Harrison takes gold in Anglo Celtic Plate 100km race for Leamington C & AC - The Leamington Observer

Harrison takes gold in Anglo Celtic Plate 100km race for Leamington C & AC

Leamington Editorial 1st Jun, 2017   0

RUNNING: A PAIR of Leamington runners competed in the Anglo Celtic Plate home international event in Hull last week.

Held over a distance of 100km, Leamington duo Mel Venables and Sue Harrison competed for Spa Striders and Leamington C&AC respectively.

The race was run over four ‘out and back’ laps of 25km on flat narrow roads through farming communities to the north of the River Humber.

Strong cross winds and long straight stretches of the country roads, devoid of hedgerows or shelter made the already course ever harder than normal.




Both Mel and Sue had pre-race plans regarding pace and fuelling the body on the run.

At the start of the race neither was distracted when several of the less experienced athletes set off at a reckless pace.


After 25km, Sue was positioned sixth while Mel was running in seventh.

The pair had three English ladies, one Scot and an Argentinian in front of them – and the leading pack started to edge clear as 40km approached.

Things changed dramatically at the 60km stage as leading contender Chesher withdrew from the race as Venables moved up into fourth.

With a lap to go, race leader Harrison had a commanding 15 minute lead over second place Carter.

The final lap proved tough for everyone as large gaps started to emerge between runners.

On target for a 2017 world best time at 90km, Harrison dug deeper than ever to maintain her rhythm to the finish line – crossing it in a time of 8hrs 1min and 22secs.

It was Harrison’s first British National title – placing her second on the 2017 Womens World Ranking lists for the year.

Her time was also the second quickest time run by a British women in the 21 years history of the ACP.

Venables started to struggle in third – and for a moment she considered retiring.

But she dug deep to take third place in a time of 8hrs 25mins and 52secs.

After the race, she said: “I remembered all the support I had been given by my very good friend and the Spa Striders Chairman, Rick Bicknell, who sadly passed away a week ago.

“So I gave it the 110 per cent I had promised him and pushed on.”

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