October 22nd, 2016

Spa Striders out in force in Paris as Matt Leydon leads the way

Spa Striders out in force in Paris as Matt Leydon leads the way Spa Striders out in force in Paris as Matt Leydon leads the way

MATT Leydon led the way for Spa Striders at the Paris Marathon in France by knocking five minutes off his personal best time.

A total of eight Striders traveled to France over the weekend where the temperature of 21 degrees took runners by surprise but the conditions did not affect the Leamington runners.

Leydon crossed the finish line in a time of 3:51.21 which was a new personal best, while Gethyn Friswell did well to finish in 4:08.46 and he was closely followed by Ruth Tennant who ran a perfectly-paced 4:09.49.

Steve Pope found the heat tough but still crossed the finish line in 4:15.06 and there were impressive times for debutants Helene Wright and Clive Parpworth who team up on the day to overcome recent injuries and complete the course in 4:20.59.

The two other Striders in action across the border were Hannah Smith (4:31.38) and she was followed by Kathleen McCann (5:07.23).

Closer to home there many local runners taking part in the Warwick Half Marathin with 26 Spa Striders taking on the undulating course which took participants from Warwick Racecourse through Leek Wootton, Hatton and Hampton before returning to Warwick.

Having worked tirelessly in Winter marathon training, Rob Thompson (1:25.43) recorded a well-deserved PB and was the first Strider home in 29th.

Adam Notley (1:26.46) and Steve Taylor (1:26.55, PB) pushed each other hard for Notley to give the final kick and pip Taylor to the line, taking 35th and 37th places respectively, while Michael Pugh (1:28.26) also broke the 90-minute barrier.

Striders’ ladies were led home by in-form Kate Gadsby (1:33.23) whose new PB time was enough to secure tenth.

Susie Stannard (1:34.39) continued her strong marathon preparation ahead of London in three weeks time, while newcomer Natalie Carrill finished in 1:40.04 and Bethan Gwynn (1:40.22) and Emma Kennedy (1:49.05) all pushed on over the testing course.

Elsewhere, eight Spa Striders enjoyed the fantastic atmosphere at the Reading Half Marathon where Dan Martin raced home to a new PB time of 1:46.27.

Andy Roach marked his return from injury with a time of 1:49.25 while both Elena Savelieva (1:52.22) and Dave Lithgow (2:00.28) had solid runs ahead of Brighton in a fortnight.

Phil Wood (2:05.18), Ves Hill (2:05.19) and Julie Heaton (2:05.19) ran a true team effort by supporting each other throughout the course and finishing hand-in-hand, while Gary Perkins (2:11.36) completed the delighted crowd from Spa Striders.