Edwards makes it a perfect six at the Balsall Common 10k

Kelly Edwards in action early on at the Balsall Common 10k. Pictures: Claire Keough
Kelly Edwards in action early on at the Balsall Common 10k. Pictures: Claire Keough

Leamington C&AC’s Kelly Edwards made it a superb six victories out of six in this year’s Warwickshire Road Race League by winning the Balsall Common 10k on Sunday.

The tenth of the 11-race series, the deceptive two-lap course started and finished on grass and had many twists and turns as well as some sharp inclines.

Natalie Bhangal, Trevor Wilkinson and Harry Purewal.

Natalie Bhangal, Trevor Wilkinson and Harry Purewal.

Edwards was headed for a short while on the first lap by Knowle and Dorridge’s Rachel Gifford. However, always strong on hills, Edwards soon regained the lead and was never again overhauled, crossing the finish line 13th overall in 37min 54sec, 23 seconds ahead of Gifford.

With just the Rugby 10 remaining in the series, Edwards’ victory guaranteed her the series win.

Clubmate Natalie Bhangal was the third affiliated lady and 24th overall in 39:28 to tighten her grip on second in the race series.

Carol Blower was first W55 in 53:21.

Ian Allen and Stanley Doxey in the lead three.

Ian Allen and Stanley Doxey in the lead three.

Kenilworth Runners produced a strong all-round performance, finishing first team for the Warwickshire Road Race League, with Laura Pettifer (40:52) fourth lady, Rachel Miller fifth in a personal best of 41:27, Emma Garnett (41:33) sixth and Becky Beasley (42:39) tenth.

Claire Davidson (42:00) brought Spa Striders’ women home, with Mairi Walker (42:01) just behind.

Clubmate Ian Allen (33:45) stormed his way to the race win, setting yet another club record in the process.

Chris McKeown (35:00) finished in fourth place and was followed in by M45 winner Trevor Wilkinson (38:37) and Chris Wilson (39:58).

Kenilworth Runners, Spa Striders and Leamington C&AC battle it out.

Kenilworth Runners, Spa Striders and Leamington C&AC battle it out.

Kenilworth Runners’ Andy Crabtree, who won the race in 2018, finished fifth in a time of 35:11.

George Crawford was ninth in 36:44 and Matt Dyer tenth in 37:01.

With their first six runners finishing in the first 16, Kenilworth Runners were the first men’s team for the Warwickshire Road Race League.

Dean Mawby was the first C&AC man home, finishing 12th in 37:18.

Paul Rutter was again the best of Leamington’s men’s masters’ runners with a strong run for 30th in 40:23, while Graham Roberts won his eighth league race of the year in the M65 age group in 55:25.

Meanwhile, Spa Striders’ men earned an official invitation to the National Road Relay Championships after finishing 23rd A team at the Midlands Road Relays at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield.

Ian Allen maintained his fine form to lead them off with a blistering run of 19:49 for the 5.88k course.

He was well supported by Steven Taylor (22:18), Adam Notley (21:45), Simon Ludford (20:54) and Neil Smith (20:27) as Striders came home in 2:05:24.

Leamington C&AC fielded four teams, with their A team of Henry Morton, Iain McLaughlin, Charlie Staveley, Jamie Langley, Phil Gould and Isacc Rothman finishing 36th in a combined time of 2:06:36.

The B team, comprising Dean Mawby, Dave Potter, Vassilis Andreoulakis, Jordan King, Pierre Lemarquer and Mat Holt were 58th in 2:15:46.

The ladies needed four runners per team and faced a shorter course to their male counterparts at a distance of 4.33k.

Leamington’s A team of Megan Rothman, Zara Hadfield, Jade Holt and Monica Williamson were 24th overall in a combined time of 1:11:50, while the B team, comprising Sarah Price, Eve Walpole, Carol Blower and Laura Gould, were 66th in 1:22:10.

Kenilworth Runners’ men’s A team finished 39th, with their B team 71st.

George Crawford (21:06), Sam Leadley (22:49), Oliver Flippance (22:21), Andy Siggers (19:47), Stuart Hopkins (22:00) and Stanley Doxey (21:02) made up their A team.

Their ladies’ A team of Emma Garnett (17:53), Jane Phillips (18:16), Kelly Burnett- Nichol (18:38) and Marie Matthews (17:15) were 26th, with their B team 39th and their C team 71st.

Kenilworth Runners were unable to field a complete team of three for the under-17 men, run over 3.861k.

With 36 teams taking part, their two runners Sam Crouchley (13:31) and Jacob Watson (15:06) were sitting in 23rd position after their legs.

Kenilworth Runners’ Steven Wasley braved a massive downpour on Sunday to complete the Swindon Half Marathon.

The race skirted the city, taking in famous sights such as the ‘magic roundabout’which was thankfully well signposted for the runners.

Wasley finished 99th out of 1,943 finishers in a new personal best time of 1:30:21.

Spa Striders’ Laura Peake (1:31:18) also picked up a PB, coming home fourth lady and first in her age category.

The race was won by Chris Wood of Wimborne AC in 73:44.