Simkiss uses training run to claim a podium finish at the Shakespeare Half

Chris McCarthy and Rich Simkiss cross the line after completing the Raceways Spring Shakespeare Half Marathon. Picture:
Chris McCarthy and Rich Simkiss cross the line after completing the Raceways Spring Shakespeare Half Marathon. Picture:

Around 1,000 runners descended on Long Marston airfield on Saturday for the Raceways Spring Shakespeare races which comprised a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon.

The course has a reputation for being pancake-flat but very susceptible to wind which again proved the case with runners having to contend with a strong, cold easterly wind for large parts of the race.

In the half-marathon, consisting of four laps of the airfield plus a short out and back finish, Kenilworth Runners’ Chris McCarthy and Rich Simkiss ran together using the race as a marathon-paced training run and finished third and fourth, respectively, in a time of 1hr 17min 1sec. Daniel Mitchell had an excellent run, finishing ninth overall in 1:21:28.

These three were joined by Dave Pettifer who finished 30th overall and first MV60 in a time of 1:31:30 - the fifth fastest over-65 half-marathon time in the UK this year.

Leamington C&AC’s Natalie Bhangal, running her third race in as many weeks, was very pleased with her time of 1:33:35, which put her second senior lady and 36th overall.

The race was won by Daniel Chan of Barnsley AC in 1:11:35.

Leamington C&AC’s Nick Tawney tackled the two-lap 10k, finishing first M50 and 17th overall in 40:31.

Spa Striders’ Steven Taylor was 21st in 41:24, with Susie Stannard (44:15) 42nd andDave Lindsay 52nd in a best of 45:00.

Kenilworth Runners’ Laura Pettifer was 35th overall and third senior lady in 43:33, while new Kenilworth member Darren Pettifer finished 44th in 44:22.

The race was won by Sam Lloyd-Perks of Halesowen AC in 33:29.

Spa Striders were well represented at the Silverstone Half Marathon on Sunday, with Andrew Graham their first representative across the line and eighth VM45 in 1:24:10.

Hartwig Busch was 253rd, dipping under the 90-minute barrier in 1:29:04.

Kenilworth Runners’ Debbie Streets ran a new PB of 1:47:43 to come in 1,750th position.

In the men’s race, William Mycroft of Cambridge and Coleridge AC was first home in 70:59, some way outside Chris Thompson’s course record of 65:08, set in 2014, but a fine run nevertheless in cold, windy conditions.

The first woman to finish was Hannah Turner of Harpenden Arrows in 1:24:12.

Selected others (Spa Striders unless stated): 616, Greg Harris (1:36:13); 1,027, Cassie Oury (1:41:22); 2,562, Roz Cox (1:54:40); 2,928, David Murray (1:57:10); 3,881, Amanda Males (2:05:11); 4,381, Tanya Brittain (2:10:16); 5,115, Ellen Powell (2:18:58).

Kenilworth Runners’ Martin Dorrill finished 22nd at the Fradley 10k in 37:27.

This once low-key event near Lichfield has been growing in popularity over recent years due to its fairly flat course and PB potential, attracting 833 runners this year.

Dorrill was followed closely by Dave Ramus, who finished just three places back in a new PB of 37:40.

The race was won by James Trollope of Lichfield in 32:25.