Striders' Venables calls on her ultra background to Nearly win at Naunton
Ultra specialist Mel Venables found conditions to her liking at the Naunton Nearly 19 off-road race on Sunday, finishing second lady.
A slightly longer course than usual which started in the village of Guiting Power rather than Naunton meant a slow start over stiles and through gates before athletes could get into their running on a tough course of close to 19 miles.
Venables led home the 13 Striders, completing the race in 2hr 37min 38sec.
She was followed by Paul Edwards (2:42:22) who along with Chris McKeown (3:06:10) took a wrong turn a few miles from the finish to sacrifice second and third spots, respectively.
Anne Hurrell (2:48:11), Bethan Gwynn (2:51:15), Chris McKeown (3:06:10) and Hartwig Busch (3:07:10) all ran strongly, while Claire Murphy, Charlotte Everard and Rosie Banks (3:17:01) were a happy trio as they crossed the line together. For Murphy it was her longest run since the birth of her son in August, while Banks was running further than a half-marathon for the first time and Everard was making a welcome return from injury.
They were closely followed by Ruth Tennant and Fiona Edwards (3:21:02), Dan Stannard (3:21:23) and Pete Schofield (3:22:45).
Four Kenilworth Runners also took part, with Andy Snow (3:04:09) coming in just two seconds ahead of Colin Bailey.
Neil Smith clocked 3:06:54, with Mike Scandrett finishing in 3:09:28.
The Telford 10k is known to be a fast course and the rescheduled event did not disappoint with local runners posting a host of personal bests.
Spa Striders’ Adam Notley (36:41) clocked a new PB to finish 121st, with Steven Taylor (38:36) and Simon Parsons (38:39) both dipping below 40 minutes, Parsons with a PB by 25 seconds.
Helene Wright (46:35) continued her run of good form by knocking a minute off her best time, while Jude Baum (47:03) celebrated a new PB by 29 seconds and LV60 victory.
Claudine Piper (47:12) continued her recent run of PBs, while Sandra Stokes (50:51) was second in the LV55 category and Chris Jones (54:20) started on the long road back from injury.
Striders’ ladies finished third team.
Kenilworth Runners’ Oliver Flippance was also in personal best form,clocking 39:41 to finish 181st.
There were also PBs for Kenilworth clubmates David Oxtoby, who finished 235th in 42:42 and Michelle Oxtoby, who was 11th LV40 in 49:03.
The race was won by Charlie Hulson of Sale Harriers in 29:12.
Kenilworth Runners’ Stef Lunn and Richard Broadbent took part in the Dirtrun Winter Series Race 2 at Dudmaston National Trust on Sunday.
The rescheduled event took place on a cold and frosty morning in the woodland of the Dudmaston estate, rather than in the National Trust grounds like some other Dirtrun events.
Broadbent was fourth in 48:58 (2nd MV40), with Lunn 22nd in 55:21 (3rd lady) to place them well up in the overall series.