Venables is ultra proud of her England call-up and is joined in squad by Siggers

Mel Venables will be looking for a repeat of her 2016 success.
Mel Venables will be looking for a repeat of her 2016 success.

Two local athletes have been named in the England team for the Anglo Celtic Plate home countries 100k International Road Race to be held at Perth, Scotland on March 24. The race will also incorporate the UK Championships.

Spa Striders’ Mel Venables wins her third England vest, returning to the venue of her 2016 individual and team triumph. She again won team gold the following year, picking up the championship bronze at Patrington, near Hull.

Andrew Siggers

Andrew Siggers

Having completed the distance three times in high quality invitation races in China and set a new course record at the Waterways 30 mile trail race recently, Venables goes into the event full of confidence.

She said: “I am proud and excited to have been selected. This course holds a special place in my heart as it is a course where I wore my first England vest.”

Winning his first England vest is Kenilworth Runners’ Andrew Siggers.

Despite never having taken on the longest championship distance race on the UK calendar before, Siggers gained his selection with a series of fine performances topped off with a fourth place in the Gloucester 50k road race two weeks ago.

Louise Dwyer and Rob Egan.

Louise Dwyer and Rob Egan.

Meanwhile, Kenilworth Runners’ Joe Chick and Neil Smith and Leamington C&AC’s Paul Okey took on the Stourbridge Stagger on Sunday, a tough, multi-terrain race of 10.2 miles over the hills around the Black Country town.

Chick was pleased with his 25th-placed finish in 69:58, with Okey improving on his previous run there by two minutes to come home 65th in 1:16:12.

Smith was 168th in 1:27:26.

The race was won by Matthew Harrold of Warley Wood Pacers in 61:42 and there were 410 finishers.

There were ideal conditions for the fourth event in the Centurion 5 series, with sunshine and a light breeze leading to an ice-free surface at Chelmsley Wood.

This month’s race included the Midland Masters annual handicap event, with Kenilworth Runners’ Pauline Dable running 48:56 to finish runner-up.

Husband Tom was just six seconds ahead in a race won by Tipton Harriers’ Jonathan Carter in 26:28.

Kenilworth Runners Stan Alexander ran the 33rd Charnwood Hills, a scenic off-road race through Bradgate Park to Beacon Hill and back.

The 14-mile race had 1,200ft of climb and conditions were very sunny and frosty with no mud.

Alexander finished 182nd out of 350 (and third M65 in 2:09:40.

Spa Striders’ David Chantrey raced against penguins and polar bears at the London Winter 10k, knocking more than a minute off his course best to cross the line in 40:15.

Clubmate Andy Roach completed the Portsmouth Coastal Half in 1:36:39.

The race was won by Gosport Road Runners Ben Toye in 1:14:10.

At the chilly and beautiful Montane Trail Grizedale 13 in the Lake District, Striders’ Rob Mantell finished in 1:49:44, with Liz Draper clocking 2:21:47.

There was a winning double for Spa Striders at the University of Warwick Splash & Dash aquathlon.

The termly event featured a 250m swim and 2500m run.

Rob Egan claimed first place overall with a total finish time of 13min 12.44sec which included the fastest swim time of 3:29.08.

Louise Dwyer was the first-placed lady in a total time of 15:54.41.