ATHLETICS: CHRIS McKeown led a team of eight Spa Striders home at the Bramley 20-mile race in Hampshire on Sunday.
The event, organised by Reading Roadrunners, consisted of two ten-mile laps on quiet countryside lanes and with mild temperatures on the day, runners had an excellent opportunity to use the event as effective spring marathon build-up.
McKeown placed 53rd overall in a time of 2:10.01, while both Simon Parsons (2:21.54) and Andrew Bonjour (2:33.13) both made significant improvements on their previous 20-mile performances.
Dave Lithgow (2:58.32) had a strong run to overtake Mike Cox (2:58.44) in the final mile and Bethan Gwynn (2:46.10) was first Strider lady over the finish line. She was followed by Roz Cox (3:02.31) who took almost 30 minutes off last year’s time, and Amanda Wiggins (3:05.26).
Elsewhere, husband and wife duo Jim and Kelsey Wiberley both had excellent races at their first ultra-distance event.
The Strider duo took past in the 9bar Railway Ultra with Jim finishing runner-up in 3:38.12 in the 28-mile event, while Kelsey was the fastest female in the 36-mile distance in 4:50.23.
The Heart of England forest was the location for the Arden Attack Duathlon where competitors faced a 5km run, followed by an 18km ride and finished off with a 3km course.
Tim Beresford (1:16.48) placed seventh overall with Gethyn Friswell (1:20.36) coming 11th and Clare Bryan (1:37.57) finished her debut duathlon as seventh fastest female.