to an excellent start at the Midlands Cross-Country relays at Aldersley, Wolverhampton on Saturday.
The senior team of Fiona Edwards, Amanda Wiggins and Ruth Tennant placed 16th, while the Masters (Susie Stannard, Kate Gadsby and Jude Baum) won bronze.
Meanwhile, fellow Strider Pete Soley (3:12:55) recorded an impressive PB at the Abingdon Marathon.
Enjoying the flat expanseof the Great South Run, Spa Striders’ Kevin Pantling and Lucy Marcovitch both crossing the finish line in 1:32:36.
Kenilworth Runners’ Andrew Siggers ran well to finish second in the Draycote Water 10 mile race in 57min 27sec.
Wife Rachael was 30th overall and sixth lady in a new best of 72:33, while Ryan Baker was first under-17 in 79:55.
Leamington C&AC’s Paul Okey was 13th in 67:15.
The race was won by Mark Powell of Leicester in 55:01 and there were 221 finishers.
Selected other Kenilworth Runners: 59, Pavan Ayyalasomayajula (79:51); 106, Samantha Moffatt (88:47); 116, Lisa Sears (90:45).
Kenilworth Runners’ Wayne Briggs produced a strong run of 40:03 to finish sixth in the first of Tempo Events Winter Series in Ilmington.
The race was won by Rich Simkiss of McCarkiss Endurance in 37:38.
Selected other Kenilworth runners: 11, Simon Corley (41:39); 21, Clive Pearce (43:42); 126, Tom Dable (57:06); 141, Pauline Dable (58:57).
Kenilworth Runners’ Dewi Williams returned to his home town of Mold to knock more than a minute off his personal best in the Flintshire 10k, finishing eighth in 37:48.
Fellow Runner Gail Audhali finished fifth LV45 in the Rotary Blenheim 10k in time of 49:55, while Laura Pettifer ducked under 20 minutes for the first time at the Stratford parkrun, clocking 19:39 for first lady.