Kenilworth Runners complete a clean sweep at the Hilly 100 relay race

Dave Ramus hands over to Marc Curtis for Kenilworth B.
Dave Ramus hands over to Marc Curtis for Kenilworth B.

Kenilworth Runners showed their strength in depth at the Cotswold Hilly 100 Relay Race, retaining both the men’s A and B and lady’s trophies.

In addition to five men’s teams and three ladies’ teams, they also entered an international team comprising a mix of Kenilworth Runners and athletes from running clubs in Belgium and Spain.

Starting under Stratford’s town clock, the route meandered through country lanes around the Cotswolds, finishing back at Stratford Cricket Club with leg distances varying between 9.6 and 10.8 miles and legs two and four recognised as the toughest.

Kenilworth men’s A team - Jim Richardson, Connor Carson, Stephen Page, Alex Atkinson, Neil Sheward, Neil Cressy, Steve Marr, Andrew Siggers, Stuart Hopkins and Phil Gould - completed the 100-mile relay in 10hr 18min 54sec, a time made even more impressive as it included a five-minute delay for Hopkins at a level crossing during leg nine.

A fine run from Leamington C&AC’s Jack Savage on leg five briefly closed Kenilworth’s advantage to 30 seconds, but they slowly pulled away over the second half to win by 21 minutes.

A strong performance from Kenilworth’s men’s second string secured the B team trophy, with their time of 11:10:10 putting them third fastest overall of the 35 teams entered.

Leamington C&AC’s B team were second.

Spa Striders’ men were fifth in the A team event, with their B team third.

Kenilworth’s ladies’ A team broke the women’s course record by 11 minutes, finishing in 12 hours 11 minutes.

The run was not without its drama, however, team captain Sara Habib stepping in on leg four after the designated runner failed to find her changeover point.