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29th Jun, 2022

ATHLETICS - Spa Striders impress around the country

SPA Striders athletes competed in various events around the country over the past week.

Striders pair Sue Cox and Chris McKeown temporarily represented club rivals in blue and white when they headed across to the Pingles track in Nuneaton for various events.

This included their debut in ‘race walking’ which entailed a 2km race and disqualification for bending of the knees or if both feet leave the ground.

Both athletes came through the race with Cox walking at a pace of 11 minutes per mile.

However, there were unfortunately no blue skies for Lucy Tugwell as she returned to racing after a couple of years break in the Hagley 10km Trail race.

The club hosted Ryton Pools five-mile race in the second Warwickshire Road Race League meeting of the season.

And the sold out event had a friendly atmosphere as Kenneth Gregor led the runners home (as lead bike).

The first Strider home in seventh was McKeown who was followed by Adam Notley, Dan Fleming, Chris Wilson, John-Paul Hunt, Jason Hemming.

And the first Strider lady home was Kelsey Wiberley, followed by Trevor Wilkinson, Gethyn Friswell, Andrew Owen, Paul Kirby, Nev Champman, Shaun Martin, Anne Hurrell, Naomi Cruden, Susan Cox, Kirsty Middleton, Richard Lowery, Sergi Gonzalez, Natalie Mitchell, Anne Hall, Paul Palmer, Rachel Goldsmith, and Philip Haines.

Alongside the on-road running efforts there was some epic teamwork going on behind the scenes and on the course to ensure a smoothly executed event that the club were proud to host.

The club would also like to extend a special thanks to all those who were involved in the planning, organising, setting up, car park directing, marshaling, supporting, watering, timing, data collecting adn cup collecting.

Elsewhere, Rich Sykes travelled to Keswick in the Lake District for the Rab Skiddaw Vertical Run.

The race had 1000m of accent over just 8.8km which equates to over three times the accent of some of the hardest hilly-100 legs over just half the distance.

Unfortunately, the weather was not on his side as he had to put up with awful conditions for a further 8km on the way back down to Keswick after the race.

Abi Morton and Anne-Claire Bennion took part in the Dukeries 40-mile loop of forest trails and footpaths from Sherwood Forrest taking in many sandstone villages and historic sites, including the Major Oak.

The pair showed amazing stamina and completed the event in 9:50:34.

Elsewhere, John-Paul Hunt was across the border in Wales for the Ras-y-Gader, Cader Idris Mountain Race.

This proved to be one of the toughest fell races in Wales which starts and finishes in Dolgellau and climbs 3000ft to the summit of Pen y gader as Hunt completed the race in an excellent time of 1:53:04.

Patrick James was guaranteed a PB in Worcester for his first marathon and achieved a comfortable sub four-hour time in 3:56:08 in the 20-degree heat.

Sandra Stokes and Kelsey Wiberley were over in Coventry for a Sprint triathlon which consisted of a 400m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run which the pair enjoyed.

Lastly, McKeown went for a three-day racing hat-trick and competed in the Sunday Midlands Senior League 5000m, coming home in a time of 16:44 with a warm-up that involved the 2k steeplechase.

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