Spa Striders’ Venables canters to ladies’ victory in Hook Norton

Mel Venables on her way to the female prize at the Hooky Christmas Canter. Picture: Barry Cornelius
Mel Venables on her way to the female prize at the Hooky Christmas Canter. Picture: Barry Cornelius

Nineteen Spa Striders braved the elements to race the Hooky Christmas Canter, a multi-terrain event around Hook Norton.

Recent snow and ice had largely cleared but left extremely muddy fields to contend with.

Melissa Venables was the first lady overall in 55min 14sec, with Carolyn Wilkinson (56:58) taking fifth and first V45, closely followed by Bethan Gwynn who was sixth and second V35 in 57:17.

Kate Gadsby (60:00), Claire Murphy (61:02), Lucy Tugwell (64:53), Monika Coleman (65:12), Katherine Lambeth (65:17), Claudine Piper (65:51), Lucy Marcovitch (66:06), Emma Bish (66:24), Amanda Wiggins (68:28) and Claire Westrope (70:51) completed Striders’ female contingent.

Chris McKeown led the Striders’ men home in fourth place (47:21), closely followed by Paul Edwards (5th in 47:46), Steven Taylor (52:34), Graham Donoghue (59:15), Doug Rattray (60:40) and Ben Cohen (63:25).

Kenilworth Runners’ Rachel Miller, running with husband Steve, was 29th in 56:55, while Leamington C&AC’s Wendy Woodhouse was 95th in 68:28.

Kenilworth Runners’ Andrew Siggers won the Draycote Santa Dash on Sunday, completing the 8k race in 26:50.

Spa Striders’ Pete Soley was third in 27:54, with Kenilworth Runners’ Stewart Underhill sixth in 31:06.

Kenilworth Runners’ Nick Williams took part in the Wellington Monument Race, a 10k road race up a 190 metre hill in Somerset.

Williams finished 24th out of 256 runners in a time of 40:28 and was first MV40.

The race was won by Jake Smith of Axe Valley Runners in a time of 33:14.

Kenilworth Runners’ Neil Smith finished 54th out of 198 runners in the Wolverhampton & Bilston Turkey Trot.

Normally a five-mile race, this year it was shortened because of ice on the running track where it usually starts and finishes.

Smith ran the reduced 4.2- mile course in 28:30.

The race was won by Andrew Davies of Stockport Harriers in 20:13.

Kenilworth Runners’ Amanda Holmes had Michael Scandrett and Richard Broadbent for company as she took on the Bovington Marathon on Saturday.

In her first marathon, Holmes came home in 5:57:57 to finish 334th, with Scandrett and Broadbent 335th and 336th, respectively.

The race was won by Steve Osborne in 3:05:14.