Many parts of the country woke to a good covering of snow last Sunday but despite cold, crisp conditions it remained dry for the Not the Roman IX, held at Tiddington near Stratford.
Originally a nine-mile race, the route has been amended to a 12k anti-clockwise course finishing in the grounds of the NFU Mutual and has some long and difficult up and down sections, especially around the village of Loxley.
Kenilworth Runners’ Connor Carson showed no ill-effects from the previous day’s Birmingham League Cross-country race, battling it out at the head of the field with Coventry Godiva’s Namir Batavia and Stratford’s Richard Shephard.
Carson eventually had to settle for third in 41min 45sec, the exact same time and position of clubmate Stuart Hopkins in 2015.
Batavia pulled away to win the race in 41:11, with Shephard second in 41:29.
Next home for Kenilworth was Marc Curtis, whose 13th place in 44:44 bagged him the V45 category.
Alex Atkinson was 19th in 46:00 to complete Kenilworth’s winning men’s team, with Neil Sheward (46:40) the second V50.
Spa Striders’ men were led home in tenth place by Kevin White in a time of 44:34, quickly followed by Paul Edwards in (12th in 44:42).
Along with Steven Taylor (51st in 48:37), they took third place in the men’s team event.
Leamington C&AC’s Brian Miller’s late decision to run the race a day after his cross-country exertions were rewarded with 30th place in 47:18.
Paul Okey was the next Leamington C&AC runner home, reeling in training partner Natalie Bhangal over the closing miles to finish 36th in 47:49 - a personal best by almost three minutes.
Bhangal’s consistent run bagged her third place in the women’s race, with her time of 48:29 an improvement of two minutes on her 2015 effort.
Fellow C&AC runner Jenny Jeeves followed up her Midlands Ladies XC run with 121st in 52:40, with June Johnson (65:44) picking up an M70 award to go with her husband Andrew’s (55:58).
Spa Striders claimed the team prize, with Clare Hinton (49:29) delighted to dip under 50 minutes on her way to sixth female and the F35 prize.
Carolyn Wilkinson was eighth female and first F45 in 50:48, with Caroline Whitehouse (51:19) completing the winning Striders trio.
Team-mate Susan Cox ran strongly to win the F50 age category in 53:40.
Louise Andrews led Kenilworth Runners’ female contingent home, finishing 109th overall and third LV40 in 51:51.
Strong supporting runs from Shanika Samarasekera (55:54) and Debbie Streets (60:41) earned Kenilworth the team runners-up spot.
Pauline Dable was first LV65 in 66:29, while Huncote’s Nicki Nealon was the leading woman in 46:12.
There were 660 finishers.