RUNNING: THE SPRING marathon season got underway in sunny Manchester on Sunday where Mel Venables led a large contingent of Spa Striders home.
Venables used the event as practice for the 100km Anglo Celtic Place next month and crossed the finish line in a time of 3:09.46, which saw her finish sixth in her age category.
Andrew Bonjour (3:14.06) and Simon Parsons (3:18.34) returned to the race after deferring due to injury last year, with Andrew taking on his first marathon and Simon running a 23-minute personal best (PB).
Kate Gadsby also ran her debut marathon and put in an incredible performance to finish in 3:20.51, while Dexter Teale finished in 3:39.51 and Dave Lithgow’s time of 3:57.49 was an impressive 34 minutes quicker than his Brighton time from 2016.
Several runners entered half marathon events, with Matt Leydon travelling to Berlin where he recorded a new PB time of 1:39.47. Lucy Tugwell also competed and crossed the finish line in 1:53.57.
Closer to home, Steve Pope finished the Solihull Half Marathon in 1:56.06 and Claudine took on the challenge of the hilly Loughborough Half Marathon which she completed in 1:52.49.
At the local Regency 10km race, weather conditions were perfect for runners and Spa Strider Kelsey Wimberley was the first lady home in 39.38, closely followed by Mike Mannion in a PB time of 40.19.
Elsewhere, Charlotte Everard returned to the trails, this time in the Yorkshire Dales and finished as the as the second fastest female in the first race of 20km Dale Trail Series.
Anne Hurrell enjoyed beautiful conditions and scenery in the Buttermere 10 Mile Trail Race, finishing in 1:38.08 as the fourth fastest lady.
Helene Wright was also the fourth fastest lady in the Spring Duathalon in Bosworth, and Chris Jones completed the 50km Silkin Way ultra.