The third race of this season’s East Midlands Grand Prix took place last Friday around the Northamptonshire villages of Blisworth and Gayton on a warm but overcast evening.
The Blisworth Friday 5 attracted nearly 400 runners who were led home by Toby Spencer of Coventry Godiva Harriers in 24:48, maintaining his 100 per cent record in the series so far.
Spencer led from the gun, making light work of the hilly first mile to pull well clear of any chasers, including seven Leamington C&AC athletes who had made the trip.
First home for the club was Graham Garlick who is coming back to form after recent struggles with injuries.
Garlick was 93rd in 33:09, with Jenny Jeeves continuing her rich vein of form for 147th with a time of 35:42.
Susie Tawney, despite being in Italy earlier that day, started conservatively and stalked new club member Jimmy Atkins for most of the race before passing him in mile five to record 36:09 (160th and 1st W55).
Atkins was just three places and 11 seconds behind.
Another new member, Sara Habib, started slowly but came on strong over the latter stages to come home 214th in 38:24 ahead of a tired Alex Montgomery (225th in 38:48) and another debutant in Laura Gould (39:06) who was a further six places adrift.
It was a successful event for Kenilworth Runners couple Andrew and Rachel Siggers, with Andrew seventh in 27:53 and Rachel first LV35 in 34:35.
Clubmate Pauline Dable was the leading LV65 in 46:13.
There were 398 finishers.
Selected others: 32, Marc Curtis (30.09); 54 Neil Sheward (30.58); 176, Tom Williams (36:47); 315, Tom Dable (43:31).
Spa Striders’ Andrew Graham recorded an age category win at the Tempo Events Worcester Half Marathon on Sunday.
Graham won the V45 category in 1:25:05, finishing eighth male overall.
Fellow Strider Mel Venables (1:32:34) was third female.
Four Kenilworth Runners took part, with Jon Mettyear first home and 16th overall in 1:28:28.
Darren Pettifer was next across the line in 75th position in 1:39:12, followed by Stuart Batchelor (356th in 2:00:32) and Liz Hegan (132nd female in 2:08:52).
Kenilworth Runners’ Dave Pettifer, representing Great Britain, finished 14th out of 50 in the V65 category at the European Masters Half Marathon Championships in Portugal.
Great Britain were particularly strong in the V65 category, finishing second behind Germany to claim their only team medal on the day.
However, Pettifer was disappointed to slip from third counter at ten miles to fifth at the finish, suffering badly from the effect of the heat and humidity.
The conditions resulted in all the GB finishing times being at least five minutes slower than expected, with Pettifer’s 1hr 37min 17sec clocking his slowest half-marathon time for a few years.
Kenilworth Runners’ Neil Sheward, Louise Andrews, Claire Murphy, Julie Pearce and Danielle Mohacsi ventured over to Corfton in Shropshire for the Shindig in the Shire Half Marathon.
The ‘roughly 13.1 mile’ jaunt, which took in country lanes, open farmland, grassy tracks and ancient woodland, headed along Wenlock Edge and up to Flounders Folly before finishing where it started at the Sun Inn pub, home of the Corvedale Brewery. The total up and down was 2,000 feet.
Andrews finished a second behind Sheward for first lady in 1:54:56, while Murphy joined up with Spa Striders’ Bethan Gwynn to come home joint-fourth lady in 2:09:14.
Mohacsi clocked 2:26:30 and Pearce 2:39:32, with Debbie Streets producing a new PB of 3:55:10 for 12th female in the marathon.
Kenilworth Runners’ Sheela Hobden completed 60 miles on her first 24-hour solo run, the Trail Attack, which was set in rolling countryside in Alcester.