Stunning half-marathon debut from Edwards

Kelly Edwards and Leamington C&AC clubmate Natalie Bhangal at the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon.
Kelly Edwards and Leamington C&AC clubmate Natalie Bhangal at the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon.

Leamington C&AC’s Kelly Edwards made a superb debut at the half-marathon distance, finishing third female at the Virgin Sport Oxford Half.

Edwards, clocked 81min 4sec to finish first FV40, claiming several notable scalps including Britain’s second fastest marathon runner Mara Yamauchi who was tenth.

Edwards’ C&AC clubmate Natalie Bhangal battled a 
head cold to finish a fine 15th 
lady, with her time of 1:26:15 just a second outside the personal best she set at the Leamington Half earlier in the year.

Spa Striders’ Steve Hession (1:28:54) Ben Parkinson (1:29:12) both went sub-90 for the first time.

Sweden’s Sarah Van Der Wielen was the winner of the women’s race in 72:01, with Ben Cole (Tonbridge AC) first man in 68:37.

Other Spa Striders finishers: Kate Gadsby (1:37:45). Andrew Stone (1:38:12), Ben Cohen (1:39:04), Doug Rattray (1:43:56), Ruth Tennant (1:45:05), Louise Dwyer (1:48:51), Mark Hone (1:50:04) Kathryn Houliston (2:29:21).

Meanwhile, Leamington C&AC’s James Gould celebrated his 11th birthday by debuting in the National Road Relays at Sutton Park on Saturday.

Having reached the qualifying age by a matter of hours, Gould joined Sam Morrey and James Eatough in the under-13 boys’ relay, which saw runners tackle a hilly 3.8k course.

Morrey clocked 16:56 on the first leg to put the team in 74th place and despite Eatough (17:43) picking up two positions, a number of incomplete teams meant Gould was the last of the runners to leave the start line on the final leg.

Nevertheless, he ran a strong 16:24 to lift Leamington to 59th at the finish.

Gould’s sister, Melanie, joined forces with Ana and Emily Lovett to compete in the under-15 girls’ race where despite conditions being much tougher than the Midlands round two weeks previously, they crossed the line 95 seconds quicker.