Kelly Edwards celebrated her call-up for the England Masters’ match against Wales early next month with a gutsy win at the Northbrook 10k, the sixth race in the Warwickshire Road Race League.
Leamington C&AC’s Edwards was defending the title and faced a tough battle throughout the race, repeatedly swapping places with Hannah Stroud from Ribble Valley Harriers, with Jane Evans from the Knowle & Dorridge breathing down their necks.
It came down to a sprint over the final 200m, with Stroud finally conceding defeat 50 metres from the line as Edwards recorded her second-best 10k time of 37min 14sec.
Stroud was eight seconds back in second, with Evans a further six seconds back in third.
Such was the quality of the race that Edwards had to run a minute-and-half quicker than her 2018 winning time to retain her title, finishing 20th overall.
Backing Edwards up in tenth place in the ladies’ race was Megan McDonald in 41:15, with Jenny Jeeves winning the W50 age group in 42:18.
Completing the scoring four to help the team finish third in the Road Race League was Sue Harrison (24th in 45:40).
There was a good turnout from Kenilworth Runners with 66 runners finishing the testing course and the ladies taking the league win.
Marie Matthews led the ladies home, finishing sixth female overall and third LV35 in 39:52.
She was joined in the winning team by Laura Pettifer (41:16), Rachel Miller, with a new PB of 41:42, and Kelly Burnett-Nicholl, also with a new PB of 42:35.
Laura Peake was the first Spa Strider in 42:05, with Kat Lambeth (45:50), who then went on the complete the Spartan race, Susan Cox (46:44) and Jo Moffat (47:00), in her first race since giving birth, completing the ladies’ team.
In the men’s race, Spa Striders’ Ian Allen equalled his club record time of 34:08 to finish second.
Clubmate Chris McKeown edged to a one-second PB of 34:48 to finish fifth, with Simon Ludford 15th in 36:40 to smash his PB and Steve Taylor 18th in 37:11.
They were joined in the second-placed Road Race League team by Tim Beresford (40:26) and Chris Wilson (40:37).
Leamington C&AC’s Dominic Priest went out with the leading group and was rewarded with a new PB and third place in 34:16 in addition to the under-20 age group win.
He was well backed up, with all the club’s counters featuring inside the top 30.
Richard Hood was 11th in 36:28, just a place and two seconds in front of Iain McLaughlin (36:30), with Vassilis Andreoulakis (14th in 36:39 and 2nd M45), Dean Mawby, (24th in 37:35) and Jason Hill (28th in 37:59) completing their first six.
Oliver Flippance was first home and 30th overall in 38:10 for Kenilworth, followed closely by Joe Chick (32nd in 38:13) and Ryan Baker (33rd in 38:31), while there were category wins for Roger Homes (1st M55 in 40:12) and Dave Pettifer (1st M65 in 44:31).
The race was won by Chris Sharp of Knowle and Dorridge RC in 33:54.